The electoral district has existed since 1971, it was created from Strathcona Centre. The boundaries have changed repeatedly.
The 2010 boundary redistribution made some changes to the boundaries. The northwestern corner of the riding had some small alterations with Edmonton-Riverview. The parcel of land that comprised the east portion of the riding to give it its distinctive ell shape was expanded from Whyte Avenue south to 63 Avenue in land that was part of Edmonton-Mill Creek the eastern border was expanded out to run on the Mill Creek Ravine with Edmonton-Gold Bar.
Legal description from the Statutes of Alberta 2003, Electoral Divisions Act.
Starting at the intersection of the northerly extension of 111 Street with the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River; then 1. generally northeast along the right bank of the North Saskatchewan River to Connors Road; 2. generally southeast along Connors Road to 90 Avenue; 3. east along 90 Avenue to 75 Street; 4. south along 75 Street to Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue); 5. west along Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue) to Gateway Boulevard; 6. south along Gateway Boulevard to Whitemud Drive; 7. west along Whitemud Drive to the centre line of 111 Street; 8. north along the centre line of 111 Street to 61 Avenue; 9. east along 61 Avenue to 109 Street; 10. north along 109 Street to University Avenue; 11. northwest along University Avenue to 112 Street; 12. north along 112 Street to 87 Avenue; 13. east along 87 Avenue to 111 Street; 14. north along 111 Street and its northerly extension to the starting point.
The electoral district was created and first contested in 1971. That first election saw a hotly contested three way race as incumbent Social Credit MLA Joseph Ross who was running for his sixth term in office. He had served as MLA for the predecessor district Strathcona Centre from 1959 to 1971 and as an MLA for Edmonton from 1952 to 1959. He would be defeated by Progressive Conservative candidate Julian Koziak who won just under half the popular vote in the riding as his party would go on to form its first government. NDP candidate Timothy Christian also polled a strong vote establishing a base in the riding that would grow in future elections.
Koziak would run for his second term in 1975 and face a hotly contested race against future NDP MLA Gordon Wright. Koziak grew his share of the popular vote to 54% and was appointed to the provincial cabinet by Peter Lougheed in 1975. Koziak and Wright would face each other four more times with Wright defeating Koziak in the 1986 election.
The 1986 election which saw the NDP win a record number of seats in the province would establish the riding as a stronghold for the party. Wright who had ran in the previous five provincial elections won his first term in office with well over half the popular vote. He won his second term in 1989 with a reduced majority and died a year later on October 18, 1990 leaving the seat vacant. A by-election was held in December 1990 and returned NDP candidate Barrie Chivers with a large majority.
Chivers would run for a second term in office in the 1993 election. He would be defeated by Liberal candidate Al Zariwny who won the riding with just under 40% of the popular vote. The Liberal vote that year had surged in Edmonton under Laurence Decore causing them to win every seat.
Zariwny did not stand for a second term in office in 1997 and the riding returned NDP candidate Raj Pannu by 58 votes over Liberal candidate Mary McDonald. That race was split almost three ways with Pannu winning 31% of the popular vote. Progressive Conservative candidate John Logan finished in third place just 176 votes behind Pannu.
The NDP chose Pannu to be leader of the party in 2000. He ran for a second term a year later in 2001 under the slogan Raj Against the Machine. He was re-elected with a large majority winning over half the popular vote. Pannu ceded the leadership of the NDP to Brian Mason in 2004. He ran for his second term in office winning the highest popular vote in Edmonton-Strathcona history with over 60%. Pannu retired from public life at dissolution in 2008.
The current MLA is Rachel Notley who was first elected in the 2008 election. She was re-elected in the 2012 provincial election.
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.