Suburb Profile: Balwyn
In the late 1850s Andrew Murray who worked for The Argus Newspaper bought land on the hill that overlooks Canterbury Gardens. He named his house Balwyn. Balwyn Road and the surrounding district were shortly named after it.
Balwyn's first town centre was near the intersection of Balwyn and Whitehorse Roads, containing a few shops, a blacksmith and the athenaeum or mechanics' institute. This intersection still marks Balwyn’s main shopping area today; a stylish and refined strip of mainly bespoke retailers and lovely cafes, most often frequented by locals and those seeking a sophisticated alternative to shopping centres. ‘The Village’ at the corner of Doncaster and Bulleen Roads is also a popular North Balwyn shopping spot.
There have been subtle changes to the landscape of Balwyn and North Balwyn over recent years with the addition of urban apartments, predominantly along Whitehorse Road, Burke Road and Belmore Road. The traditional cream brick triple fronted homes built in Nth Balwyn in the 1950's are still prominent and the Golden Mile along Mont Albert Road and it’s neighbouring streets is still a much sought after pocket with historically significant mansions plus an array of newly constructed contemporary and reproduction homes adding to the setting in a manner that is sympathetic to the original feel of the neighbourhood.
One of the biggest drawcards to the area continues to be Balwyn High School which has developed a rich intellectual culture and demonstrated an excellent record of achievement; the strong demand for enrolments and a reputation that extends both interstate and overseas is testimony to this.
Being in the student catchment zone can have a significant impact on the sale price of real estate, with fierce competition amongst families to secure a home that guarantees a place at the highly regarded school. There is also a percentage who move to the area for the extensive list of private schools; names such as Carey Grammar, Genazzano, Xavier College, Camberwell Grammar, Trinity Grammar, Methodist Ladies College and Fintona Girls School provide a wide range of choice for locals.
Parks and Recreation
Balwyn and North Balwyn benefit from an array of parks, gardens and sporting clubs; the Balwyn Tigers Football Club have enjoyed success in the Eastern Football League with their Senior Team playing in Division 1 and taking out back to back premierships in 2012/2013.
Also noteworthy are the beautiful Maranoa Gardens, one of the few public gardens in the state dedicated to growing and displaying only Australian plants. Gardening enthusiasts visit from places far and wide and hold these gardens in high esteem.
The Balwyn Cinema, currently operated by Palace, first opened in 1930 and is a well-known landmark that has been lovingly restored to maintain many of its original features. It is right on the 109 tram line which starts at Box Hill, travelling into Melbourne’s CBD and through to Port Melbourne. There is also the 48 tram, a variety of bus routes and easy access to the Eastern Freeway which opens up an array of desirable destinations, all accessible in under an hour.
Whether it’s traditional family living or the ever growing urban lifestyle you’re seeking, Balwyn/North Balwyn presents itself as a highly attractive choice.