The district is primarily urban and located in the central east portion of city of Edmonton. It was created in the 1971 boundary redistribution from part of Strathcona East.
The district was a stronghold for Liberal candidates from 1986 to 2012. Prior to that, the Progressive Conservatives maintained a stronghold. The Progressive Conservatives re-won the district in the Alberta general election, 2012 when David Dorward was elected.
Legal description from the Statutes of Alberta 2003, Electoral Divisions Act.
Starting at the intersection of 97 Street with Norwood Boulevard; then 1. northeast along Norwood Boulevard and 112 Avenue to the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line; 2. southwest along the LRT line to 84 Street; 3. south along 84 Street to Jasper Avenue; 4. northeast along Jasper Avenue to 82 Street; 5. south along the extension of 82 Street to the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River; 6. east along the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River to the east Edmonton city boundary; 7. south, east and south along the Edmonton city boundary to 92 Avenue; 8. west along 92 Avenue to 50 Street; 9. south along 50 Street to 90 Avenue; 10. northwest along 90 Avenue to Connors Road; 11. northwest along Connors Road to the Low Level Bridge and the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River; 12. northeast along the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River to the southerly extension of 97 Street; 13. north along the extension and 97 Street to the starting point.
The electoral district was created in the 1971 boundary redistribution. The election that year saw Strathcona East incumbent Progressive Conservative MLA William Yurko run here due to his old seat being abolished.
Yurko faced two other candidates in the election held that year and won the new district with a comfortable majority to pick up the seat for his party. After the election Premier Peter Lougheed appointed Yurko as a cabinet minister. He ran for a second term in the 1975 general election. Yurko won a bigger percentage despite losing some of his popular vote as the opposition vote collapsed.
The election in 1979 saw Progressive Conservative candidate Al Hiebert easily win a four cornered race to hold the open seat for his party. Hiebert was re-elected with a larger majority in the 1982 general election.
The 1986 election in the district saw a major upset with Hiebert getting defeated by Liberal candidate Bettie Hewes who managed to increase the Liberal vote in the district by over 5800 votes. Hewes won a stronger majority when she was re-elected to her second term in the 1989 general election. She won a landslide running for her third term winning the highest popular vote of any candidate in the 1993 general election. After the election Hewes briefly served as a leader of the opposition and of the Liberal party. She did not run for re-election in 1997 and retired at dissolution of the assembly.
The current representative is Liberal Hugh MacDonald who was first elected in the 1997 general election. He was re-elected three more times in 2001, 2004 and 2008.
On November 19, 2004 a Student Vote was conducted at participating Alberta schools to parallel the 2004 Alberta general election results. The vote was designed to educate students and simulate the electoral process for persons who have not yet reached the legal majority. The vote was conducted in 80 of the 83 provincial electoral districts with students voting for actual election candidates. Schools with a large student body that reside in another electoral district had the option to vote for candidates outside of the electoral district then where they were physically located.