Leafy green trees provide a canopy over Bulleen Road
|Population||20,406 (2016 census)|
|• Density||2,293/km2 ( 5,940/sq mi)|
|Area||8.9 km2 (3.4 sq mi)|
|Location||10 km (6 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Boroondara|
Balwyn North, also known as North 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 North had a population of 20,406.
The north-western part of the suburb is known as Bellevue and the eastern part is known as Greythorn.
Balwyn North was one of the first Melbourne suburbs to be developed according to the pattern of postwar suburbia, with expansive, quiet residential areas designed as family homes and relatively few business districts. The original route of Bulleen Road began at the present-day corner of Kilby Road and Burke Road, but by the 1900s, its route had changed to its present-day alignment. This was a result of Elgar's Special Survey, which dragged the alignment of Burke Road further west, resulting in the surrounding road network being forced to adjust.
A Balwyn North Post Office opened on 1 April 1937. This was renamed Burke Road in 1941, when a new Balwyn North office opened at its current location. The Greythorn Post Office opened in 1951. The suburb was lampooned in the 1974 song by Australian band The Skyhooks, Balwyn Calling.
Greythorn was developed later than North Balwyn, but has had residents living there since the 1830s, when the Maughan and Towt families bought large tracts of land in the area. Present-day Greythorn Road was formerly known as 'Towt's Road' but renamed to 'Whitethorn Road', after the many whitethorn hedges that had been planted along it. To avoid confusion with Whitehorse Road, the name was changed again to 'Greythorn' some time in the 1920s. The area around Greythorn Park was a wildlife sanctuary from 1938 until 1954, when the area between the park and Greythorn Road was subdivided and sold for housing. Greythorn Primary School was opened in 1953 and occupies a site covering approximately two hectares.
Consistently among Melbourne's top 20 most exclusive postcodes, Balwyn North's status as an affluent suburb has seen middle to upper-middle-class families from surrounding localities 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.
Located in Balwyn North are several primary schools, such as Greythorn, Balwyn North, St Bedes, Boroondara Park and Bellevue. Balwyn High School is located on Buchanan Avenue, and is so highly sought after, particularly by Asian families, that property prices within its student catchment area sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than nearby properties not located in the area.
The main shopping strip is located at the intersection of Doncaster and Bulleen Roads, known as 'The Village'. There are a number of other local shopping strips, such as Greythorn Village, located further east along Doncaster Road, the East Balwyn Shopping Centre and Belmore Heights Shopping Centre.
Bicycle tracks connect with the Main Yarra Trail, along the Yarra River and the Eastern Freeway. Tram route 48 passes through Balwyn North, running along Doncaster Road and terminating at the intersection with Balwyn Road. A number of bus routes connect Balwyn North with suburbs such as Box Hill, Camberwell, Doncaster and Templestowe. A number of freeway bus services have stops at the entrance of the Eastern Freeway, on the northern edge of the suburb.
In recent times, there have been numerous calls from both residents and local councils for the extension of the route 48 tram from its present terminus to either the 'Doncaster Park + Ride' facility or further along Doncaster Road to Doncaster Shoppingtown.
Parks and gardens
Balwyn North is host to a large number of parks and reserves, which are used for both passive and active recreation. A line of parks through which Glass Creek formerly ran at surface level lies at the heart of the suburb, stretching from Jacka Street Reserve in the east, through Gordon Barnard Reserve and Hislop Park in the centre, ending with Macleay Park in the west. Other parks in the suburb include Greythorn Park, Leigh Park and Koonung Creek Reserve.
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