There’s never been a better time to head out west — to the beautiful community of Secord, in Edmonton’s changing far end of the city.
Not too long ago, the west end was defined by classic neighbourhoods like Belmead and Aldergrove and that shop till you drop world-famous West Edmonton Mall. Fast forward a couple of decades, new areas have sprung up, linked by Anthony Henday Drive, making it easier than ever for families to move further from the core. This new area offers fine affordable houses, modern day retail and transportation, and the virtues of a happy simple family life which keep homeowners rolling in to the naturally friendly, lush neighbourhood of Secord.
Rooted in the outskirts of Edmonton for over ten years, the popular Secord community has rapidly expanded from 130 residents to over 13,000 residents, with 50 % of the land currently developed. Situated between Stony Plain Road to the north and 92 avenue to the south, the community lies between Winterburn Road and 231 Street. Carved out in the beautiful wooded landscape, Secord has a great mix of residential housing and is known for its natural parks, playgrounds, wetlands and ponds. On any given day or evening you’ll see happy residents on strolls, walks or bike rides taking in all the community has to offer.
Modern Family, Function & Style
“For us, it just looked like a really friendly neighbourhood,” explains Dez Melenka who has a young daughter and was searching for a home close to work and within proximity to family outside of the city. “Our daughter Charlotte had just turned one and when we were looking around this area had lots of young families. We bought a house, moved in and turns out the guy next door is someone I went to high school with!”
Dez and her husband Donovan loved the small town feel and layout of the community so much that when it was time to expand a few years later, they chose to build a special brand new home in Secord. The gorgeous two storey was decorated by Dez, who has an interior decorating background.
The house was constructed with a fantastic walk out basement that looks onto reserve water. “It’s beautiful,” says Dez’s mom Cathy, “you can see and hear the frogs and geese, it’s a lovely ecosystem out there that’s just steps away.”
It’s something Cathy is lucky enough to experience on a daily basis, since she and her husband Desmond live with Dez’s family. Their private residence is in the one of a kind, custom designed walk out basement of the home, that was built with a convenient separate entrance. It’s a unique situation; the couples respect each other’s boundaries and call ahead for visits. Of course it comes in handy when Charlotte drops in for butter for cookies, or when Grandpa rides bikes or walks her to school. “My Dad gets around the neighbourhood and pretty much knows everybody and their dog’s names,” laughs Dez.
For Cathy and her retired husband, this modern family arrangement in Secord couldn’t be better. “It was such an easy transition from Gibbons, where we used to live. We wish we had done it ten years ago. It’s so nice, we can lock the door and go travelling, we get to see our granddaughter, we have quiet wide open spaces that reminds us of home. We have it all.”
Cathy & Desmond along a new path
The lovely Secord home checks all the boxes for Dez too. She appreciates seeing her parents and looks forward to the supper get togethers. She enjoys the close proximity to the new retail shops and grocery store off Winterburn Road, and the new K-9 David Thomas King School. The former television reporter is a business partner in a production and co-working space called “The Creative Hive,” that’s only ten minutes away and close enough to dash home to pick up her daughter and make it back to work. “It’s a great life, it’s convenient, we are with family and our neighbours are some of our best friends. We’ll stay in this vicinity because we love it.”
Dez and her family enjoying another lovely sunny day in Secord
Christie Delano, a married teacher has lived in Secord since 2011. The big draw for her family to this community was finding an affordable, solid family house that would have cost them thousands more in other neighbourhoods. Their 1,700 sq foot forever home has a front attached garage and is perfect for their life with their two little boys. “On our street there are six or seven other neighbours with children around the same age, from one to ten years old. They play outside all day together riding bikes, we have BBQ’s, potlucks and driveway fire pits. It’s a great way to meet other people and we’re glad that our kids can be kids, with other kids.”
Good Times in Secord: Did someone say Patio Party?
To stay connected the working moms in their corner of the neighbourhood also run a Facebook messenger page to get the latest recipes or arrange for ladies nights or drinks at a nearby pub. There are also a few small professional businesses operating out of homes where Christie can conveniently message for an appointment, hop on her bike to go get her nails done or enjoy a relaxing massage.
Getting to work is also an easy task. It only takes 20 minutes on the Anthony Henday Drive for Christie to drive to her school in Terwillegar. Taking the bus to the Teachers’ Convention in downtown Edmonton was an experiment that worked too. The express bus from nearby Lewis Estates Community was a half hour ride to downtown Edmonton, about the same time as it would have taken for her to drive – minus the traffic hassle and parking.
The busy Mom has been an active force in community initiatives and is Chair of the Secord Playground Committee. In addition to the grants, Christie and the seven other dedicated members reached their $200,000 + community fundraising goal in a record 18 months. The exciting major playground design has just been revealed and shovels will be in the ground in June. The new park will be situated south of the growing K – 9 David Thomas King School and features two large play structures, a climbing wall, zip line and a BMX style bike track. “It’s a cool legacy to leave my kids,” she says, “and the kids of this community.”
The strength of Secord lies with the spirit and energy of young families like Dez and Christie’s. The neighbourhood is anchored by a strong demographic of millennial parents ready to embrace innovative ideas and active living. There is a strong community league board, and residents routinely connect on the community Facebook page for the annual block party, holiday events, skating programs and the spring Neighbourhood Garage Sale event that saw close to 50 homes participate this year. Coming up, the residents of Secord can look forward to the new community league building, LRT transportation developments that will better link the west end to more Edmonton destinations, and the spectacular plans for the neighbouring Lewis Estate Recreation Centre - soon to be finalized.
Secord Neighbourhood Garage Sale - Everyone’s jumping on board!
These are just a few of the ideas on the horizon for this lovely vibrant community. It’s an exciting time to put your roots down out west, where modern families come to connect to nature, to each other and pave the way together for a bright future of living the good life in Secord. If you want to be where the next generations of Edmonton will shine, let Holland & Associates secure your amazing dream home in this gorgeous west end community today!