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Inner North like Melbourne… Inner South like Sydney?

By 8 April 2009 39

Just a wild thought that came into my head as the cold woke me this morning…

It seemed at the time that the character of the Inner North has a lot in common with Melbourne (sans the football devotion), while Canberra’s Inner South is a lot like Sydney (shallower, meaner, but much more wealthy).

The outer suburbs on the other hand could be outer suburbs anywhere at all, with the possible exception of Belconnen which feels like it’s on the threshold of developing some character… A bit like Brisbane perhaps?

Thoughts? Go right ahead and shoot the argument down, or offer a counter-theory

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39 Responses to Inner North like Melbourne… Inner South like Sydney?
#1
Woody Mann-Caruso8:32 am, 08 Apr 09

Agree a lot with the Sydney / Melbourne thing, less so with the Brisbane bit – you need endless rolling hills topped with heritage Queenslanders painted garish colours and jacarandas to get even close. Kingston reminds me of the East Parade / Haigh Park in Perth. Many of our suburbs feel like Adelaide – boring brown brick, dead lawns, bogans up to your armpits.

#2
PBO8:36 am, 08 Apr 09

Oddly enough, I have to agree.

#3
old canberran8:46 am, 08 Apr 09

It’s not really surprising that the inner North could be regarded as similar to Melbourne. Back in the early 60′s there was a huge migration of Melbourne pubes to Canberra and most of them ended up in guvvy houses in the then northern burbs of Dickson, Watson, Hackett and Downer. Most were Defence personnel both military and civil.
They also brought their bad driving habits with them.

South Canberra especially Forrest, Deakin and Yarralumla have always been upper middle class and rich.

#4
smilesr8:48 am, 08 Apr 09

What’s Melbournish about the inner north?

#5
emd9:17 am, 08 Apr 09

I don’t see that much similarity between Canberra and anywhere else.
Melbourne is quite a varied city – Fitzroy and St Kilda are vastly different to each other. Anyone else remember the first series of Secret Life of Us?
The new Canberra Centre reminds me a bit of the multi-block Myer complex in Melbourne, but could just as easily remind me of the multi-block DJ’s in Sydney.

My only experience of inner Sydney is a few months living on Macleay St in Kings Cross, and it bears no resemblance to Yarralumla. Don’t see much similarity between Darling Harbour or Glebe and anything inner South in Canberra, either.

I actually like that Canberra doesn’t remind me much of anywhere else. It’s a city all its own, with its own culture and style. It’s just that its style is still developing because it’s such a young city by comparison.

#6
Holden Caulfield9:27 am, 08 Apr 09

I live in the inner north, and there’s nothing lacking in my football devotion! :)

#7
Holden Caulfield9:29 am, 08 Apr 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

…Many of our suburbs feel like Adelaide – boring brown brick, dead lawns, bogans up to your armpits.

Our kerbs have the wrong profile, and, of course, no Stobie Poles. We have different birdlife in Canberra, too. Nothing like Adelaide really, haha.

#8
seekay9:44 am, 08 Apr 09

Hahahahahahahahaha!

There is a nasty series of suburbs towards Adelaide’s northern called Elizabeth, a New Town style satellite city built in the fifties and sixties to accommodate Pommy migrants. As you might imagine, it is nothing but a run down public housing and welfare ghetto and large scale display of discredited planning policies nowadays. The Snowtown bodies in the barrels killers and their victims were all typical locals.

Other than a few blocks of Griffith, Forrest, Kingston, Red Hill, Deakin, Yarralumla and Reid virtually all of Canberra is just like Elizabeth – not Sydney. Nor Melbourne.

#9
seekay9:44 am, 08 Apr 09

Er… that’s “Adelaide’s northern fringe”, folks.

#10
johnboy9:49 am, 08 Apr 09

C’mon CK you’ve been in town 5 minutes ands till don’t know where to get a decent kebab north of the lake.

Best come on the next bicycle bar crawl and learn to appreciate the inner north.

#11
Furry Jesus9:59 am, 08 Apr 09

Elizabeth was built to provide cheap accommodation for factory workers, many of whom came from the UK.

Most South Australians would deny that Elizabeth is part of Adelaide. I do, and half my dad’s family lived there, but we all denied that they were really part of our family, so there’s a pattern there…

I really struggle to understand why people from the eastern states feel this compulsion to constantly dump on Adelaide. It has a beautiful architectural heritage – certainly the old bluestone cottages more than make up for the many plain brick atrocities which can be seen in other cities too – Sydney has some particularly ugly parts which no-one ever seems to acknowledge.

Maybe it says more about where you stay and who you stay with when you’re there.

#12
jessieduck10:12 am, 08 Apr 09

I love Adelaide and if I can convince the hubby to pack up and move there I will!

#13
Pommy bastard10:37 am, 08 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

character of the Inner North has a lot in common with Melbourne

It’s not that boring John?

#14
G-Fresh10:50 am, 08 Apr 09

PML not comparable shagger

#15
Feathergirl11:00 am, 08 Apr 09

Canberra is our own beautiful Canberra and no comparison to any other city I’ve ever been too. It has it’s own delicious flavour of pine forest, firework smoke and public servant handbags. Overall the people of Canberra are friendly folk, maybe a little shy, but big hugs to you all. Any international cities you guys could compare Canberra too? Funny enough I think Canberrrans may be slightly like Canadians???

#16
Cletus 211:48 am, 08 Apr 09

I’m not that worldly, but I reckon Ottawa reminds me a lot of Canberra. So it’s funny you think there is a Canadian link too.

I don’t know about inner south being shallower and meaner. I guess if you don’t know an area very well then it can seem shallower than it is. Inner north has more “cool” little bars and stuff, so in that respect it is probably more suitable for a drinker to meet people and feel at home (and maybe remind them of Melbourne).

#17
p112:21 pm, 08 Apr 09

I’m not that worldly, but I reckon Ottawa reminds me a lot of Canberra

Yeah, I agree with a certain similarity. I’ve only been there in summer, so the climate wasn’t too far off, and there is the whole Capital thing, with lots random tourists walking around staring at stuff.

#18
Hells_Bells7412:29 pm, 08 Apr 09

Well put Feathergirl.

I like your take on it too Cletus.

#19
toriness1:20 pm, 08 Apr 09

this theory explains why i always planned (during teenage years/uni) to move to melbourne, and yet through circumstances moved to canberra instead and have always lived in inner north and can’t contemplate living anywhere else in the berra!

#20
Pommy bastard1:23 pm, 08 Apr 09

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

#21
youami3:00 pm, 08 Apr 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

…Many of our suburbs feel like Adelaide – boring brown brick, dead lawns, bogans up to your armpits.

Our kerbs have the wrong profile, and, of course, no Stobie Poles. We have different birdlife in Canberra, too. Nothing like Adelaide really, haha.

Canberra does have the red dirt in the middle of traffic islands and lots of Commodores.

#22
youami3:01 pm, 08 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

I have been there and it is bit like Elizabeth or Tuggeranong, very similar satellite approach that doesn’t actually work.

#23
harvyk13:09 pm, 08 Apr 09

I don’t think you could compare Canberra to any other capital city in Australia. Having recently been to all of them (except for Hobart) each one has it’s own unique feel that is unmistakable.

I’m still finding it interesting that the Canberra Center seems to have advertising on the side of it’s buildings. I thought such things was illegal (and thus the basis for our lack of billboards)

#24
deezagood3:52 pm, 08 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

Anyone here been to Milton Keynes?

Canberra (around the city areas) does remind of Milton Keynes – in that it is a well organised, planned cityscape … but perhaps slightly sterile in parts. And I love living in Canberra and plan to stay forever and ever … so don’t bash me for being anti-Canberran.

Sorry JB … but I have to disagree with most of your OP though; I feel that it is a stretch to liken Canberra (or parts of Canberra) to any other city in Australia … it is quite unique … The thing I find most fascinating in Canberra is that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ streets in the same suburbs … and sometimes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ houses in the same street – where in other cities, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ suburbs. I’m still not sure if I think the Canberra approach is preferable.

#25
wednesday3:57 pm, 08 Apr 09

+1 jessieduck

#26
Holden Caulfield4:12 pm, 08 Apr 09

deezagood said :

…The thing I find most fascinating in Canberra is that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ streets in the same suburbs … and sometimes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ houses in the same street.

I agree. You tend to get this more so in the inner suburbs. Our immediate neighbours are all pretty good, but our street has quite a few dodgy looking enclaves (for want of a better term).

#27
peterh4:21 pm, 08 Apr 09

seekay said :

Hahahahahahahahaha!

There is a nasty series of suburbs towards Adelaide’s northern called Elizabeth, a New Town style satellite city built in the fifties and sixties to accommodate Pommy migrants. As you might imagine, it is nothing but a run down public housing and welfare ghetto and large scale display of discredited planning policies nowadays. The Snowtown bodies in the barrels killers and their victims were all typical locals.

Other than a few blocks of Griffith, Forrest, Kingston, Red Hill, Deakin, Yarralumla and Reid virtually all of Canberra is just like Elizabeth – not Sydney. Nor Melbourne.

right. jimmy barnes comes from elizabeth, as do I. “it is nothing but a run down public housing and welfare ghetto and large scale display of discredited planning policies nowadays.” and when were you last there? I find that the numbers of “ghettos” in adelaide aren’t confined to elizabeth, there is salisbury, woodville, port adelaide, etc, etc. Now these “bad areas” are paying top dollar when the residents sell their houses. Saw a mate’s place in elizabeth go for 480K only a week ago. funny thing, if it is a slum as you suggest, why are the houses in such high demand?

canberra is not somewhere to compare adelaide, sydney, melbourne or brisbane to. the canberra environment is broken into 2 distinct cultures, northsiders and southsiders. The lake is the boundary. Canberrans all hibernate for winter, no-one seems to go out in winter. If you do,you are a new canberran, or a tourist.

back in the ’80s, charnwood, spence, fraser were the slums of the north, now the properties there are fetching higher prices due to their proximity to dunlop, gungahlin and the mall.

and referencing snowtown killers as typical residents? my granny would be very impressed to be called a killer, I don’t think!

#28
astrojax5:02 pm, 08 Apr 09

inner north canberra is a lot like wagga wagga and inner south more like dubbo. or is it all a lot like washington d.c.? or brasilia?

frankly, i get the melbourne reference, as old canberran points out that parliament shifted from there to here, so similarities are not unexpected. not sure lake b.g. is anything like the harbour, though, to stretch to a sydney reference – just ‘less like melbourne’ does not automatically make it sydney.

#29
rosebud5:48 pm, 08 Apr 09

By Inner North, do you mean Wakefield Ave to Civic? North of that could be anywhere’sville. Sometimes, I can almost see the trams trundling down Majura Ave. They SHOULD have done it way back then. It would have certainly made this city more liveable/bearable.

#30
grunge_hippy5:57 pm, 08 Apr 09

i lived in ottawa for 3 years and yes, i would agree it is similar to here. other similiarities include crappy public transport (ottawa slightly better)

but both great places to live! i would go back to ottawa in a heartbeat.

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