The area that includes Westwood was annexed by Edmonton in 1910. For several decades to follow, Westwood remained largely rural. Shortly after World War II, Westwood experienced large-scale residential development, and many of the original structures were single-family units. Typical of its period of development, Westwood has a central school site and a street network based on the grid pattern.

During the 1960s, the area attracted redevelopment, and many houses south of 120th Avenue were replaced with walk-up apartments. This trend coincided with the opening of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), situated immediately south of Westwood. Until the late 1970s, the neighbourhood was fairly isolated.

The Beechmount Cemetery and a relatively quiet corner of the Municipal Airport bounded Westwood on the north and west. Prior to the construction of the Yellowhead Trail and the expansion of 107th Street, there was a lightly traveled and unpaved road. The widening of 97th Street resulted in the removal of all residences on the west side of that thoroughfare. The neighbourhood includes one school (H. A. Grey Public School), the Westwood Sports Arena, neighbourhood commercial sites, several religious facilities, and a cemetery.

The conversion of a portion of Park Plaza Shopping Centre for use by NAIT has resulted in the loss of some commercial space, but residents of the neighbourhood still have good access to regional shopping centre in the nearby Kingsway Garden Mall.

The origin of the name Westwood is not known, but the northern portion of the neighbourhood was once called Northcote.