The Clareview area used to be home to more cows than people. When the northeast neighbourhood was established in 1969, it was flanked by farmers’ fields.
As the city grew, the farmland made way for more housing and the community slowly took shape.
“I would call it a bedroom community within the city and that’s the one thing that’s always been attractive about Clareview,” said Martin Narsing, longtime resident and South Clareview Community League president.
The area is home to a diverse population from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, Narsing said.
“You’re seeing a lot of new Canadians coming to live in the Clareview area. They’re also participating in the community leagues and bringing that vibrancy.”
“A lot of the residents who had originally moved there in the mid ’70s continue to live there,” he said.
Clareview is nestled between major landmarks, with the North Saskatchewan River to the east, Fort Road to the west, Yellowhead Trail to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive to the north.
The corridors connect Clareview to the rest of Edmonton, said Ziad Aboultaif, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Manning.
Clareview is named after dairy farmer Francis Clare, an agricultural advocate who successfully sued the City of Edmonton in 1914 over its dumping of untreated wastewater in the North Saskatchewan River.
– Naming Edmonton, 2004
“Having Anthony Henday, especially the east leg, was quite important to attract people,” Aboultaif said. “That helped a lot to encourage new generations, young families, to go there.”
The neighbourhood is also home to the Clareview Transit Centre, terminus of the Capital Line LRT since 1981.
Having accessible transit enables residents to commute to other parts of the city for work, while also serving as a park and ride location, said Aaron Paquette, Ward 4 councillor .
“Not only are people going out to their jobs but we have people coming in from the rest of the city into this small little town centre of Clareview,” Paquette said.
“It’s become sort of like the downtown for the northeast.”
‘Important and vibrant’
One of the greatest impacts on the development of the area was the construction of the Clareview Rec Centre, which opened its doors in 2014.
The centre houses a pool, fitness facilities and ice rinks and is attached to a public library and a high school.
“It’s a tremendous thing for any community to have,” Narsing said. “There’s a lot of attractions right there at the Clareview Rec Centre that makes it important and vibrant.”
The river valley provides green space for residents to enjoy, said Paquette.
“We’re sort of a jewel in the city,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know, but that entire ward is a river valley community.”
Immigration has shaped Clareview’s population over the past 50 years, creating a rich tapestry of multicultural restaurants and businesses, Aboultaif said.
“That diversity of ethnicities that we have here, it opens the imagination for a lot of talent,” he said.
Focus on local economy
Clareview, much like the rest of Edmonton, has seen an uptick in unemployment in recent years, Aboultaif said.
“I have heard a lot of painful stories about jobs that are not there or jobs that were lost,” he said.
Developing more light industry in the area, such as manufacturing, would go a long way to ensure economic sustainability, he said.
Residents are looking for opportunities to work and spend their money close to home, Paquette said.
“Definitely one of the hopes and dreams of the people in the area is that we get more interesting coffee shops, we get more bakeries, little things like that,” he said.
Narsing hopes all levels of government will want to invest in Edmonton’s northeast and capitalize on its proximity to main transportation routes.
“Really give a bit of a focus to helping the northeast, bring in that business district where we attract different kinds of investment,” Narsing said. “That’s what we need going forward.”