Suburb Profile - Chatswood
Chatswood is a suburb on the North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 10 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district. It is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Willoughby. Chatswood West is a separate suburb.
Chatswood was named after Charlotte Harnett, wife of then Mayor of Willoughby, Richard Harnett (a pioneer of the district) and the original "wooded" nature of the area. The moniker derives from her nickname "Chattie" and was shortened from Chattie's Wood to Chatswood.
Residential settlement of Chatswood began in 1876 and grew with the installation of the North Shore railway line in 1890 and also increased with the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932.
Chatswood Post Office opened on 1 August 1879, closed in 1886 and reopened in 1887.
Chatswood is one of the North Shore’s major commercial and retail districts. The Australian headquarters of CSR Limited, Smith's Snackfood, Abigroup, Coffey, Pepsico and Carter Holt Harvey as well as offices of Nortel Networks, Optus, Lenovo, NEC, Leighton Holdings and Cisco Systems are located in Chatswood. A number of high-density residential towers are also located in Chatswood.
Chatswood has two major shopping centres, Chatswood Chase and Westfield Chatswood. There are also a few smaller shopping centres such as 'Lemon Grove' on the pedestrian mall and the 'Mandarin Centre' beside Westfield on the corner of Albert Avenue and Victor Street. 'Metro Chatswood' is a new shopping centre currently under construction above the Chatswood railway and bus interchange featuring retail, high rise office and apartment towers. The 'Interchange' was a small shopping centre and bus interchange built in the late 1980s which provided pedestrian access between the two halves of Victoria Avenue but was demolished to accommodate the construction of the Epping to Chatswood railway line and subsequently 'Metro Chatswood'.
'Chatswood Chase', completed in 1983, features a David Jones store, K Mart, Coles and 120 specialty stores, focusing on designer-label brands. 'Westfield Chatswood', owned and managed by The Westfield Group, originally opened on 30 January 1986 and was redeveloped in the late 1990s to incorporate a previously free-standing Grace Bros store. It now features a Myer department store, Target, Coles supermarket, Toys 'R' Us, JB Hi-Fi, Rebel Sport, Hoyts cinema complex, and 300 speciality stores. There is also a second Hoyts cinema complex in the 'Mandarin Centre'.
The Melody Markets are held each Thursday and Friday in Chatswood Mall, Victoria Avenue and feature food and craft stalls, and live music.
There are a number of Chinese (including Cantonese), Japanese and Korean restaurants and eateries. There are two hotels in Chatswood: The Mantra, near Chatswood railway station and The Sebel, near Westfield shopping centre. The Chatswood Club, located on Help Street adjacent to Pacific Highway, is a venue hall which caters to weddings, birthdays, cocktail parties, and other age-appropriate festivities.
Chatswood railway station is the junction of the Hornsby via Macquarie Park and Berowra via Gordon branches of the North Shore, Northern & Western Line of the Sydney Trains network. Rail services run south to the Sydney CBD and continue west to Strathfield and beyond. Rail services run north to Hornsby and peak hour services run to Gosford, Wyong and Newcastle. The station became a junction when the Epping to Chatswood railway line opened in 2009, connecting Chatswood to Epping.
Chatswood is a major bus terminus with services to Bondi Junction, Sydney, North Sydney, Mosman, Balmoral Beach, Manly, Warringah Mall/Brookvale, UTS Ku-ring-gai, Belrose, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Eastwood, Gladesville, West Ryde, North Ryde, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, Parramatta and Dundas. An interstate bus service between Sydney and Brisbane via the North Coast stops at Chatswood. Major roads through Chatswood include the Pacific Highway, Mowbray Road, Boundary Street, Willoughby Road and Eastern Valley Way and Victoria Avenue.The latter forms a pedestrian mall for the section running through the main retail area.
In the 2011 Australian census, the total population of Chatswood was 21,194 people; 10,068 (47%) were male and 11,126 (53%) were female. The number of residents born in Australia was 7,850. Of those born overseas, the most common countries were China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau ) (2,888), South Korea (1,642), Hong Kong (1,148), England (598), and Taiwan (526). The most common ancestry groups were Chinese (6,645), English (3,723), Australian (3,118), Korean (1,816), and Irish (1,258). 8,658 people speak only English at home and 12,536 speak other languages at home, the most common being Mandarin Chinese (2,957), Cantonese (2,710), Korean (1,761), and Japanese (604). The largest religious affiliation was Christianity (8,000); the most common included Catholicism (4,347), Anglicanism (2,211), Buddhism (1,601), and Presbyterianism and Reformed (899). 6,607 people were categorised as no religion.
The Willoughby Spring Festival is an annual event in Chatswood. The festival is the second-largest in Lower Northern Sydney and is intended as testimony to a modern, multicultural and prosperous Chatswood. For more information visit Spring Festival.
Willoughby Theatre Company (formerly Willoughby Musical Society) is based in Chatswood. It specialises in musical theatre. Chatswood Musical Society also performs musical theatre, but their events are staged in Pymble. The Zenith Theatre stages both musicals and drama.
The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra is based in Chatswood.
Two dance companies share the Dance and Music Centre.
A Chinese Cultural Centre has existed since 1996.
The Willoughby Historical Society runs the Willoughby Museum in Boronia, a Federation cottage in South Chatswood.
A new loss making cultural centre called The Concourse, Chatswood was commissioned by Willoughby Council in 2007 and was completed in 2011 at an ultimate expense of $300 million. It includes a 5,000sq m. library, a 1,000-seat concert hall, 500-seat theatre, exhibition spaces, commercial spaces, cafes and restaurants.
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