Laurier Heights is a residential neighbourhood in west Edmonton, Alberta. The part of Laurier Heights, which overlooks the North Saskatchewan River valley is known as Buena Vista. It is mainly the region along the Buena Vista Road.
The North Saskatchewan River comes down from the Canadian Rockies and in Edmonton contributes to the River valley parks system.
The river valley actually constitutes the longest stretch of connected urban parkland in North America. Edmonton, as well as being the shopping capital of Canada, also has the highest per capita area of parkland of any Canadian city. The public section of this provides a really unique escape away from the trials of modern daily life.
There is a whole rang of facilities ranging from fully serviced urban parks to basic campsites with few of the luxuries for those who really want to get back to nature. Altogether, these are known as the ‘Ribbon of Green’ and provide 111 square kilometres of parkland. There are eleven lakes, fourteen ravines and 22 major parks to explore in this area. As well as facilities for cyclists and the Waskahegan walking trail.
The river valley is also home to Edmonton Valley Zoo. This is a petting zoo for families with small children and can easily be reached by Buena Vista Road. This zoo is owned and operated by the City of Edmonton and is open every day apart from Christmas day. There are over 350 exotic and native animals. The zoo has and elephant house, camels, sheep, birds of prey, peacocks as well as the traditional petting animals.
Buena Vista Road also provides access to Laurier Park and Buena Vista Park. If you walk across a foot bridge in the river valley, you have access to Hawrelak Park on the south side. There is one school in the area which is Laurier Heights Elementary Junior High School run by the Edmonton Public System. Next to the school is a small local shopping centre called Laurier Heights Shopping Centre which caters for all the necessities.
Whitemund Drive has access from 149 Street and provides residents with good access to destinations on the south side, including the University of Alberta, Old Strathcona, Whyte Avenue the Southgate centre, and Fort Edmonton Park. Travel west along 87 Avenue takes residents to West Edmonton Mall. Residents also enjoy good access to the downtown core. The neighbourhood is bounded in the north by 87 Avenue (west of 142 Street) and by Buena Vista Road (east of 142 Street and west of Valleyview Crescent). It is bounded on the west by 149 Street and to the south by Whitemud Drive. The neighbourhood is bounded to the east and south east by the river valley.