Waterloo, New South Wales

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

SydneyNew South Wales
Botany Road, Waterloo
Waterloo is located in New South Wales
Coordinates33°54′01″S 151°12′28″E / 33.90028°S 151.20778°E / -33.90028; 151.20778Coordinates: 33°54′01″S 151°12′28″E / 33.90028°S 151.20778°E / -33.90028; 151.20778
Population14,616 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density13,300/km2 (34,400/sq mi)
Area1.1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)[2]
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
Location3 km (2 mi) South of Sydney CBD
LGA(s)City of Sydney
State electorate(s)
Federal Division(s)Sydney
Suburbs around Waterloo:
Darlington Redfern Moore Park
Eveleigh Waterloo Zetland
Alexandria Rosebery Kensington

Waterloo is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Waterloo is located 3 kilometres (1.87 mi) south of the Sydney central business district and is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney. Waterloo is surrounded by the suburbs of Redfern and Darlington to the north, Eveleigh and Alexandria to the west, Rosebery to the south, and Moore Park, Zetland, and Kensington to the east.


Waterloo Town Hall designed by John Smedley

Waterloo took its name from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when Allied and Prussian forces under the Duke of Wellington and Blücher defeated the French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte.

In the 1820s Waterloo began supporting industrial operations including the Fisher and Duncan Paper Mill and the Waterloo Flour Mills owned by William Hutchinson and Daniel Cooper. William Hutchinson, superintendent of convicts and public works, had been granted 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of land in 1823. He sold Waterloo Farm to Daniel Cooper (1785–1853) and Solomon Levey (1794–1833). Cooper later bought out Levey's share and on his death the Waterloo Estate passed onto his nephew, also named Daniel Cooper, who was the first speaker of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.[3]

In 1974, the Builders Labourers Federation placed a green ban against the construction of demolition of low-income housing to make way for new apartments.[4]


South Dowling Street apartments

Waterloo is historically a working-class region. Since early 2000s, the region has undergone some degree of gentrification with a rising business district focusing on technology-oriented firms and the development of more green space such as parks. By 2006, median individual income in Waterloo was slightly higher than the Australian average.[5]

Nevertheless, the suburb maintains a large Housing commission estate shared with Redfern with around 4,000 tenants consisting of numerous walk-up flats (i.e., flats without elevators/lifts), terrace houses and notably 10 high-rise tower blocks (6 in Waterloo), the area still maintains a notorious reputation in Sydney for urban decay, casual violence, residents committing suicide by leaping off their high-rise balconies, alcohol abuse and a large Ice epidemic, with used syringes scattered across the housing complexes.[6] The Waterloo estate is set for a facelift, with the older flats/tower blocks getting redeveloped into large luxury apartment blocks mixing social housing with affordable housing alongside the new Waterloo Metro station being developed nearby.

Waterloo is also a popular suburb to live for Sydney's large gay and lesbian population due to its closeness to nearby suburbs of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst.

The Waterloo Urban Conservation Area is a residential area of predominantly 19th-century terrace and cottage housing. New development and redevelopment in this area is encouraged to be sympathetic to the existing heritage style.

Green Square is a district in the south and east of the suburb including the suburbs of Waterloo and Zetland that is being redeveloped. It involves an urban renewal program which has seen many industrial buildings redeveloped or replaced by new residential and commercial developments. The area adjacent to South Dowling Street contains many high-rise apartment buildings with retail space at ground level.

In January 2019, the government released a redevelopment masterplan of the Waterloo social housing estate. The Government's plan outlines a 20-year vision for the area, which is about 4 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. It will include building 6,800 new homes and will comprise 6 high-rise buildings of 33 to 40 storeys.[7]


Waterloo is serviced by State Transit routes to the Sydney CBD. Green Square station, on the Airport line of the Sydney Trains network, is located in the south-west corner of the suburb. Redfern railway station is located close to the north-west corner of the suburb.

The Chatswood to Bankstown Sydney Metro City & Southwest line is currently under construction and will include a station and major interchange at the west side of Waterloo, due to open in 2024. There will also be large commercial and residential redevelopment to service the new metro.


Waterloo hosts the city campus of Hillsong Church (affiliated with the Assemblies of God). Other churches include Grace City Anglican Church, Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Waterloo Congregational Church, South Sydney Uniting Church and Waterloo Salvation Army.


At the 2016 census, Waterloo had a population of 14,616.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 3.0% of the population.
  • 35.3% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were China 13.7%, England 4.2%, New Zealand 2.6%, South Korea 2.0% and United States of America 1.6%.
  • 47.5% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 12.7%, Russian 3.3%, Cantonese 3.2%, Spanish 2.0% and Korean 2.0%.
  • The largest religions were Catholicism (16.8% of the population), Anglicanism (5.5%) and Buddhism (4.5%). Furthermore, 41.6% of the population marked no religion, well above the national average.
  • 89.7% of residences were units, well above the rest of Australia (where only 13.1% of residences were units). Furthermore, 70.8% of dwellings were rented, compared to 30.9% in Australia as a whole.[1]


The Waterloo Skate Park is a modern skate park and the first of its kind to copy the urban streetscape layout of popular skate spots like Martin Place and Cathedral Square in Sydney. The park is located next to Waterloo Oval and the Weave Youth Services (formerly South Sydney Youth Services) building on Elizabeth Street.

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Waterloo (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "2011 Community Profiles: Waterloo (State Suburb)". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 23 June 2015. Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 266
  4. ^ "List of green bans, 1971-1974". libcom.org. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  5. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Waterloo (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 February 2008.
  6. ^ Carswell, Andrew (15 June 2015). ""Suicide Towers": The dark past of Waterloo's housing commission blocks". The Daily Telegraph.
  7. ^ "NSW Government unveils blueprint for 17 high-rise towers as part of Waterloo housing overhaul". ABC News. 25 January 2019.

External links[edit]