Smith Street, Melbourne
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Smith Street is a street in inner northern Melbourne, running north from the city proper and separating Fitzroy from Collingwood.
Smith Street runs north-south from Victoria Parade at its southernmost end to Queens Parade. Between Victoria Parade and Alexandra Parade, it forms the boundary between Fitzroy and Collingwood; the short segment north of Alexandra Parade is in Clifton Hill. Smith Street is located a block east of Brunswick Street. From Gertrude Street to Queens Parade, Smith Street forms part of tram route 86.
By the 1860s, Smith Street was a busy and popular suburban shopping strip.
Smith Street contains restaurants and cafés and also has numerous shops selling cheap household goods. North of Johnston Street there are factory outlets selling athletic and fashion clothing. This include brands such as Nike and Adidas. Parts of Smith Street also serve as a meeting place for the local Indigenous Australian community. Smith Street is somewhat more downmarket than nearby Brunswick Street and has not become as fashionable though it is slowly gentrifying.
During the late 1990s, Smith Street was frequented by heroin users and dealers. This earned it the sobriquet 'Smack Street', which, whilst arguably no longer apt, has stuck.
The street has been honoured of late by the rise of the local band The Smith Street Band, which has received international acclaim. This is despite the lead singer recently claiming that "none of us live [on Smith Street] and now everyone time I go there I get quite frustrated that it seems to be becoming more and more gentrified."
- http://gallery.slv.vic.gov.au/image.php?id=787 Smith Street, 1908. State Library of Victoria collection.
- http://www.smithstreet.org/ Community weblog and local history.
- Melbourne's hottest strip: get your kicks on route 86 - Article in The Age