Food deserts in the prairies? supermarket accessibility and neighborhood need in Edmonton, Canada

Document Type



Office of the Provost


The U.S. and U.K. literatures have discussed “food deserts,” reflecting populated, typically urban, low-income areas with limited access to full-service supermarkets. Less is known about supermarket accessibility within Canadian cities. This article uses the minimum distance and coverage methods to determine supermarket accessibility within the city of Edmonton, Canada, with a focus on high-need and inner-city neighborhoods. The results show that for 1999 both of these areas generally had higher accessibility than the remainder of the city, but six high-need neighborhoods had poor supermarket accessibility. We conclude by examining potential reasons for differences in supermarket accessibility between Canadian, U.S., and U.K. cities.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Professional Geographer