Kinnaird Ravine is central to this small community just east of downtown Edmonton.

In 1911 developer William Magrath paid the city of Edmonton $20,000 to have a streetcar line extend to his newly established community of Highlands. The Edmonton Radial Railway ran north from Jasper Avenue along Kinnaird Street (82 Street) then east along Pine Avenue (112 Avenue) and spurred the growth of the new community of Cromdale. Cromdale is a Scottish place name and means crooked valley, an apropos handle given that the Kinnaird Ravine is central to the community, defines Cromdale’s unique shape, and gives its residents access to the river valley. The neighbourhood is bounded by the river valley and Kinnaird Ravine, the LRT tracks to the northwest, and Borden Park to the northeast. Its western boundary is 84 Street, north boundaries are 113 and 112 Avenues, and to the east, 76 Street.

Always a small community and primarily home to single family dwellings, Cromdale underwent significant redevelopment in the 1960s due to its proximity to downtown and position on major transportation corridors. Many original bungalows and craftsman homes were replaced with high-density apartments at the time. By the start of the 1970s, a long-running dispute was underway between Cromdale residents and their neighbour to the north, Edmonton Northlands, who were determined to expropriate Cromdale housing to suit future expansion. Over 400 homes in Cromdale were lost to Northlands over the next twenty years.

Small single-family bungalows are found in the northern part of Cromdale, with apartments primarily located in the west. A number of restored or renovated original homes are in the area of Cromdale known as Viewpoint situated between Kinnaird Ravine and the river valley including the homes of Gladys Reeves, the first woman in the west to have her own photography studio; five-time Edmonton mayor Joe Clark; alderman, mayor, and MP Kenneth Blatchford; and Walter Scott Robertson who brought the first piano to Edmonton in 1882 and built one of the first homes in Cromdale. His unique residence is one of Alberta’s best examples of ‘prairie design’.

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