Homesteader is one of three neighbourhoods within the Hermitage plan area. In 1875, an Anglican minister, Canon William Newton, arrived in the Edmonton settlement and built his first church, a home, and a hospital in an area he called the Hermitage. The Hermitage was located about ten kilometres from Fort Edmonton on the south side of a ravine, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River to the east. Reverend Newton’s home remained there for more than 25 years.

For many years, the Hermitage remained an agricultural area. During that time, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway line formalized the area’s south boundary along the railroad right-of-way. In 1960, the area’s two cattle farms were sold to a land development firm, and in 1961, the Hermitage was annexed to the City of Edmonton.

Land development was held up during the 1960s while government officials and developers addressed concerns about residential development near the neighbouring industrial plants. By 1970, these concerns were resolved, and Homesteader was included within the Hermitage Outline Plan area. Homesteader was the first of the three Hermitage neighbourhoods to begin residential development. The neighbourhood was subdivided in 1974, and building commenced within a year. By the end of the decade, most of the neighbourhood had been developed.

Homesteader is bisected by Hermitage Road, the neighbourhood’s main collector road, which runs east from 50th Street. Homes in the southeast corner of the neighbourhood access 50th Street via 127th Avenue. Interior residential streets are of curvilinear and cul-de-sac design. A number of strategically placed pathways promote bicycle and pedestrian travel within the neighbourhood, and residents have access to the river valley park system via Kennedale Ravine. At the centre of the neighbourhood is a multi-purpose education and recreation site.

The residents of Homesteader are served by the businesses located on 50th Street and in the centrally located Hermitage Shopping Centre and Hermitage Plaza.

Homesteader was named in honour of the men and women who pioneered settlement and agriculture in the Edmonton area.

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