Edmonton's municipal election wards: Essential information

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Ward 1

Ward 1 encompasses the west end of the city, north of Whitemud Drive and 87th Avenue and west of 149th Street and 156th Street. More than half the ward's land space is industrial, although its population size is comparable to other wards.

Average incomes vary widely among Ward 1 neighbourhoods, although not as varied as downtown's Ward 6. People tend to be older in Ward 1, with the highest proportion of the population in its 50s.

For this reason, revitalizing older neighbourhoods and attracting young families, especially in Jasper Place and along deteriorating parts of Stony Plain Road, is a growing concern. The city intends to expand the LRT all the way to Lewis Estates. However, there is no money for the project, and the southeast LRT is higher priority.

With the opening of Canora Place in 2011, the area has become a testing ground, of sorts, for homeless housing projects built outside the core.

Linda Sloan, who has represented the ward since 2004, retires this year. There are three candidates declared to replace her, including Andrew Knack, who has lost to Sloan in the past two elections, and Jamie Post, who placed behind Knack in the 2010 election.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 64,547 (7.9% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 8.7%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 17.5%
  • 65+ years old: 11.3%
  • Non-Canadian: 8.0% 
  • Rented / Owned accommodations: 33.4% / 59.2%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 4.0% 
  • Vehicle driver / Transit as main transport: 75.4% / 12.7%
  • 5 years or more in house: 43.3%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $73,934 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.4%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 1 has encompassed the west end of the city since the two-councillor-per-ward system was introduced in 1980. The south end of the district became Ward 5 in 2007, the year outgoing councillor Linda Sloan was elected for the second time. The ward attracted a relatively modest four or five candidates per election until 2001, the year now outgoing mayor Stephen Mandel and 2013 mayoral candidate Karen Leibovici won in that ward. From 2001 to 2007, as many as a dozen candidates ran, while in recent years that has dipped.

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Ward 2

Northwest Ward 2 contains some of the biggest development projects in the city: the City Centre Airport's planned closure and transformation into a new neighbourhood, and expansion of the LRT to NAIT and beyond.

During the last election campaign in 2010, the future of the City Centre Airport lands became a divisive issue, with a large but unsuccessful petition submitted to city council to force a plebiscite on keeping it open.

Ward 2 contains several major roads -- Yellowhead Trail, St. Albert Trail and the Anthony Henday ring road -- and half the declared six candidates have identified potholes and road improvements as a major issue.

While not home to the most elderly population among the wards, Ward 2  does have the highest proportion of people aged 85 and older. Two candidates have cited better services for the elderly as a priority.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 68,558 (8.4% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 10.1%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 19.3%
  • 65+ years old: 11.2%
  • Non-Canadian: 6.6% 
  • Rented / Owned accommodations: 42.8% / 52.4%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 5.0% 
  • Vehicle driver / Transit as main transport: 77.1% / 12.2%
  • 5 years or more in house: 43.3%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $62,743 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.9%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 2 was redrawn in the last election, with its eastern portion handed to Ward 3 and its western edge expanded several kilometres. The ward has been represented by several longtime council members, including former two-term mayor Jan Reimer, current Federation of Community Leagues director Allan Bolstad, and the longest-serving councillor in Edmonton history Ron Hayter, who served from 1971 till 1995. Current three-term Ward 2 councillor Kim Krushell retires this year.

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Ward 3

Ward 3 represents the northernmost edge of the city, spanning approximately three kilometres to the east and west of 97th Street.

The ward contains the highest ratio of baby-boomer homeowners in the city. It is a stable population, with 54 per cent having lived in their home for five years or more -- the highest proportion in the city by far.

Its neighbourhoods are aging, with roads and sidewalks in need of upgrades. Present councillor Dave Loken says only one neighbourhood -- Kilkenny -- is targeted for full renewal of sidewalks and roads, but not until 2017.

This ward has a growing population of young people, with nearly a quarter of its population -- the highest in the city -- under 20 years old. The Lago Lindo area, encompassing  four neighbourhoods, is experiencing a lot of new construction, which has led to conflicts. One developer recently had to scramble after water runoff apparently flooded out neighbouring homes.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 64,987 (7.9% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 11.4%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 23.9%
  • 65+ years old: 8.8%
  • Non-Canadian: 5.1%
  • Rented / Owned accommodations: 20.5% / 74.3%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 2.7%
  • Vehicle driver / Transit as main transport: 82.8% / 9.6%
  • 5 years or more in house: 54.3%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $84,926 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.2%

HISTORY OF WARD

Most of what was formerly known as Ward 3 is now part of Ward 4. And much of present-day Ward 3 was formerly known as Ward 2, which was represented by several longtime council members, including former two-term mayor Jan Reimer, current Federation of Community Leagues director Allan Bolstad, and the longest-serving councillor in Edmonton history Ron Hayter. Dave Loken, who ran twice unsuccessfully in Ward 2, was elected in Ward 3 in the last election and is running again.

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Ward 4

The majority of the land mass of northeast Edmonton's Ward 4 is farmland, bordered to the south by the Anthony Henday ring road, Highway 37 to the north, the military base to the west, and the North Saskatchewan River to the east.

Despite its rural composition, Ward 4 is in the top four of  Edmonton wards in terms of population size, with almost 71,000 people living in neighbourhoods clustered around Clareview and Belvedere LRT stations. The ward has a population that is relatively young, with the second-smallest proportion of people 65 years old and over.

The ward has a lot of potential for development, but not much is finalized. City council earlier this year gave preliminary approval to a long-term development plan for the rural portion of the ward, which would include five new neighbourhoods and land set aside for agriculture. Design work has been finished to expand the LRT line further to the northeast, but there's no money for the project, and little population in the area for the line to service.

The final stretch of the Anthony Henday will be finished there in 2016.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 70,849 (8.7% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 11.1%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 21.8%
  • 65+ years old: 7.4%
  • Non-Canadian: 6.6%
  • Rented / Owned accommodations: 31.1%/62.5%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 3.2%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 75.9% / 16.0%
  • 5 years or more in house: 43.6%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $67,698 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.6%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 4 was formerly known as Ward 3, with the southwest portion of the ward turned into Ward 7. Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason was a councillor for the former Ward 3 from 1989 to 2001. Ed Gibbons ran unsuccessfully in that same ward in 1989, was elected in 2001 and served until 2010. That year, he was elected councillor for the newly redrawn Ward 4, and is running again this year.

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Ward 5

Ward 5 is tucked into the west end of the city, north of the river and south of Whitemud Drive and 87th Avenue.

Income levels are high, with the average for nearly half its 22 neighbourhoods at $100,000 or more. It is the second-wealthiest ward in terms of average neighbourhood incomes.

Recent tension in this ward has a lot to do with the proximity of the Anthony Henday ring road. After the province scrapped an exit into the Ormbsy Place neighbourhood, drivers have been cutting through that neighbourhood to get to the next exit, leading to outrage over increased traffic. In the Wedgewood and Cameron Heights neighbourhoods, noise from the Henday frustrates residents.

Further east in the ward, a school project in a mosque was scrapped after some neighbours complained about the potential traffic tie-ups; a handful of area residents wondered out loud whether the school might also spread radical Islamic thought.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 66,600 (8.1% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 10.9%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 21.4%
  • 65+ years old: 8.0%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 64.7% / 26.1%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 3.1%
  • Non-Canadian: 7.7%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 80.1% / 11.3%
  • 5 years or more in house: 44.1%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $115,492 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 1.9%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 5 was created out of the former southern portion of Ward 1, which current mayoral candidate Karen Leibovici held from 2001 until 2010, when she ran and won in the new Ward 5. (Leibovici's co-councillor in her first term in Ward 1 was outgoing mayor Stephen Mandel.) Because of Leibovici's campaign for mayor, the field for a new councillor is wide open.

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Ward 6

Ward 6 spans 7.5 km east to west through downtown and encompasses some of the most diversity of any Edmonton ward. Average household income, for instance, swings from $32,773 in Central McDougall to $142,560 in Glenora. The ward contains the third highest ratio of non-Canadian citizens in the city.

Overall, this is a ward of young people and transient people. Its proportion of people aged 25 to 29 is the highest in the city — almost 10 percent, while it has the highest proportion of rented properties.

Property development is a big concern. Condo development, especially in the Oliver neighbourhood, has irked some residents, with others welcoming greater density and more opportunities to live near their workplace. Many property owners are salivating over the arrival of the $480-million downtown arena, with groundbreaking next spring.

The west end of the ward is attracting more families into older neighbourhoods, encouraged by the proposed expansion of the LRT down Stony Plain Road. In the east end, push-back has erupted against social housing, with critics arguing they’ve had their share of the projects.

Jane Batty, who has represented the area since 2001, retires this year, and the field to replace her is large — close to a dozen candidates. Candidates have focused on downtown growth and changing demographics in their platforms, calling for better transit, reduced crime, and addressing social issues and improving services for families.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 72,281 (8.8% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 4.2%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 8.2%
  • 65+ years old: 9.1%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 28.7% / 64.9%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 5.4%
  • Non-Canadian: 10.6%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 56.8% / 17.1%
  • 5 years or more in house: 26.2%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $65,671 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 3.0%

HISTORY OF WARD

Created as a single-councillor ward for the 2010 election out of old Ward 4, which had two councillors and included areas southeast of the river and north of Whyte Avenue. Jane Batty has represented Ward 6 and the former Ward 4 since 2001. For decades, the core area has attracted large numbers of candidates for civic elections, with a record 18 running in Ward 4 in 2001, the most since the ward system was introduced in 1971. Jane Batty is stepping down this year.

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Ward 7

Ward 7 is an L-shaped boundary situated just to the northeast of downtown Edmonton. It lies east of  97th Street and is bordered on the south by the winding North Saskatchewan River. On the west side of the ward, the northern boundary is 144th Street. On the eastern portion, Yellowhead Trail is the boundary to the north.

It is made up of several mature and low-income neighbourhoods, including Alberta Avenue, Cromdale and, further east, Abbottsfield, one of several areas that were part of the old coal mining town of Beverly, amalgamated with Edmonton in 1961. Ward 7 has the highest proportion of seniors of any ward.

The area benefitted from major construction projects for the Commonwealth Games in 1978 -- the stadium and LRT. However, incomes have remained low in the area, with Ward 7 neighbourhoods having the lowest average income levels of any ward in the city, along with the highest proportion of unemployed people and unoccupied residences.

However, redevelopment has flourished in recent years, especially along Alberta Avenue, where $5.1 million in development permits were issued in 2011, the highest by far of any mature neighbourhood.

Crime is also a concern, especially around Stadium LRT, where several stabbings and shootings have taken place in recent months.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 62,284 (7.6% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 8.4%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 16.7%
  • 65+ years old: 13.0%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 53.0% / 40.2%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 6.1%
  • Non-Canadian: 5.8%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 72.3% / 17.1%
  • 5 years or more in house: 46.1%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $56,722 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 4.1%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 7 makes up the southwest portion of the former Ward 3, which current Ward 4 councillor Ed Gibbons represented from 2001 to 2010. Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason was a councillor for the former Ward 3 from 1989 to 2001. Tony Caterina was elected as councillor for the newly formed Ward 7 in 2010 and is running again. He has the highest number of opponents of any incumbent.

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Ward 8

Ward 8 lies directly across the South Saskatchewan River from downtown, spanning from the southern arch of the river to the west, to the city limits in the east, with 72nd Avenue and Whyte (82) Avenue to the south. It is a densely populated ward that contains the University of Alberta, a campus of nearly 60,000 people (40,000 students and 19,000 staff/instructors), which means that much of the population is transient, and just over half its accommodations are rental.

Unsurprisingly, Ward 8 has the highest proportion of its population in its 20s — close to one-fifth. This large, young student base means appealing to this demographic is key to a councillor's success in this area.

East of the U of A/Strathcona area are the post-World War II neighbourhoods of Strathearn, Holyrood, Idylwyle and others, which are attracting more families attracted by the proximity to downtown. The planned southeast LRT will run to the immediate west of these neighbourhoods.

Taken together, the demographics make transportation (transit and bicycle routes), along with neighbourhood renewal, some of the key issues.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 66,999 (8.2% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 5.4%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 11.9%
  • 65+ years old: 11.3%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 42.7% / 50.1%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 5.1%
  • Non-Canadian:  7.3%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 67.3% / 16.3%
  • 5 years or more in house: 36.7%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $80,209 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 1.9%

HISTORY OF WARD

Most of Ward 8 was formerly part of the central Edmonton Ward 4, which had been represented by two councillors. The former Ward 4 attracted large numbers of candidates for civic elections, including a record 18 in 2001. Ben Henderson, who ran twice unsuccessfully in Ward 4, was elected there in 2007, and for the new Ward 8 in 2010. Henderson is running again.

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Ward 9

Ward 9 is a triangular shaped area comprising the extreme southwest of the city, bordered by natural features: the North Saskatchewan River to the west and north and the Whitemud and Blackmud Creek Ravines to the east.

To the south is the Anthony Henday ring road, which has a several newer developments to the south on old farmland, including one of Edmonton's newest neighbourhoods, the Chappelle area.

Ward 9 contains several of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Edmonton, such as Bulyea Heights and Henderson Estates, and has the highest average neighbourhood income level of any ward. A mere one percent is unemployed, the lowest in the city.

One in eight people are under the age of 10, making this the second-youngest ward, after Ward 12.

It also has the largest population of any ward, with 10 percent of the city living here, and has the highest proportion of owned property -- 80 percent.

The vast majority of residents drive as their primary transportation, which makes issues like traffic congestion, snow removal and road maintenance top of mind for many residents.

Recently, anger erupted among some residents of Terwillegar, where a housing project for the homeless is proposed. Many are worried about the possibility of higher crime and the impact on property values.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 80,664 (9.9% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 12.5%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 11.9%
  • 65+ years old: 11.3%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 79.9% / 13.5%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 4.3%
  • Non-Canadian:  7.3%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 83.7% / 9.3%
  • 5 years or more in house: 42.0%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $132,434 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 1.0%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 9 was the western portion of the former Ward 5, but it was split for the last election in 2010. (The extreme northern portion of the former Ward 5 is now part of Ward 8.)

The former Ward 5 had a number of long-serving representatives, including four-term councillor Lillian Staroszik and three-term councillor Larry Langley. Bryan Anderson represented that ward from 1998 to 2010, elected in 2010 for the new Ward 9. Anderson is running again for what would be his sixth term in office.

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Ward 10

Ward 10 spans neighbourhoods to the west of Gateway Boulevard, with the Whitemud and Blackmud Creek Ravines forming the eastern border and just above the Anthony Henday ring road to the south.

It is the area served best by the LRT, with one in five using transit as their main form of transportation — the highest in the city.

Travelling south on the LRT line, one passes plenty of variety: from the post-war neighbourhoods of Parkallen and Allendale, popular with young families wanting proximity to Whyte Avenue; past rental-heavy, ethnically diverse Empire Park; into higher-income Greenfield and Steinhauer, before settling in Blue Quill, an area increasingly popular with new Canadians and, since the LRT was expanded to Century Park, students.

Since the last election, crime has become a growing concern in the area, especially since a double-killing in a condo parking lot on Saddleback Road in November 2010. Six young men were charged in the crime.

Ward 10 has the second-highest retirement population of any ward, which makes access to services and affordable housing two other important issues.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 60,475 (7.4% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 8.9%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 18.2%
  • 65+ years old: 12.5%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 48.8% / 44.6%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 4.4%
  • Non-Canadian:  12.3%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 69.3% / 19.5%
  • 5 years or more in house: 43.5%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $83,637 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.6%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 10 comprises the northern portion of the former Ward 5, a ward that has had a number of long-serving councillors: Lillian Staroszik, Larry Langley and five-term Bryan Anderson, who is running again in the southern portion of former Ward 5 -- now Ward 9.

Don Iveson was elected Ward 10's first councillor. Now that he is running for mayor, his seat is open.

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Ward 11

Southeast Edmonton's Ward 11 is bordered by several major roads — Whyte Avenue to the north, Gateway Boulevard to the west, 50th Street to the east, with a chunk of industrial land east of 50th Street and north of Whitemud Drive.

Its main residential composition, south of Whitemud Drive and a band of industrial estates, is Mill Woods, a collection of two-dozen neighbourhoods surrounded by industrial estates.

People who live in Ward 11 are well-established, with close to half having lived in their home for five years or more. A large part of the population is retiring, with one in five from the baby boomer generation, the highest proportion in the city.

Transportation is one of the biggest issues in this area. People who work downtown must travel on aging roads northward, or take often crowded buses. Unsurprisingly, support for the southeast LRT is high. The rail line, which only has two-thirds funding secured, would run right through the heart of Mill Woods, and  through the mature neighbourhoods north of Argyll Road: Argyll, Avonmore and King Edward Park.

Crime is also a growing concern, with several fatal stabbings and arsons in recent years in Mill Woods.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 61,916 (7.6% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 10.0%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 20.4%
  • 65+ years old: 10.0%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 60.3% / 32.2%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 3.8%
  • Non-Canadian: 9.6%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 75.5% / 14.5%
  • 5 years or more in house: 46.4%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $67,506 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.4%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 11 makes up the northern portion of the former Ward 6, which was cut in two starting with the last election in 2010.

Terry Cavanagh served six terms as councillor for Ward 6. (He also served as mayor twice, both by appointment: after the death of mayor William Hawrelak in 1975, and after mayor Laurence Decore left to lead the Liberal Party of Alberta.)

Dave Thiele, who unsuccessfully challenged Cavanagh twice in Ward 6, was elected for four terms starting in 1998.

Kerry Diotte was elected Ward 11's first councillor in 2010. He is now running for mayor, which means his seat is open.

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Ward 12

Ward 12 makes up the extreme southeast corner of the city, south of Whitemud Drive and west of 50th Street.

It comprises the eight eastside neighbourhoods of Mill Woods, plus the new developments of Silver Berry, Wild Rose to the east and south of the Anthony Henday ring road, including Charlesworth, Summerside and others.

This is a ward of very young people -- one-quarter are under 20 years old, while one in eight is under 10, the highest proportion in the city. It is also diverse, with more than one in ten a non-Canadian, the second highest proportion in Edmonton.

Support for the southeast LRT expansion, which would primarily service Mill Woods, is high in this neighbourhood. Currently, the vast majority of people -- 84 per cent -- drive as their primary form of transport, the highest proportion in the city.

Crime, particularly in Mill Woods, is a growing concern in this area, especially after a botched early-morning robbery and deadly shooting at a Mac's convenience store in 2005. Local volunteers started the Mill Woods Crime Council, a highly regarded group that works with police to reduce crime, and a model that has been repeated elsewhere in Edmonton.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Population: 77,338 (9.5% of city)
  • 0 to 9 years old: 12.8%
  • 0 to 19 years old: 23.7%
  • 65+ years old: 4.5%
  • Owned / Rented accommodations: 74.1% / 16.6%
  • Unoccupied Residences: 3.2%
  • Non-Canadian: 11.0%
  • Drive vehicle / Transit as main transport: 84.1% / 8.6%
  • 5 years or more in house: 39.4%
  • Average neighbourhood household income: $83,239 (2006)
  • Unemployed: 2.0%

HISTORY OF WARD

Ward 12 is the southern portion of the former Ward 6, served most recently by two long-time councillors, Terry Cavanagh and Dave Thiele. Amarjeet Sohi served as Ward 6 councillor for one term, and was elected Ward 12 councillor in the last election. Sohi, the only member of a visible minority on council, is running again.

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