Jill Schlender loves living in Capilano. Describing it as a town within a city, she likes the fact that she can zip out of the southeast Edmonton neighbourhood — sandwiched between the North Saskatchewan River and the adjacent communities of Fulton Place and Gold Bar — and reach her destination faster than most citizens.
“I love the location by the river and the accessibility,” says Schlender, who is the editor of the Capilano community pages of Southeast Voice, a newsletter that services nine neighbourhoods in the area. “It’s quite central. You can get downtown, get to the university and you can hop across the bridge to the north end.”
Capilano, which was first developed in 1946, has no apartments, with all of the roughly 2,600 residents living in single detached homes.
“It’s great in some ways, because there are still homes here that were built after the Second World War,” says Schlender. “But we have a high senior population and most of them don’t want to leave. If there’s one thing we’d change, it would be getting a residential seniors complex, where they can be cared for, yet still live independently.”
Schlender also really enjoys the two parks in the Capilano area. She likes the fact that Gold Bar Park, which runs along the southern shore of the river, offers picnic facilities and trails for running, biking and cross-country skiing.
But she’s more closely attached to Capilano Community Park. As chair of its redevelopment committee, Schlender helped bring an updated playground, a spray deck and a new picnic shelter to the park. While Schlender admits the project keeps her busy — there are still plans to add more amenities — she feels it’s worth it to keep the neighbourhood spirit alive.
“We’re central, but not in the thick of things,” says Schlender. “There are multiple generations here, from young families to original homeowners when the neighbourhood first started. It’s really a nice, warm welcoming place.”
The social hub of the community, the facility has a large meeting and banquet room, an equipped kitchen and a balcony that offers a spectacular view of the river valley. The hall can accommodate 80 people and is available for bookings from wedding receptions to private parties. For sports buffs, there is a soccer pitch, an outdoor rink and four outdoor tennis courts. Capilano Community Park: recently developed with more state-of-the-art playground facilities and a picnic shelter, the site is also home to one of two boat launches in the city. There are also washroom facilities and access to hiking trails in adjacent parks.
10810 54 St., 780-469-2149, capilanocl.ca
A favourite neighbourhood hangout, especially with seniors, this eatery serves a variety of items, including coffee, old-fashioned milkshakes, light breakfasts, homemade soup and fresh sandwiches. “It’s definitely part of the social fabric of the community,” says Schlender.
5010 106 Ave., 780-463-9918
The food retailer on the edge of Capilano offers fresh produce and meat as well as all other food items and household goods for your pantry. Locals especially love the three-day sales, most of them on produce.
5036 106 Ave.