Rivers have attracted people to settle near them since the beginning of time. Braeside is such a place—a beautiful neighbourhood by the beckoning Sturgeon River. Brae comes from a Scotish word meaning hillside, which is, of course, a reference to the area’s hillside that gently slopes down to the banks of the Sturgeon River. Since its establishment in 1903, the neighbourhood remains attractive to perspective homeowners. And those who call it home do so with pride.
Braeside was one of the first neighbourhoods established in St. Albert. The initial development featured streets laid out in an easy-to-navigate grid system and properties that were easy to access via back lanes, one of the few neighbourhoods in St. Albert with this feature.
The first homes constructed in Braeside were affordable and on tree-lined streets. As the development progressed, street layout transitioned to a modified grid system, eliminating back lanes and allowing for more variety in lot plans.
On November 22, 1958, Sir Alexander Mackenzie School opened in Braeside. Today, 648 kindergarten to Grade 6 students are enrolled there.
By 1970, the Braeside lots were completely developed and more luxurious homes that hug the Sturgeon River were being constructed. These latest and largest homes have spectacular views of the Sturgeon River and easy access to 85 kilometres of connected trails—the Red Willow Trail System.
In the early 80s, the city task force on redevelopment concluded with a motion to maintain the single-family character of the neighbourhood. That character remains in place today.
Richard S. Fowler, a former St. Albert mayor, is the namesake of Fowler Athletic Park and was on hand for the opening in 1979 as part of the Alberta Summer Games.
The St. Albert Track & Field Club calls Fowler Athletic Park home, and many consider it the best place in town to practice long jump, high jump, discus and hammer throw. Runners training for short or long distance events will find excellent facilities, including the refurbished track.
Fowler Athletic Park is maintained as a municipal facility, utilizing a joint-use agreement with schools, local organizations and the general public.
Over the years, 65 Sir Winston Churchill Avenue has been home to Vincent J. Malone, École Sainte Marguerite d’Youville and the French immersion program. In 1992 when École Sainte Marguerite d’Youville moved to the location on Boudreau Road, the building was renamed Richard S. Fowler Junior High School and revamped to its current status, delivering an English program. Today, Richard S. Fowler School has 382 students enrolled in grades 7 through 9 and is one of the fastest growing junior-high programs in the district.
In 1997, St. Albert Montessori (private) School was established and currently has 52 students enrolled in preschool and kindergarten. Currently 40 children participate in the daycare program.
Braeside is central to St. Albert amenities: it’s an easy walk across the footbridge to shopping at St. Albert Centre and just a short stroll to the Perron District and the Fountain Park Recreation Centre.
The community currently includes just over 1,000 homes, and the average property is valued at $364,000, with 3 people per household.
Nearly 2,700 people call Braeside home, which takes up 129 hectares or nearly 320 acres.
Older Braeside properties are excellent opportunities for infill developments where one property is subdivided to comfortably accommodate two homes. Back lanes help accommodate these new developments. Multi-family-dwelling infill is also accommodated along the river, and St. Albert has implemented guidelines to direct and control infill requirements to help maintain the original character of the neighbourhood.
Braeside remains a beautiful place to call home. t8n
Braeside is constructed without storm-sewer pipes. Stormwater is handled by carefully engineered road slope and gutters. This means that during times of heavy rainfall, you may see more water running over sidewalks and roads in Braeside than in neighbourhoods with stormwater drains.
Braeside, 1975. Image credit: Musée Héritage Museum, Ranson Productions Ltd. fonds 990.43.13.04
Braeside Ravine, a favourite section of the Red Willow Trail System.