McCauley is located east of downtown Edmonton. This triangle-shaped neighbourhood is bounded by the CNR right-of-way, 101st Street and Norwood Boulevard. In 1892, Edmonton was incorporated as a town with a population of approximately 700. At the time, most people resided in Ross Flats or in the area east of 101 Street, near Jasper Avenue. The McCauley area was largely subdivided, but McCauley experienced little development until the new century.
In 1905, Edmonton was incorporated as a city, and in 1908, a streetcar line was started. By 1912, the northeastern extension of the line ran through the heart of McCauley. With the streetcar line in place, development in McCauley soon followed. Redevelopment later occurred due to the neighbourhood's close proximity to Edmonton's central business district. McCauley is still predominantly residential, but there is competition for space between commercial and industrial land uses. McCauley was named in honour of Edmonton’s first mayor, the colourful Matthew McCauley.