Development in Ritchie began with the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton Railroad line in 1891 and the completion of the Edmonton, Yukon, and Pacific Rail line in 1902. Early development radiated out from a commercial area on Whyte Avenue, now called Old Strathcona. While most homes in Ritchie Edmonton were built prior to 1950, both development and redevelopment, especially in commercial areas, has continued to the present time.
Because of its history and location, Ritchie is an area of mixed land use. Detached houses account for just under 50 percent of all residential properties and a mixture of duplex homes, row housing and low- to medium-rise apartments make up the remainder of the units. Ritchie residents have good access to downtown Edmonton and the Mill Creek portion of the river valley park system. Many residents in Ritchie are within walking distance of the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market. Ritchie was named for Robert Ritchie, former Mayor of the Town of Strathcona and original owner of the Ritchie Mill, which still stands as an historic site at 102nd Street and Saskatchewan Drive.