Suburb Profiles

North Sydney

Introduction

Business capital of Sydney's Lower North Shore, North Sydney is a northern extension of the CBD, with many offices where graphic designers, architects publishers, advertising, engineering and computing firms conduct their business. North Sydney is approximately 5.5km from the CBD. Milson's Point. North Sydney Railway Station serves the area and there are also bus connections to the CBD. You can also catch a ferry from Lavender Bay wharf or McMahons Point Wharf. Close to the harbour North Sydney is an area of mixed residential and commercial properties, featuring a range of housing styles from small workers' cottages to harbourside mansions. Both a residential and commercial centre, North Sydney offers many different styles or architecture from high-rise buildings to late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century architecture. As well as some remaining examples of Art Deco architecture, there are also many stylish boutique-block apartments. The history of the area is a long and varied one. The plan of its streets was originally established in 1836, when it was known as St Leonards. The first streets to be built were Walker, Miller, Berry and Lavender Streets. The township evolved and by 1880, the town hall and the courthouse, both designed by James Barnet, were built. Some of North Sydney's earliest settlers include Billy Blue, James Milson and Edward Wollstonecraft. Its foreshores were home to boat building yards, ship engineering works, ferry depots, gas works and coal stores. As a major transport link to the CBD, North Sydney gradually grew into a major commercial hub, continuing its growth into the turn of the new century. North Sydney underwent rapid expansion the 1950s onwards, with the construction of the MLC building in Miller Street in 1957 and Warringah Expressway in the 1960s.

Things to See & Do

Famous landmarks include the Independent Theatre on Miller Street, first opened as a vaudeville theatre, subsequently becoming the Independent Theatre in 1939. Another close by landmark is the famous fun park, Luna Park while North Sydney Pool is a popular venue for families and office workers. Other attractions include St Leonards Park and St Thomas Rest Park, the first burial ground on the North Shore, and home to the Sexton’s Cottage, dating from 1847.

Shopping

If you think North Sydney is all high-rise buildings with no heart, think again. The area retains a certain village ambience with numerous local corner stores and village squares. For boutique shopping head to North Sydney ShoppingWorld or Greenwood Plaza. Here you’ll also find a range of fresh food outlets selling fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, meat and deli items that are great ingredients for gourmet dinners.

Dining & Entertainment

North Sydney offers a cosmopolitan café and restaurant scene. Aqua Dining provides fine dining, with a stunning view over the Harbour Bridge. If Asian food is your thing, there is plenty on offer as well as Mod Oz cuisine at Fare Go Gourmet. Bistro-style food can be found at the Commodore Hotel or head to nearby Waverton for fabulous coffees, cakes, soups and imaginative sandwiches.

Keeping Fit

Keep fit in style at the art deco North Sydney pool. Here you can swim, take a sauna or spa or use their well-equipped gym. Civic Centre Park and Charlie Watts Park offer great playgrounds for families with children while St Leonards Park has a number of playing fields. For tennis enthusiast there are many tennis courts in the area or try keeping fit indoors at the North Sydney Indoor Sports Centre.

Educational Institutions

State schools here include North Sydney Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools while close by are Wenona Girls and Sydney Church of England Grammar (Shore) as well as Monte Sant’Angelo College. Also in the area are the Australian Catholic University and the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE.