Toorak is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, five kilometres (3.1 mi) south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Stonnington local government area.
- Area:4.273 km2
- Elevation:37 m
- Local Government Area:Stonnington City Council
Toorak is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, five kilometres (3.1 mi) south-east of Melbourne's Central Business District, located within the City of Stonnington local government area. Toorak recorded a population of 12,909 at the 2016 Census.
The name Toorak has become synonymous with wealth and privilege, the suburb long having the reputation of being Melbourne's most elite, and ranking among the most prestigious in Australia. It has the highest average property values in Melbourne, and is one of the most expensive suburbs in Australia. It is the nation's second highest earning postcode after Point Piper in Sydney.Located on a rise on the south side (or left bank) of a bend in the Yarra River, Toorak is bordered by South Yarra, at Williams Road on the west, Malvern, at Glenferrie Road on the east, Prahran and Armadale, at Malvern Road to the south and the suburbs of Richmond, Burnley and Hawthorn on the north side of the river. The suburb's main street is considered to be Toorak Road, on which the commercial area of Toorak Village is located.
Toorak is named after Toorak House, the 1849-built residence of James Jackson, a merchant.
The suburb has also been a preferred location for many consulate offices and their residences, including China, the US, Britain, Monaco, Sweden, Turkey, and Switzerland.
Toorak was named after Toorak House, an Italianate residence built by James Jackson, a merchant, in 1849. The name of the house may have originated from Woiwurrung language, with words of similar pronunciation meaning black crow or reedy swamp.
## Toorak House
From 1854 Toorak House served as the residence of the first Governor of Victoria, Captain Sir Charles Hotham KCB RN and his successors, until the completion of the present Government House (1876) in the Kings Domain.
Toorak Post Office opened around June 1858.
## 1880s land boom
During the land boom of the 1880s, many large and elaborate mansions were erected in Toorak, often in the Italianate style. Following East Melbourne and then St Kilda, Toorak, along with Brighton, became the new favored location for the wealthy.
## 1890s depression
The suburb was hit particularly hard by the 1890s economic depression and many wealthy landowners declared bankruptcy and were forced to sell. Nonetheless, the suburb remained and is still Melbourne's home of "old money". During the Interwar period, many houses were built in the Tudor revival style; many houses were also designed by society Architect Marcus Martin in the Moderne style over a Georgian building form.
## Post-war era
In the period of post-World War II prosperity, rising standards of living and land values caused Toorak to become highly sought after by a new generation of the wealthy, thought by some to be social climbers and nouveau riche. For some of these people, the focus was simply to have the postcode of Toorak, which was SE 2 and now 3142. As a result, many of the larger mansions were demolished and large holdings were subdivided to make way for flats, townhouses and apartments.
In the 1980s, larger houses in Neo-Georgian and Neo-Classical styles began to appear.
## Contemporary Toorak
While large mansions have survived in neighbouring Hawthorn, Kew and Armadale, only a few of the original 19th-century mansions in Toorak remain, due in part to the high land value. Two of the most notable are Illawarra House, which was acquired by the National Trust; and Coonac, the most expensive house in Melbourne. In Toorak, some of the old property names live on as street names or the names of blocks of flats, carved out of or built on their sites; Dunraven, Millicent, Iona, Woorigoleen, Myoora, and Scotsburn are examples.
# Things to do