Abbotsford, Victoria

Abbotsford, Victoria

Infobox Australian Place
name = Abbotsford

caption = The famous "Skipping Girl Vinegar" sign on Victoria Street
state = vic
type = suburb
lga = City of Yarra
area = 1.8
city = Melbourne
est = 1870s
postcode = 3067
pop = 4327 (2006)Census 2006 AUS | id = SSC21003 | name = Abbotsford (State Suburb) | accessdate = 2007-10-01 | quick = on]
propval = $614,500 [ [ Abbotsford] 14 March 2008]
fedgov = Melbourne
stategov = Richmond
near-nw = Fitzroy North
near-n = Clifton Hill
near-ne = Fairfield
near-w = Collingwood
near-e = Kew
near-sw = East Melbourne
near-s = Richmond
near-se = Hawthorn
dist1 = 4 | location1 = Melbourne

Abbotsford is a small inner city suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, nestled in between Collingwood, Richmond and Clifton Hill and separated from Kew by the meandering Yarra River. Formerly part of the City of Collingwood, it is now part of the City of Yarra. Victoria Street forms the southern boundary to Abbotsford (with Richmond) and is designated one of the 82 Major Activity Centres listed in the Metropolitan Strategy Melbourne 2030.


Abbotsford area was once bush along the Yarra River, but was subdivided as an industrial estate in the late 1870s.Fact|date=September 2007 Abbotsford takes its name from the estate of John Orr, which in turn is named after a ford in Scotland's Tweed River used by the Abbott of Melrose Abbey. [Kennedy, B: "Australian Place Names", page 1. ABC Books, 2006.]

Originally the area was home to many Irish, mostly factory workers, and until the construction of Melbourne's sewerage and drainage systems was regularly flooded by the Yarra River. Like many inner Melbourne suburbs, its working class origins have given it a reputation for crime.

Since World War II the area has become very multicultural, with many Greeks, Italians, Vietnamese, Chinese and more recently Arabs and Africans making it their home.

In the 1960s a section of the northern part of the suburb was demolished to make way for the Eastern Freeway.

Along with Clifton Hill and Collingwood the suburb was a part of the City of Collingwood until former State premier Jeff Kennett conducted a wholesale merger of local government areas in the early 1990s.

Property values have skyrocketed in recent years and many young professionals have moved to the area and the old industrial areas have experienced significant gentrification and urban renewal since 2000.

A steady stream of migration since the 1980s has made Abbotsford home to Melbourne's largest Vietnamese community. So much so that Victoria Street is also known as Little SaigonFact|date=October 2008. It is best known for two trades, both of which draw tourists to the area from across Melbourne - Vietnamese food and heroinFact|date=October 2008.


Abbotsford is home to Carlton and United Breweries, the company which produces Victoria Bitter and Foster's Lager. The malt smell of brewing often fills the surrounding area. Visitors can see the beer making process at the Carlton Brewhouse centre and tour the brewery itself before returning to the Brewhouse for a complimentary ale.

Recreation and Leisure

Dights Falls, where the Merri Creek and Yarra River join is a short walk from the farm and is a favourite spot for kayakers and picnicers. Cyclists pass through the Collingwood Children's Farm on the Yarra River Trail which follows the Yarra River from the city to Dight's Falls, where it meets the Merri Creek Trail. This also forms part of the Capital City Trail.

Studley Park is an extensive parkland which merges with the larger Yarra Bend Park, contains Dights falls and features within it a golf course, sports grounds, and small pockets of natural forest.

Local Landmarks

Victoria Park was the home ground of the Collingwood Football Club from its inception in 1892 until 2005. AFL matches are no longer played there and the club now trains at Olympic Park.

Collingwood Children's Farm was established in 1979 by the local community with the support of the former City of Collingwood to give city children a taste of country life. It is located next to the grounds of Abbotsford Convent Arts Precinct and a Steiner School on a bend in the river. It is a fully functioning traditional farm, with animals, vegetable gardens and the rest. Fresh milk and eggs are for sale, and visitors are encouraged to help with farm work. The convent itself was home to a campus of La Trobe University for a while, but is now set to be developed for both commercial and for community use after protracted negotiations between developers and Yarra City Council.

The suburb is probably most notable for the heritage neon 'Skipping Girl' sign along Victoria Street.

Residential Architecture

Like many of Melbourne's inner suburbs, there are few detached houses in Abbotsford. Residential streets are often narrow, and some streets are leafy. A large proportion of houses in Abbotsford are subject to Heritage overlay provisions, which protect their heritage value. The older residential sections comprise mostly of working class single-storey Victorian terrace houses. Some double-storey terraces are found along the railway line and off the tram line on Victoria Street. Unlike the terraces in the wealthier suburbs of the city, many in Abbotsford remain in a state of disrepair and few have been renovated. Among the notable ones are terraces in Charles Street, and the identical pair of Dorothy and Winniefrir terraces in Lulie Street which are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. In recent years, many previous industrial and commercial sites have been redeveloped as housing, including sites along the Yarra river and the Denton Mills hat factory.

Public Buildings

Abbotsford contains some impressive public buildings, most of them centred around the historic Collingwood Town Hall precinct. Among them is the Carringbush Library, former Church of Christ built between 1888-1889 in the classical style to the design of Jonathan Rankine. It is on the National Trust register. The Sailors and Soldiers memorial Hall is an unusual looking free classical building constructed in 1927 on Hoddle Street.

Commercial and Industrial Architecture

Denton Hat Mills is a large turn of the century industrial complex designed by architect William Pitt in polychrome brick in 1888. It was the home to Brush Fabrics until 2004, when plans for conversion to apartments were implemented. Work on the conversion began in Mid 2007 and is due for completion in late 2008.

The Carringbush Hotel was built in 1889, its original name was the Friendly Societies Hotel.

Educational facilities

Abbotsford has a government primary school (Abbotsford PS) and the Sophia Mundi Steiner School which caters for children from preparatory grades to year 12.


Two railway stations are located in Abbotsford, both on the Epping and Hurstbridge lines. The Collingwood railway station services the middle of the suburb, whilst Victoria Park station services the northern section and Victoria Park stadium. Nearby North Richmond station also services the southernmost part of the suburb.

Tram no. 109 (Port Melbourne/Box Hill) runs down Victoria Street and trams no. 78/79 terminate at the corner of Church Street and Victoria Street (technically in Richmond).

Hoddle Street is one of the most congested roadways in metropolitan Melbourne. The Eastern Freeway feeds into it at the northern end. Much of Abbotsford is serviced by narrow one way streets and is punctuated by the main streets of Hoddle, Nicholson and Johnston Streets.

Hoddle Street is a major busway and includes a dedicated priority bus lane along the length of the Abbotsford section.

See also

* City of Collingwood - the former local government area of which Abbotsford was a part.


External links

* [,_victoria/ Australian Places - Abbotsford]
* [ Abbotsford Blog]
* [ REIV Abbotsford Auction & Private Sale Results]

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