The Balwin area was previously part of North Edmonton and became part of Edmonton in 1912. Early in the 20th century, this area was known as Packingtown, as most of the families who lived in the area at that time worked at the nearby meat packing plants.

Balwin is an older neighbourhood that features a mixture of land uses. The design of the neighbourhood reflects the differing years in which the land was subdivided. The eastern portion of the neighbourhood was subdivided in the years around World War I, when a grid pattern of streets was popular. The western portion of the neighbourhood was subdivided in the late 1950s, and the streets are arranged in a curvilinear fashion.

Balwin has well-developed school and park facilities, and the road network that surrounds the neighbourhood affords residents easy access to other destinations within the city.

The name of this neighbourhood is derived from a combination of the names of two early property owners, Frank Ball and Luke Winterburn.

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