Jennifer Aaron

North Sydney

North Sydney is a suburb and commercial district located on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, about 3 kilometres north of the Sydney Central Business District. The area was originally laid out in 1836, at which time it was known as St Leonards. The first streets to be built were Walker, Miller, Berry and Lavender Streets. The township grew and by 1880, the town hall and the courthouse were built. By 1846 there were 106 houses here and by 1859 the commercial centre had extended from Milsons Point to Miller Street. The post office which opened in 1854 as St Leonards Post Office was changed to North Sydney Post Office in 1890. The first public school which opened in 1874 as St Leonards was renamed North Sydney in 1910. Today, North Sydney is a place of mixed residential and commercial properties, featuring a range of housing types from small workers’ cottages to harbourside mansions. North Sydney’s commercial district boasts the second largest concentration of office buildings in NSW, with a large portion of these from knowledge-based industries such as advertising, IT, engineering and creative arts. However, unlike other major suburban hubs within the Sydney metropolitan area, North Sydney has limited shopping facilities and almost no Sunday trading. The main shopping centre is the Greenwood Plaza, which is connected to North Sydney train station, while Berry Square, formerly known as North Sydney Shopping World, is located on Berry Street. Despite being home to thriving business districts, North Sydney retains its village-style atmosphere, with local corner stores and village squares. North Sydney’s history as both a residential and commercial centre is evident in its architecture. Miller and Walker streets boast late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century architecture alongside modern high-rise buildings, both residential and commercial. Much of the Victorian architecture was lost in the late 1950s and 60s due to high-rise development, however there are still some excellent examples of Art Deco architecture and boutique apartment blocks. There is a number of health and fitness opportunities available throughout North Sydney, including the Art Deco styled North Sydney Pool, the Civic Centre Park, Charlie Watts Park, or the North Sydney Indoor Sports Centre. Within close proximity is also Cremorne Point Foreshore Walk, Berry Island Reserve in Wollstonecraft and Balls Head in Waverton. The suburb has a thriving cluster of restaurants and cafes, but McMahons Point and Kirribilli are close by for added variety. The Commodore Hotel is a popular spot for locals to catch up over a few drinks and quality food. There are a number of schools, both public and private, within the area, such as North Sydney Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools, Wenona Girls, Sydney Church of England Grammar (Shore), as well as Monte Saint Angelo College. The Australian Catholic University and the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE are also in the area. North Sydney is directly linked to the CBD by road and rail across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and is served by both North Sydney and Milsons Point Railway Stations, on the North Shore Line of the train network. The Warringah Freeway links North Sydney south to the CBD and north to Chatswood. There are plenty of bus connections to the CBD, or ferries can be caught from Lavender Bay Wharf or McMahons Point Wharf. The local government area of North Sydney Council includes the suburb of North Sydney as well as the surrounding suburbs of Kirribilli, McMahons Point, Crows Nest, Wollstonecraft, Waverton, Cammeray, Neutral Bay and Cremorne.
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