Sakaw is one of the 27 neighbourhoods that make up Mill Woods and one of the two neighbourhoods that make up the community of Millhurst. The Mill Woods land bank was assembled in 1970 by the Government of Alberta because of concern over the rising cost of serviced residential land in the Edmonton area. Mill Woods was named for Mill Creek, which crossed it, and the groves of Parkland forest trees that stood there.
By 1971, a development plan had been prepared by the City of Edmonton. The City began to purchase the land, subdivide it, and sell residential and commercial building lots. Residential development in Sakaw began in 1977. Most of the area’s single-family housing was built by the end of the decade, although building continued into the 1980s and 1990s. Most higher-density housing was constructed during the 1980s. Sakaw is bounded by arterial and collector roadways, including the Anthony Henday ring road along the southern border of the neighbourhood. Interior streets follow curvilinear and keyhole patterns.
A number of strategically placed pathways and a park-like pipeline right-of-way promote pedestrian and bicycle travel within the neighbourhood. High-density housing and commercial sites are located along collector roadways and near recreational areas. The design objective is to provide for an efficient flow of traffic to and from the neighbourhood while minimizing the disruptive and hazardous effects of traffic within the neighbourhood.
The focus of Sakaw is a multi-purpose school and recreational site. Residents are served by the businesses in the Millhurst Shopping Centre, as well as the health services, commercial, recreational, and educational facilities of the nearby Mill Woods Town Centre.
Sakaw, a word meaning “wooded area” in the Cree language, was named for the groves of trees that stood on the rolling farmland of Mill Woods.