Jennifer Aaron
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Croydon

A suburb of the Inner West, Croydon is located approximately 11 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD, between Ashfield and Burwood, and bounded by Parramatta Road to the north and Iron Cove Creek to the east. Concord Hospital and Homebush Olympic Park are found to the north west of Croydon. Between 1800 and 1860, development in this area was slow, with the forest gradually being cleared for orchards and grazing land. During the 1920s, the area was popular with bushrangers, with Parramatta Road and Liverpool Road (the two major thoroughfares) providing regular opportunities for holdups. Neighbouring Ashfield and Burwood experienced a housing boom shortly after 1855 when the Sydney to Parramatta Railway line was built through the area and stations were established in both suburbs. In 1874, Five Dock Station was built on the boundary of these two suburbs, but was later renamed Croydon after the suburb in London with the same name. These days Croydon Railway Station is surrounded by businesses, cafes and restaurants. A number of bus routes frequently service Croydon and take commuters to nearby Burwood and Ashfield, as well as the City, Drummoyne, Rockdale and Hurstville. Croydon is a quiet village-like suburb with grand homes, larger blocks and family-friendly streetscapes and features mostly detached housing built in the early 20th Century. Many of the homes are Federation or Californian Bungalow in style. The suburb caters well for first-home buyers, as well as the wealthy who reside in the Malvern Hill Estate, a well-established pocket of prestigious homes that rarely come on the market. The Malvern Hill area of Croydon was designed as a model suburb (similar to that of Haberfield) in 1906 and the aim of the development was to have modern houses on large blocks of land with wide streets. Most of the houses are Californian Bungalows or similar Federation-era designs. There have been a handful of blocks of flats built since WWI, but they only account for around 10% of Croydon’s dwellings and many of them are Art Deco blocks from the 1930s, which fit in with the same heritage feel of the suburb. Croydon hosts four well-established and highly regarded schools, making it a popular choice for families. These include Burwood Girls High School, Croydon Public School, Holy Innocents Catholic Primary School and Presbyterian Ladies’ College of Sydney (PLC Sydney). Centenary Park is a large, popular, open park with a BBQ area, bike tracks, play equipment, basketball court, cricket nets and playing fields. Other parks in the area include Bede Spillane Gardens on the corner of Croydon Road and Queen Street, Blair Park, Wangal Reserve and Reed Reserve. The Western Suburbs Hospital used to be located in Croydon, but closed in the 1990s and has since been replaced with an aged care facility and community health centre. Croydon still retains many of the characteristics of the whole Inner West region, including a high proportion of residents born overseas.
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