In 1871, the Canning Road District was established under the District Roads Act 1871, covering a very wide area to the southeast of Perth. On 1 July 1907, it was abolished and split into the Queen's Park Municipal District and Gosnells Road District (later to become the City of Gosnells). In 1921, Queen's Park was renamed to Canning Road District, and two years later received a large amount of land from Jandakot Road District when that entity was abolished.
On 1 July 1961, Canning Road District became a shire under the Local Government Act 1960. In 1970 it became a town and in 1978 it attained city status.