Toorak, Victoria

Toorak, Victoria

Infobox Australian Place
name = Toorak

caption = Royal Terrace on Williams Road
state = vic
type = suburb
lga = City of Stonnington
area = 4.3
city = Melbourne
est = 1850s
postcode = 3142
pop = 13,127 (2006)Census 2006 AUS | id = SSC21677 | name = Toorak (State Suburb) | accessdate = 2007-09-29 | quick = on]
propval = $$2,075,000 [ [ Toorak] , accessed 04 July 2008]
fedgov = Higgins
stategov = Malvern, Prahran
near-nw = Richmond
near-n = Burnley
near-ne = Hawthorn
near-w = South Yarra
near-e = Kooyong
near-sw = Prahran
near-s = Armadale
near-se = Malvern
dist1 = 8 | location1 = Melbourne

Toorak is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is in the Local Government Area of the City of Stonnington. At the 2006 Census, Toorak had a population of 13,127.

The suburb is located 6 km south-east of the CBD, on a rise at a bend in the Yarra River. In popular Australian culture, the name Toorak has become synonymous with wealth. The suburb has long had the reputation of being Melbourne's most elite, and ranks among the most prestigious in Australia.

Toorak is located south of the Yarra River. The river separates Toorak from Richmond, a suburb that, although close in proximity to Toorak, does not share its prestige.

Toorak is bordered by Williams Road at the west, Glenferrie Road at the east, the Yarra River to the north and Malvern Road to the south

cquote|Melbourne's celebrity suburb is undeniably Toorak. But whereas the peninsula positioning of the Points Darling and Piper protects residents from the prying eyes of the proletariat, the same effect is achieved in Melbourne by jamming the city's richest suburb hard up against the Yarra River. Like a medieval moat, the Yarra River separates leafy Toorakian order from the scrambled chaos of Richmond.

— Bernard Salt [ [,20867,21463560-25658,00.html Why celebrity postcodes are hot forever | The Australian ] ]

Local History

The suburb was named after Toorak House, a residence built by James Jackson, a merchant in 1849. The word "Toorak" may have come from Aboriginal words of similar pronunciation, meaning black crow or reedy swamp [cite web|url=,_victoria/|title=Local history of Toorak|author="LocalHero"] .

Toorak House served as the residence of the second Governor of Victoria, Captain Sir Charles Hotham, from 1854 to 1855. Toorak House then served as residence of three successive Governors of Victoria until 1874 -- Henry Barkly, Charles Henry Darling and John Manners-Sutton, 3rd Viscount Canterbury. Bishopscourt in East Melbourne was then used before the present Government House was occupied in 1876.

Toorak House still stands today in St. Georges Road, and set the architectural tone for the suburb. Toorak House is presently owned by the Church of Sweden abroad. It also houses the Consulate of Sweden. The Swedish Church is open for visitors daily [ [ English ] ] .


Toorak Village is a strip of shops and cafes, located in the suburb of Toorak in Melbourne. Commonly found on the side of the road are luxury cars and fashionable eateries. It is often compared to Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, United States. It is a popular spot for shoppers and food lovers alike to gather.


Toorak is serviced by three railway stations, Toorak, Hawksburn and Heyington, and a tramline that runs along Toorak Road.


A study by the Department of Primary Industries revealed the following facts about Toorak [$File/Toorak+-+Profile.pdf] :

* In Toorak, 29.6 per cent of persons were employed in the industries of finance, property and business services. The metropolitan average is 14.6 per cent.

* The proportion of Toorak residents aged 15 and over with a Bachelors degree or higher is 31.0 per cent. The metropolitan average is 13.4 per cent.

* Toorak has the highest percentage of children attending non-government schools in Melbourne.

* There are very few infants and toddlers in Toorak. The proportion of the Toorak population who are infants or toddlers (those aged 0 to 4 years of age) is 3.8 per cent. The metropolitan average is 6.9 per cent.

Toorak Tractors

In Australian slang (particularly in Victoria), a "Toorak tractor," "Toorak taxi," "Toorak tank," or "Toorak truck" are pejorative names for a luxury 4WD (SUV) vehicle. The reference to the wealthy Melbourne suburb alludes to the ownership and use of such vehicles as status symbols rather than for their designed off-road abilities.

Even though the term might lead some to think this phenomenon is localized in Toorak, official statistics show that in Melbourne, working-class suburbs such as Werribee (3103), Frankston (3003), Narre Warren (2687) and Dandenong (2672) all have more 4WDs registered than Toorak (1270) [ [,23636,21294153-462,00.html 4WD's now for working drivers | Business ] ] .

In Popular Culture

Toorak has many references in popular culture, besides the "Toorak Tractor" reference mentioned earlier. The Skyhooks also had a song called "Toorak Cowboy". Ted Baillieu, the Victorian opposition leader, was often derided as "the toff from Toorak" by Rob Hulls.

Water Restrictions

Because of the scarcity of water in Australia, restrictions have been established on water use. In Victoria, statistics from South East Water reveal that breaches of water restrictions were spread "across Melbourne but there are obviously pockets which seem to attract more interest than other suburbs." Areas like Toorak and Brighton have had a higher proportion of water breaches than other suburbs. A water patrolmen said that some Toorak and Brighton residents had a "what-me-worry attitude" to the threat of $500 fines [ [ A bit rich — wealthy flout our water rules - National - ] ] .

Notable residents

* Ted Baillieu – Victorian Liberal Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition (2006-current) was born in Toorak
* Dame Zara Bate – fashion designer and wife (later widow) of the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, had a salon called 'Magg' in Toorak Village
* Nathan BuckleyAustralian rules footballer [cite news | last = Rindfleisch | first = Tony | title = Magpie flies to ritzy Toorak | publisher = Sunday Herald Sun | date = 2007-04-08 | url =,21985,21520331-661,00.html | accessdate = 2007-10-07 ]
* Albert Dadon - Chair of the Australian Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) organization is a resident of Toorak.
* Andrew Demetriou – The Australian Football League CEO. [ [,21985,22799830-661,00.html?from=mostpop We reveal AFL boss Andrew Demetriou's $7m Toorak base | Herald Sun ] ]
* Lindsay Fox – Australian rules footballer and one of Australia's most successful businessman, primarily through his establishment of the Linfox trucking company.
* Malcolm Fraser – Liberal Party politician and 22nd Prime Minister of Australia, born in Toorak
* Duncan Gillies – colonial politician, was the 14th Premier of Victoria and member for Toorak from 1897 to 1903
* Clem Hill - Test cricketer who resided inToorak following his appointment as handicapper for the Victoria Amateur Turf Club (VATC) in 1937.
* Captain Sir Charles Hotham – the second Governor of Victoria in office from June 1854 to 31 December 1855. Hotham was governor at the time of the Eureka Stockade
* Solomon Lew – Australian businessman and one of Australia's richest men lives in Toorak
* Peter Lew – Australian businessman from Toorak, son of Solomon Lew, is the managing director of Witchery stores
* Eddie McGuire – journalist, sports broadcaster, television game show host, businessman and former chief executive of the Nine Network was a resident of Toorak
* Charlie McLeod – Australian cricketer who died in 1918 in Toorak
* Daniel Radcliffe – the Harry Potter star's family owns a house in Toorak [cite news
last = Ziffer | first = Daniel | title = Potter star down under | publisher = The Age | date = 2007-05-18 | url = | accessdate = 2007-10-07
* Lou Richards – Australian rules footballer who played with the Collingwood Football Club between 1941 and 1955 is a resident of Toorak
* Peter Robb – Australian author was born in the Toorak in 1946
* Jack Saunders – Australian cricketer who died in 1927 in Toorak
* Tup Scott – Australian cricketer, born in Toorak in 1858, and served as mayor and chief magistrate in Scone, New South Wales
* Ziggy Switkowski – former Telstra CEO who once had a Telstra mobile phone microcell installed on his property [cite episode |title = PM | episodelink = PM (ABC Radio) | credits = Reporter: Louise Yaxley | network = Australian Broadcasting Corporation | station = | city = | airdate = 2002-11-18 | transcripturl = ]

See also

* City of Malvern - the former local government area of which Toorak was a part.
* City of Prahran - the former local government area of which Toorak was a part.


External links


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