An established community can hold a lot of history. Pine trees planted in 1955 by the children of Woodcroft still continue to grow. In 1960, the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium opened its doors and was one of the first of its kind in Canada.
History can also draw residents who see a well-established and friendly community, one that has plenty to offer to both newcomers and those who have lived there for years.
Arlene Huhn, vice-president of the Woodcroft Community League, moved here nine years ago. “We wanted something family-friendly,” she says. “Woodcroft is close to parks, a mall and the library, all of which are within walking distance.” In fact, the neighbourhood was rated 14th out of the city’s 272 communities for walkability by WalkScore.com.
There’s an abundance of recreational facilities, such as the Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre, Coronation Park and Coronation Arena.
First settled in 1907, Woodcroft got its name quite simply; new families were opting to build their homes in wooded areas. The 1950s saw a surge in homebuilding and population growth. Many homes still standing in Woodcroft today are original to the time period.
Even though half of its land is dedicated to non-residential facilities, Woodcroft continues to see positive growth. “This community seems to work in a cycle, where families move in and stay, grow older and pass their houses onto their children. Many residents who live in Woodcroft have lived here most of their lives,” Huhn says.
Vickie Van Hogezand is one of those residents. Her family made the move to Woodcroft in 1954. Even though Van Hogezand went to Red Deer for a few years, she laughs about being relieved when she came back to Woodcroft. “This place is my home. It’s just so central to everything. You’re 15 minutes from just about anywhere. What more could you want?”
Attracting over 500,000 visitors a year, the best-known landmark in Woodcroft is the Telus World of Science. It features an IMAX theatre, a robotics lab and Canada’s largest planetarium dome theatre.
11211 142 St NW, 780-451-3344 telusworldofscienceedmonton.ca
Located in Coronation Park, the Commonwealth Lawn Bowling Club is one of the biggest of its kind in Canada. Four greens are available, and the club is proud that the 1978 Commonwealth Games bowls tournament was held there.
11420 139 St., 780-455-9737 commonwealthbowls.ca
Even though recreational facilities take up much of Woodcroft’s area, residents need only cross the street to find local goodies.
Opened as Sherbrooke Bakery in 1940, this bakery and delicatessen is popular among local residents. For those craving a European pastry, an imported jam or a sweet treat, this shop is the place to look.
13232 118 Ave., 780-455-2323, dutchdeliciousbakery.com
Though it’s been around since the ’50s, Westmount Shopping Centre has seen many changes over the past decade. Big box stores have come and gone, but the core of the mall remains.
Groat Road and 111 Avenue, 780-452-1234, westmountshopping.com