This area is the oldest remaining part of Edmonton. Though originally a separate town, it grew because it was the railroad terminus connected to Calgary, but joined Edmonton in 1912. Many of the older buildings, stores and offices in the area along Whyte Avenue have been restored to their old glory. There are plenty of older homes in the area, many owned (and renovated) by young families.
Along the River and close to the University are a number of high rises, preferred or their spectacular city views. Close to the University, east of it in Garneau and west of it in Windsor Park, are older well-treed neighbourhoods with older homes. These areas are popular with University faculty and staff. The area is connected to downtown by two bridges, and by the LRT from the University Station,
The community has 4 public elementary schools and a Catholic elementary schools, with high schools for the Public Board and the Catholic high school outside the area. The University of Alberta ("U of A") is the focal point of the area, and is within walking distance. The community also has a public library in Old Strathcona, as well as a big one at the U of A..
Whyte Avenue is a lively boutique shopping district, with even a good grocery store. The area has no good-sized shopping mall, though Capilano Mall is a drive to the east and Southgate is a drive to the south. The area is also readily accessible to the downtown core, either by car or via LRT from the University station.
The area has large areas of parkland along the community's northern edge alongside the River (and the recreational pathway system), and is bounded by Queen Elizabeth & Walterdale parks in the east and William Hawrelak Park in the west. To the west is the Mayfair Golf & Country Club.
The community has the finest indoor pool in the city, at the Kinsmen Centre, and outdoor pool with a great view at "Queen E" Park, and an indoor ice arena. From a cultural perspective, the University is also home to the Jubilee Auditorium, and host to several arts presentations. The Garneau movie theatre is located here as well. To the east are the "Festival Lands" used for the various summer festivals. There are also a number of museums and historical attractions in the area.