Originally Posted by ue
I'd say Edmonton has both south/north and west/east divides, but the south/north divide is much more pronounced. The west end is north of the river, but is more similar and connected to the southside. Because of the way the North Saskatchewan River bends southwest from downtown, much of the residential west end is still as far south as the southside is. The west end residential portion is also siphoned from the northside by industrial areas, whereas they are seamlessly connected with southwest communities aside from the river splitting things.
The northside is definitely much more blue collar and really lacks the affluence of the south and west sides. If you want to see affluence north of the Yellowhead, you'd best go to the bedroom community of St. Albert. The only northside (or eastside, depending on your definition) neighbourhood I'd describe as affluent is the Highlands, a 1920s streetcar suburb. The northside is also overall much more matured than other sides and has less greenfield development. Even neighbourhoods hugging the river, where most of Edmonton's affluent neighbourhoods are in the south and west, are much more middle class in the northeast, due to them directly facing Refinery Row on the other side of the river in Strathcona County. There are many middle class and upper middle class areas on the northside, just not very many very affluent areas aside from the Highlands.
The west end has the Jasper Place environs, Callingwood, Mayfield, etc for areas that are more lower income. And the southside has Mill Woods. So it's not like there is a particular "side" of Edmonton that is wholly affluent or better off, but overall the south and west are better off, with the edge given to the south, and the lower income areas on these sides of Edmonton aren't as rough around the edge as northside equivalents, overall.
Unsurprisingly, the most affluent area of Edmonton is where the south and west converge in the southwest, along the river valley as well as Whitemud Creek.
This sounds exactly like Winnipeg. The rich/poor divide follows a N/S orientation. The far western reaches of the city tend be run more middle class than wealthy, but the SW corner of the city is arguably the wealthiest on the whole. The eastern end tends to be working class, as is the north but the big difference is that much of Winnipeg's worst poverty is concentrated up north.
I grew up in the northern half of the city and while there were clearly pockets of poverty, much of it was not much different than the rest of the city. However, I occasionally encounter Winnipeggers who seldom go north of Portage Avenue and think that the entire northern half of the city is some crime-ridden shantytown... it blows me away that some people just live in what amounts to half of the city.