McKernan, Edmonton

McKernan, Edmonton

Edmonton , AB
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McKernan is a neighbourhood located in southwest Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It is named for John McKernan, a prominent businessman in the City of Strathcona whose parents' farm was located there beginning in the late 1870s. "Jack" McKernan (1870-1918) was the force behind the Princess Theatre, which still stands on Whyte Avenue. The McKernan-Belgravia LRT station is located in the west portion of the neighbourhood at the northwest corner of 114 Street and 76 Avenue, adjacent to neighbouring Belgravia. The community is near to both the University of Alberta and Old Strathcona.HistoryThe land that is now the neighbourhood of McKernan was sparsely settled for many decades, even after the first Euro-Canadians arrived in 1870s. Prior to their arrival, the area held a portion of the "hangers-on" that settled around Fort Edmonton. Robert McKernan paid $250 for the land that was "claimed" (by what process it was "claimed", is not clear at this point) by a frontier (probably Metis) businessman by the name of Emileau. Farms, such as the McKernan's, established in the 1870s were only gradually replaced by houses. The area was annexed by the City of Strathcona, and subdivision and development was proposed. However the 1912-1913 financial collapse ended these plans, and development progressed only in fits and starts until the 1940s brought mass changes.The area encompassed McKernan Lake. This large slough, located south of 76 Avenue, was a popular summertime picnic and boating spot, and in wintertime was the site of many skating parties. From 1913 to 1948, the Edmonton Radial Railway's streetcar, nicknamed the Toonerville Trolley, ran from 82 Avenue south on 110 Street, then along 76 Avenue along the lake to the end of the line at 116 Street.

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