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Toongabbie

Toongabbie is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

Details

  • Area:4.733 km2
  • Elevation:33 m
  • Population:14,337
  • Local Government Area:Cumberland Council

Description

Toongabbie is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. One of the oldest suburbs in Sydney, Toongabbie is located approximately 30 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is part of the Greater Western Sydney region. Toongabbie is split between the local government areas of the City of Parramatta, the City of Blacktown and Cumberland Council. The suburb is often locally referred to as "Toonie", "Toonga Bay" and "Bayside". # History 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 Phillip asked the local Aboriginal people what they called the place. ## European settlement Toongabbie is noted for being the third mainland settlement (after Sydney and Parramatta) set up after the European colonisation 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. The Battle of Parramatta, a major battle of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars, occurred in March 1797 where Aboriginal resistance leader Pemulwuy led a group of Bidjigal warriors, estimated to be at least 100, in an attack on a government farm at Toongabbie, challenging the colonists to fight.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 - Toongabbie Public School, opened on 3 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.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. Since the 1990s, many detached homes have been demolished to make way for apartment blocks, especially around the main commercial area of Toongabbie. ## Old Toongabbie 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. ## Winston Hills 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 major 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. # Weather # Things to do Although Toongabbie is relatively densely settled, in recent years programmes of bushland regeneration, and pollution control in local waterways have improved the few and small pockets of vegetation in the suburb. 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 one kilometre section of Greystanes Creek has been channelised as part of a flood-mitigation project. Greystanes Creek often floods heavily during rainy days, sometimes overflowing onto Station Road.

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