Bearspaw, located in the southwestern part of Edmonton, Alberta, is a tranquil and picturesque neighborhood known for its family-friendly atmosphere, abundant green spaces, and convenient amenities. This article provides an in-depth look at Bearspaw, exploring its location, history, age, shopping options, size, and unique features that make it a cherished part of Edmonton.

 Location of Bearspaw

Bearspaw is situated in the southwest quadrant of Edmonton, bordered by 23 Avenue to the north, 111 Street to the east, Blackmud Creek Ravine to the west, and Anthony Henday Drive to the south. The neighborhood is part of the larger Kaskitayo area, known for its well-planned residential communities and extensive parklands.

This strategic location offers residents easy access to major roadways and public transit routes, making commuting and traveling within the city straightforward and convenient. Bearspaw’s proximity to the Anthony Henday Drive ensures that residents can easily reach other parts of Edmonton and beyond.

 History of Bearspaw

Bearspaw’s development began in the late 1970s and continued through the 1980s. The neighborhood is named after Chief Bearspaw of the Stoney Nation, reflecting Edmonton’s tradition of honoring Indigenous leaders and communities.

The 1980s were a pivotal decade for Bearspaw, as many of the homes and community structures were built during this time. The neighborhood was designed with a focus on providing a peaceful, suburban environment for Edmonton’s growing population. The development included a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and low-rise apartment buildings, catering to a diverse demographic.

 Age and Development of Bearspaw

Most of Bearspaw's residential development took place during the late 1970s and 1980s. The neighborhood's architectural style reflects the trends of that era, with a mix of bungalow-style homes, split-level houses, and low-rise apartment buildings. The well-established tree-lined streets and mature landscaping add to the neighborhood's charm and provide a sense of continuity and stability.

Bearspaw has seen some infill development in recent years, with new homes and modern amenities being added to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. These developments have helped to revitalize the neighborhood while maintaining its historical character and community spirit.

 Community Life in Bearspaw

One of Bearspaw's most notable features is its strong sense of community. Residents enjoy a close-knit, inclusive atmosphere where neighbors know each other, and community events are a regular occurrence.

Community Organizations and Events

The Bearspaw Community League plays a central role in fostering community spirit and engagement. This organization coordinates a variety of activities and events throughout the year, including:

- Seasonal Festivals and Events: From summer barbecues and outdoor movie nights to winter carnivals and holiday markets, the community league organizes events that bring residents together and celebrate the neighborhood's spirit.

- Sports and Recreation Programs: The community league offers sports leagues, fitness classes, and recreational activities for residents of all ages, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

- Educational Workshops and Social Clubs: Providing opportunities for lifelong learning and social interaction, these programs help residents connect and share common interests.

Educational Institutions

Bearspaw is home to several educational institutions that provide quality education and numerous extracurricular activities, fostering a well-rounded development for students.

- Keheewin School: Serving students from kindergarten to grade six, Keheewin School is known for its strong academic programs and commitment to student development. The school offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, music programs, and clubs.

- St. Teresa Catholic School: Offering education for students from kindergarten to grade six, St. Teresa Catholic School is known for its rigorous academic curriculum and diverse range of extracurricular opportunities.

- Nearby High Schools: Bearspaw residents have access to several nearby high schools, such as Harry Ainlay High School and Louis St. Laurent School, ensuring that older students have a range of educational options to choose from.

 Shopping and Local Amenities

Shopping in Bearspaw is convenient and diverse, catering to the needs of its residents with a variety of retail establishments and services. The neighborhood's proximity to major commercial areas ensures that residents have easy access to everything they need.

Local Shops and Services

Bearspaw boasts several local businesses that provide essential goods and services, contributing to the neighborhood's self-sufficiency and charm.

- Convenience Stores and Supermarkets: These establishments ensure residents have easy access to groceries and household items, making daily shopping convenient.

- Health and Wellness Services: Including pharmacies, clinics, and fitness centers, ensuring residents have access to essential health services close to home.

- Cafes and Restaurants: The neighborhood features a variety of dining options, from cozy coffee shops to family-owned eateries, offering a diverse culinary scene that caters to different tastes and preferences.

Nearby Shopping Centers

Bearspaw's location provides easy access to several major shopping centers, ensuring residents have a wide range of retail options.

- South Edmonton Common: Located just a short drive from Bearspaw, South Edmonton Common is one of the largest open-air retail developments in North America. It features a variety of stores and services, including fashion boutiques, electronics shops, and grocery stores, as well as numerous dining options.

- Heritage Village Shopping Centre: Another nearby shopping area, Heritage Village Shopping Centre offers a variety of stores and services, including grocery stores, specialty shops, and restaurants.

- Century Park: Located to the north of Bearspaw, Century Park features additional retail options, including fashion boutiques, electronics shops, and grocery stores.

 Size and Layout of Bearspaw

Bearspaw spans a modest area, contributing to its intimate and community-focused atmosphere. The neighborhood is characterized by its well-maintained homes, tree-lined streets, and a blend of residential and recreational areas.

Residential Architecture

The housing stock in Bearspaw is diverse, reflecting its development over the decades. You will find a mix of housing options, including:

- Single-Family Homes: Many of the homes in Bearspaw were built in the late 1970s and 1980s and feature classic designs, such as bungalows and split-level houses. These homes often have spacious yards and mature trees, contributing to the neighborhood's charm.

- Modern Infill Projects: Recent years have seen the introduction of modern infill homes that add contemporary flair while respecting the neighborhood's established character. These infill projects provide additional housing options and contribute to the neighborhood's renewal.

- Duplexes and Townhouses: Offering more affordable living options, these dwellings are popular among young families and professionals, providing a balance between space and affordability.

- Low-Rise Apartment Buildings: These provide rental housing options for singles, young professionals, and retirees, ensuring a diverse demographic in the neighborhood.

Green Spaces and Parks

Parks and green spaces are integral to Bearspaw’s layout, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

- Bearspaw Lake Park: A central gathering spot with playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas, Bearspaw Lake Park is a hub of activity and leisure for families and individuals. The park also features scenic walking paths that encourage residents to enjoy the outdoors.

- Blackmud Creek Ravine: Located to the west of Bearspaw, Blackmud Creek Ravine offers extensive walking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for wildlife observation and nature appreciation. The ravine’s lush greenery and serene environment provide a perfect escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

- Keheewin Park: Nearby Keheewin Park offers additional recreational facilities, including open spaces for community events and casual enjoyment.

 Transportation and Accessibility

Bearspaw’s location in southwest Edmonton ensures excellent connectivity and accessibility. The neighborhood is well-served by public transportation and major roadways, making it easy for residents to commute and travel within the city.

Public Transit

Several bus routes run through Bearspaw, providing convenient access to key destinations, including downtown Edmonton, major shopping centers, and other neighborhoods. The Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) ensures reliable and efficient public transportation options for residents.

Roadways and Highways

For those who prefer to drive, Bearspaw is conveniently situated near major roadways, including:

- 111 Street: A major north-south route that facilitates quick travel across Edmonton and beyond.

- 23 Avenue: Providing easy access to the city’s eastern and western regions, as well as connections to major highways.

- Anthony Henday Drive: Edmonton’s ring road, offering convenient access to all parts of the city and surrounding areas.

Proximity to Downtown

Bearspaw’s location offers the advantage of being relatively close to downtown Edmonton. This proximity makes commuting straightforward and convenient for residents, particularly those who work or study in the downtown area.

 Revitalization and Future Developments

Bearspaw continues to evolve, with several future developments planned to further enhance the neighborhood. These initiatives aim to improve the quality of life for residents and ensure the area remains a desirable place to live.

Revitalization Efforts

- Community Beautification Projects: Ongoing efforts to enhance the neighborhood’s appearance through landscaping, public art installations, and infrastructure improvements.

- Safety and Security Initiatives: Collaboration between residents, local businesses, and law enforcement to improve safety and foster a secure environment for all.

Future Developments

Bearspaw is set to benefit from several future developments that will further enhance its appeal and livability. These include:

- New Housing Projects: Adding modern, affordable housing options to meet the needs of a growing population. These projects aim to accommodate the diverse demographic that calls Bearspaw home.

- Infrastructure Upgrades: Improvements to roads, sidewalks,

 and public transportation facilities, ensuring the neighborhood remains accessible and well-maintained. These upgrades are essential for supporting the neighborhood's growth and maintaining its high quality of life.

- Cultural and Recreational Facilities: Plans for new community centers and cultural spaces that will provide residents with more opportunities for engagement and enrichment. These facilities will serve as focal points for community activities and social interaction.

 Unique Features of Bearspaw

Bearspaw's unique features contribute to its charm and desirability as a residential neighborhood.

Natural Beauty

Bearspaw’s proximity to Blackmud Creek Ravine and several parks provides residents with easy access to natural beauty and outdoor recreation. The neighborhood’s parks and recreational facilities are perfect for hiking, biking, and enjoying nature, making it a popular spot for both residents and visitors.

Active Community Engagement

The strong sense of community in Bearspaw is fostered through active engagement and participation in local events and activities. The community league's efforts to bring residents together and promote a sense of belonging contribute to the neighborhood's vibrant atmosphere.

Diverse Population

Bearspaw is known for its diverse population, with residents from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This diversity is reflected in the neighborhood's vibrant cultural scene, featuring a variety of community events and celebrations that highlight different traditions and customs.


Bearspaw is a neighborhood that beautifully blends natural beauty, community spirit, and modern conveniences. Its rich cultural tapestry, combined with ongoing revitalization efforts, makes it a unique and desirable place to live. From the strong sense of community and vibrant arts scene to the diverse shopping and dining options, Bearspaw offers something for everyone.

As it continues to grow and evolve, Bearspaw remains a shining example of successful urban planning and community-focused development in Edmonton. With its welcoming atmosphere, modern amenities, and ongoing commitment to improvement, Bearspaw is truly a hidden gem that stands out in the city’s vibrant landscape. Whether you are looking for a place to raise a family, start a career, or enjoy retirement, Bearspaw offers a dynamic and fulfilling living experience.