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A multicultural, richly historic city situated less than 20 kilometers west of Edmonton, Stony Plain is home to some of Alberta's most expansive - and least expensive - real estate options.

Do you prefer the serenity of the wide-open country over the chaos and hubbub of the big city? Then welcome to Stony Plain, a largely rural community where open spaces, quiet, tree-lined streets, and unspoiled natural beauty reigns supreme. Located about 40 minutes from downtown Edmonton, it’s an ideal locality for anyone who works in the hustling, bustling big city but prefers plenty of peace and quiet when the working day is through.

Like almost every city in the Edmonton Capital Region, Stony Plain has experienced a sizable population boom in recent years: from 12,000 residents in 2006 to more than 15,000 by 2011. New housing, in turn, has sprouted up throughout the city, from traditional ranches, duplexes, and townhomes in core subdivisions to grand country estates along the Parkland County periphery. Home to some of the most affordable real estate in Alberta, Stony Plain is a popular residential destination for young couples, empty nesters, urban exiles, and anyone else in the market for a high-quality, highly affordable home in a supremely serene setting.

The heart and soul of the city, the historic downtown area is dotted with giant, colorful murals, giving the city its “The Town with the Painted Past” nickname. Home to an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, craftspeople, poets, potters, weavers, and intellects, downtown Stony Plain adds a multiethnic splash of color to this unique gem of a city. Equal parts rural and suburban with a splash of urban charm, Stony Plain has a vibe that appeals to a wide range of denizens.

The bad news: Stony Plain doesn’t operate a public bus system. The good news: the city is compact enough that you can typically get from any point to another in 10 minutes, tops. Certain parts, especially the downtown area, are extremely walker-friendly, while the city also includes a paved, 25-kilometer trail network that many bikers use to get around.

Stony Plain is home to an abundance of well-kept neighbourhoods with a hodgepodge of grand estates, mid-sized homes, and smaller dwellings alike. Generally, the closer you get to the downtown area, the more townhouses, duplexes, and condos you’ll find. The further you spread into the outlying areas, meanwhile, the more country manors, multi-level homes on wide, tree-lined streets, and housing developments still under construction you’ll come across.

Newer neighbourhoods in Stony Plain include Aspen Meadows on the western periphery, Edgeland Park on the eastern border, and the super-scenic Genesis on the Lakes area to the south. Fairways, situated beside the popular Graybriar area, is a golf-course community with some of the most beautiful and coveted real estate in Stony Plain. Other neighbourhoods perfect for deep-pocketed homebuyers looking to live large in the mightiest of manors include Country Plains Estates and Lake Westerra Estates. Neighbourhoods with homes in all sizes and shapes (except for octagonal, maybe) include Deerfield, Meridian Heights, and Willow Park. If charming and historic is what you’re after, meanwhile, check the MLS listings for homes for sale in Old Town Stony Plain, a neighbourhood oozing with yesteryear’s charm.

Downtown Stony Plain is where the bulk of the action is. Situated among 20 oversized murals that depict the history and heritage of the city are a mix of galleries, eateries, unique shops, and historic sites. The Multicultural Heritage Centre preserves and promotes the city’s storied past, while the Pioneer Museum showcases more than 1300 artifacts from the city’s pioneer days. Other popular attractions for visitors and locals like include the Parkland Potters Guild & Crooked Pot Gallery and the Shikaoi Park Japanese gardens.

No surprise for a city that exudes a distinct bluegrass-country vibe, Stony Plain hosts the annual Blueberry Bluegrass and Country Music Festival, which attracts country music arts (and fans) from around the globe. Other annual mega-events in Stony Plain include the Cowboy Poetry and Country Music Gathering, the Farmers’ Days Rodeo and Exhibition, and the Great White North Triathlon. And no New Year’s Eve in Stony Plain is complete without joining your friends and neighbors at the Family Fest in Rotary Park, complete with an ice skating pond, hot cocoa, and a fireworks display. And if you’re really in the mood to party like the Oilers just won the Cup, you’ll find a lifetime’s worth of pubs, clubs, and nightlife venues in nearby Edmonton.