Why Blatchford?

It’s nearly the same size as downtown Edmonton.

Opportunities like Blatchford don’t come along every day. Cities can’t just remake 536 acres right in their city core, just minutes from downtown.

Blatchford was too crucial to leave to chance. That’s why City Council decided to transform the former airport into a ‘people-first’ community where 30,000 Edmontonians would come to live. Instead of trying to shoehorn sustainability in after the fact, the blueprint would already include LRT, district energy, and a network of green corridors and park spaces.  

By acting as its own developer, the City can withstand market fluctuations and avoid cutting corners. We can take the time to get it right, customizing design features to fit Edmonton’s climate, and find the private builders and engineering consultants to build it efficiently. And because land sales will generate revenues for years to come, Blatchford will grow along with the city, all without adding to property taxes.

By creating an efficient, high-density neighbourhood right in the city core, Blatchford will help Edmonton grow sustainably into the future. Instead of targeting a single demographic, the community can provide housing and mixed-use spaces for a range of needs and price points. And instead of replicating an existing model, the neighbourhood’s groundbreaking features will raise the bar for community planning and design.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the City's role?

The City of Edmonton is acting as the master land developer of the Blatchford site.

The Blatchford Redevelopment Office directs the planning and design of the neighbourhood, along with the installation of necessary infrastructure like sewers, streets and parks. Contractors put the shovels in the ground. Lots are sold to private builders, who work within customized architectural and green building codes. Residents buy their homes from the builders, just like anywhere else.

While it might not look much different in terms of processes and approvals, the City can take the time to implement design features not found elsewhere. Recognizing the rapidly changing world of energy use, the high efficiency district energy system literally uses energy from the ground to heat and cool homes. In coming years, heat from sewage systems will also be harnessed providing another renewable energy source for the system.

Other differences will be more obvious. Instead of driving up to an entry wall, pedestrians and cyclists will enter Blatchford through a soaring arrival gate that leads to amenities like a skating area and a mini apple orchard. The old air traffic control tower remains a visual reminder of the former city centre airport, one of many distinctive nods to the neighbourhood’s past. 

Blatchford will more closely resemble a central neighbourhood, but with innovative features that make it even more inviting. Narrow streets naturally encourage slower speeds, while wider sidewalks, ample boulevards and rain gardens invite residents to get outside. Some homes actually open up right onto pedestrian walkways. The attention to design isn’t an afterthought, it’s the driving force.

How long will it take?

Neighbourhoods typically take a decade to go from planning to the first moving trucks rolling up. In Blatchford, residents moved in just seven years after the last plane took off.

During the initial work, the Blatchford team was busy planning, designing and working through approvals. After that came the necessary construction of sewers, roads and energy infrastructure for a community that will eventually be home to roughly the same population as a city like Leduc or Spruce Grove.

Blatchford’s full development will take roughly 25 years, an expected pace for the size of the site and the timelines needed to build and sell over 12,000 homes. The community is being funded through land sales, not tax dollars. After the business case and start-up financing was approved in 2014, there have been no changes or requests for additional funding for the project.

By creating a new high-density site in central Edmonton, Blatchford can anticipate the future instead of fighting it. 

How will Blatchford fit with Edmonton’s future?

In many ways, Blatchford is a microcosm of Edmonton’s future. 

Edmonton’s City Plan names Blatchford as a major driver of a denser, more efficient city, that will help to meet future infill targets in a community designed around public transit. In a carbon-constrained future, Blatchford’s high efficiency standards will put it ahead of the curve. A wide range of housing options will ensure the community brings people together. And design features will be explicitly built around Edmonton’s dramatic seasonal changes and the need for increased urban agriculture. 

As the world moves towards renewable energy, efficiency and design will be more important than ever. Blatchford supports the City’s Energy Transition Strategy in several ways. Increased energy-efficiency standards will mean homes are more comfortable and use less energy for heating and cooling. Blatchford’s renewable energy utility will further reduce energy usage through geo-exchange technology and a sewer heat exchange system. And the integration of public transit and streets that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists will make it easier to get around without getting behind the wheel.

Because of its high density, Blatchford is able to easily integrate lower cost housing units throughout the community. This diversity will be one of the community’s strengths, making Blatchford a destination for newcomers, working families and a wide range of backgrounds, while meeting the City’s affordable housing strategy. 

Edmonton is no stranger to long winters. Blatchford’s public spaces are designed to maximize sunlight and block the wind, with lighting to make dark winter days brighter. Mid-block walkways provide shortcuts for getting around and amenities like firepits and skating areas will make it easier to embrace the season, fitting with Edmonton’s WinterCity Strategy.   

While winter days are short and cold, Edmonton’s long summer days make it a fantastic place for urban agriculture. Blatchford is being designed to support local food production through community gardens, orchards and edible landscaping like saskatoons, sour cherries and plum trees.

Contemporary Townhomes Now Selling

Learn more about our home builders and community at BlatchfordEdmonton.ca

Building Partners

Are you a home builder interested in building in Blatchford? Learn more about land sale opportunities.

Blatchford Renewable Energy

Blatchford Renewable Energy provides environmentally friendly heating, cooling and hot water utility services to the homes and buildings in Blatchford. Learn more about the utility and its services.