Balwyn Cinema on Whitehorse Road, Balwyn
|Population||13,312 (2016 census)|
|• Density||2,377/km2 (6,160/sq mi)|
|Area||5.6 km2 (2.2 sq mi)|
|Location||10 km (6 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Boroondara|
Balwyn (//) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 10 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Boroondara. At the 2016 Census, Balwyn had a population of 13,312.
Balwyn was part of Henry Elgar's Special Survey of 8 square miles (21 km2) in 1841, which was subdivided into small farms and grazing runs.
In the late 1850s Andrew Murray, commercial editor and political writer for The Argus newspaper, bought land on the hill overlooking Canterbury Gardens. He named his house Balwyn from the Gaelic bal and the Saxon wyn, meaning 'the home of the vine'. Balwyn Road and the district were named after it. The house was located on the site that is now part of Fintona Girls' School.
In 1868 Balwyn Primary School was opened in Balwyn Road about 100 metres north of Whitehorse Road. It was moved to its present site, south of Whitehorse Road, in 1880, opposite Murray's property. 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. Anglican services began in 1868 and the St. Barnabas church, Balwyn Road, was opened in 1872.
Balwyn Post Office first opened on 26 August 1874, in a rural area, closed in 1894, then reopened in 1920. It faced a second closure on 11 February 2011 but due to a campaign by local residents and the intervention of the Federal Member, Josh Frydenberg, the service was reopened.
The electric tram system was extended along Cotham Road to terminate at Burke Road, Deepdene, on 30 May 1913. The line was extended along Whitehorse Road, through Balwyn to terminate at Union Road, Mont Albert, on 30 September 1916.
The Balwyn Cinema, currently operated by Palace Cinemas, first opened as a single screen theatre in 1930. It was later converted into a 5-screen multiplex in the 1990s, but the foyer was restored in 2010, uncovering the original 1930s tiled floor. Until 2016 it also served as the head office of Palace Cinemas. The cinema's second major restoration in less than a decade saw the former office space converted into 6 extra screens, bringing the total number to 11.
A considerable number of local churches, such as the Deepdene Methodist Church, were constructed during the post-World War II boom of suburban development in the area.
Balwyn's status as an affluent suburb has seen middle to upper-middle-class families from suburbs such as Kew and Brighton transfer to the area to take advantage of the suburb's relatively large block sizes and proximity to some of Victoria's best private schools including those in the neighbouring suburbs of Canterbury and Kew. Some of the initial development of the suburb occurred along the Whitehorse Road tramline, along which the Wade handbag and the Jarvis Walker fishing rod factories were once located. The suburb's main shopping area is located around the intersection of Whitehorse Road and Balwyn Road.
Balwyn is consistently ranked as one of Melbourne's 5 most exclusive suburbs. The heritage-protected Reid Estate is especially noted as an area of Balwyn between Mont Albert Road and Whitehorse Road containing many architecturally significant Interwar mansions. Balwyn is also home to the Maranoa Gardens, Australia's first botanical garden dedicated to indigenous flora. The suburb has been immortalised by the Skyhooks single named after the suburb, 'Balwyn Calling', while The Age newspaper once described the suburb as "arguably Melbourne's most loved". In the 12-month period to January 2020 Balwyn reported a median house price of A$1.6 million for a three bedroom house.
The 109 tram line runs from Port Melbourne to Box Hill via Whitehorse Road. Several bus routes also service the area:
- 200 – City (Queen St) – Bulleen, Victoria via Kew Junction
- 207 – City (Queen St) – Doncaster Shoppington via Kew Junction
- 284 - Doncaster Park and Ride - Box Hill via Greythorn Road
- 285 - Doncaster Park and Ride - Camberwell via Balwyn Road
- 302 - City (Lonsdale St) - Box Hill via Belmore Road and Eastern Freeway
- 304 - City (Lonsdale St) - Doncaster Shoppington via Belmore Road and Eastern Freeway
- 548 – Kew (Cotham Road) – La Trobe University Bundoora
- Steve Hooker – world-famous pole vaulter, grew up in Balwyn.
- Belle Bruce Reid – Australia's first female veterinarian, established the Balwyn Veterinary Surgery.
- Gary Young – drummer of Daddy Cool, lived in Balwyn.
- Kathy Jackson – national secretary of the Health Services Union
- Tony Wilson – Melbourne-based Australian radio and television personality, writer and speaker
- Jane Kennedy - semi-regular panellist on television chat show The Circle.
- Warwick Capper - former Australian Rules footballer, singer, actor and media personality.
- Olivia Deeble - Home And Away actress
- City of Camberwell - the former local government area of which Balwyn was a part
- Bonjour Balwyn - A 1971 Australian independent film.
- Electoral district of Balwyn - An electoral district of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (1955–1992).
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- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Post Office To Reopen In Balwyn, retrieved 22 May 2015
- "1911 - 1920", 100 Years of Electric Trams - Tram History - Milestones, Yarra Trams, archived from the original on 27 September 2011, retrieved 16 September 2010
- "Balwyn Cinema", Cinema History Around The World, Cinematour, retrieved 11 March 2012
- "Boroondara Library Services Plan". Boroondara City Council. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
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- "Real Estate - Properties for Sale, Rent and Share - Domain". www.domain.com.au.
- Full Point Footy, Eastern Football League, archived from the original on 1 January 2009, retrieved 21 October 2008
- .Balwyn Cricket Club, retrieved 29 November 2013
- Sharwood, Anthony (24 October 2009). "Under the radar". The Weekend Australian Magazine. pp. 14–20. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Wirth, Hugh J. (2002). "Reid, Isabelle Bruce (Belle) (1883–1945)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 16. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 19 March 2015 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
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