- Toongabbie, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = suburb
name = Toongabbie
city = Sydney
state = New South Wales
caption = Portico Park
City of Parramatta City of Blacktown City of Holroyd
postcode = 2146
est = 1792
pop = 12,800
stategov = Toongabbie
fedgov = Parramatta
near-nw = Lalor Park
near-n = Model Farms
near-ne = Winston Hills
near-w = Seven Hills
near-e = Old Toongabbie
near-sw = Prospect
near-s = Girraween
near-se = Pendle Hill
dist1 = 30
dist2 = 8.5
dir1 = west
dir2 = west
Toongabbie is a
suburbof Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Toongabbie is located 30 kilometreswest of the Sydney central business districtand is part of the Greater Western Sydneyregion. Toongabbie is split between the local government areas of the City of Parramatta, the City of Blacktownand the City of Holroyd. Toongabbie is colloquially known as 'Toonie'.
To the north across Old Windsor Road the next suburb is Winston Hills; to the east is Old Toongabbie; to the south-east, the next suburb (and railway station) is Pendle Hill; to the south is Girraween; to the south-west is Prospect; and to the west the next suburb (and railway station) is Seven Hills.
Toongabbie is derived from an Aboriginal word, reported as meaning "place by the water" or "the meeting of the waters". It was named in June 1792 after
Governor Arthur Phillipasked the local Aborigines what they called the place.
Toongabbie is noted for being the third mainland settlement (after Sydney and Parramatta) set up after the British occupation of Australia began in
1788, although the site of the settlement is actually in the separate suburb of Old Toongabbie.
Governor Phillip established a government farm and convict station on 640 acres (259 ha) in 1791 to grow food for the colony. It was supplement to the farms already established at Rose Hill. By December 1791 there were 500 men working at clearing the land. After eleven years, the government farm was closed and the land was given as grants to settlers and convicts who had done their time.
In 1860, the railway was extended to Blacktown but it took 20 years before any arrangements were made for trains to stop at Toongabbie. The first school in Toongabbie - [http://www.toongabbie-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/ Toongabbie Public School] , opened on the 3rd of May 1886. By April 1911, the school closed due to low enrolments. The school reopened February the next year and has stayed open ever since.
The first post office in the area was opened after many years of campaigning by local residents in 1887 in a private house on Old Windsor Road and this arrangement continued until the 1960s. The first post master was a Mr Birks and he was paid 25 pounds a year to manage the office and bring the mail bag over from Seven Hills on horseback each day. By 1922 the number of residents and businesses had grown sufficiently to support a second office in a weatherboard cottage in Wentworth Avenue, known as Toongabbie West. A purpose built office was opened in the main shopping area in Portico Parade in 1960 becoming Toongabbie Post Office whilst the old Toongabbie Post Office was renamed Old Toongabbie.
The Emu and Prospect Gravel and Road Metal Company Limited opened a private railway line from Toongabbie to Prospect Quarry on 7 April, 1902. Following the inability of the Government railway to supply rail wagons, trains stopped running on the line in 1945, however the rails remained in situ until the early 1960s ["Sydney's Forgotten Quarry Railways" - Oakes, John pp9-27 ISBN 0 9757870 3 9] .
In 1908, what was probably the second scout group formed in Australia, 1st Toongabbie Scout Group was organised by
Errol Knox(later knighted for his services to journalism). The first scout hall was a barn on his parents' property, "Montargis" in Binalong Road. Later, in 1934, the Group moved to its present location in Bungaree Road on donated land which had also once been part of the Knox landholdings. The first bank branch in Toongabbie, The Commonwealth Bank, opened in 1957 although bank agencies had operated in the area.
Toongabbie was connected to electricity in the mid-1920s and to town gas and mains sewerage in the mid-1960s. The biggest increase in population occurred after World War II. A sizable area west of the shopping centre, which had previously been farmland and orchards, was subdivided into a housing development called "The Old Roman Estate"; several streets in the area have Roman names, including Marcia St, Lavinia St, Portia St, Lucretia Rd and Portico Parade.
To the east of Binalong Road is the small suburb known as Old Toongabbie, which includes the sites of the original colonial settlement. In the 1990s this area was reduced, with the part immediately north of Wentworthville, which is also known unofficially as the locality of Constitution Hill, being reclassified as Wentworthville. In 2006, Constitution Hill officially returned, but only as a small area between Bogalara Road and the Cumberland Highway.
The more northerly parts, north of Toongabbie Creek, became known as Winston Hills in the late 1960s. Originally this was simply the name of a large housing development in the area, but a large section of what was once Old Toongabbie was officially renamed Winston Hills in the 1970s, a trend that has been echoed in many other areas of the western suburbs.
Toongabbie's shopping precinct is located in Aurelia Street to the south of the railway line next to the station.
Portico Plazafeatures a Woolworths supermarket and 50 speciality shops, almost all of them of them still unoccupied, with a residential complex above featuring 143 apartments.
A small shopping centre and supermarket, the Piccadilly Centre, was built in the 1960s in the area bounded by the Toongabbie Hotel and the Catholic Church. This operated until 2004 when the shopping centre and surrounding properties were purchased by a developer for Portico Plaza.
The shopping precinct for many years included a small suburban cinema, the "Rocket", located opposite the railway line, next to the overhead road bridge. It operated from sometime between the wars until the early 1970s, when it was closed and demolished and replaced by a row of shops.
Toongabbie railway station is on the Western line of the
CityRailnetwork. The original unstaffed station opened on the 26th April, 1880and was upgraded over the years with additional platforms and loading facilities. In the late 1880s the first rail official was appointed to manage the station, a Miss Amy Arnold. The current station was opened in 1946 and the line was electrified in 1955.
Toongabbie is also served by private buses with connections to Blacktown via Blacktown Road, Seven Hills via the
Prospect Highway, Sydney, and both Parramatta and Westmead via the Great Western Highway.
Although Toongabbie is relatively densely settled, in recent years programs of bushland regeneration, pollution control and remedial works to local waterways have seen a surprising return by several rare wildlife species. The main waterway is Greystanes or Girraween Creek which flows the length of the suburb from Fox Hills Golf Course in the south to join Blacktown Creek in the north. A fine footpath follows the Creek.
Bruce Beresford- film director, writer, and producer spent his childhood here
Toongabbie is split between three Local Government Areas - the area north-east of the Western Railway line is in the
City of Parramatta; the area west of Greystanes or Girraween Creek and south-west of the railway is in the City of Blacktown; and the remaining part south of the railway is in the City of Holroyd.
* Sargeant, Doris A. and others, "The Toongabbie Story", Toongabbie, 1964 published by the Toongabbie Public School
* "Toongabbie, The Third Settlement", John Goode, The third settlement bicentennial committee, 1988, Published in Australia, ISBN 0-7316-2169-7.
* [http://www.hawkesburyhistory.org.au/articles/Battle_of_Vinegar.html The 1804 Rebellion and Battle of Vinegar Hill]
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