The Edmonton Trail main street is a major north-south transportation route that serves as a boundary between the residential communities of Crescent Heights, Tuxedo Park in the west and Bridgeland, Renfrew, and Winston Heights/Mountview in the east.
The street is one of Alberta’s earliest and most important provincial transportation and communication networks—it was originally built from Aboriginal trails and early fur trade routes that follow the contours of the landscape. The ongoing development of Edmonton Trail signalled a tremendous period of growth in Calgary.
The arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Calgary in 1883 encouraged heavier traffic along Edmonton Trail and designated it a main route into the city from the surrounding agricultural districts. In 1910, a street car line was built, which spurred commercial and residential development in the surrounding areas. Examples of pre-First World War building styles and historical blocks are present today, as are pre-First World War single-family homes in Arts and Crafts and Edwardian styles.
Edmonton Trail became a major thoroughfare with the rise in popularity of the automobile in the 1920s, connecting the south and north branches of Highway 2A—one of Alberta’s busiest highways. Examples of pre-Second World War Craftsman bungalows and 1940s wartime housing can be seen in the surrounding communities.
In recent decades, Edmonton Trail acts as a transportation route for more local traffic, rather than regional travellers, yet it has retained its name and some of its character in recognition of its historic use.