Just past the Parliamentary Triangle is the leafy inner south suburb of Kingston, one of the ACT’s oldest suburbs with a brand new development at the Foreshore as well as sparkling apartments going up just about every couple of months.
This suburb was named after Charles Kingston, Premier of South Australia from 1893-99 and was the Minister for Trade and Customs in the very first Commonwealth Government. Kingston was gazetted on 20 September 1928.
Unlike the other suburbs I’ve covered in this regular series, houses make up only 7 per cent of Kingston’s dwellings. Apartments are a huge 83.8 per cent with townhouses coming in at 7.2 per cent. The median property price is $529,000 – no doubt boosted with all the new flashy apartments and penthouses on the Foreshore. Back in the year 2000, the median property price was around $218,000. Back in 2007, 27/9 Jardine Street went for a cool $3.4 million. The majority of properties in the top 50 Kingston sales have street addresses for Eastlake Parade and Trevillian Quay – both from the Foreshore.
The annual income for families with children is around $171,000 with 78.9 per cent of residents in full-time employment.
Kingston has two sets of shops – the ‘old shops’ in the Kennedy Street/Jardine Street/Giles Street area, which is home to an IGA, a chemist, a library, a heap of restaurants and cafes, a couple of pubs and bars, as well as a pole dancing studio, CrossFit facilities, and a Bikram Yoga room. It will soon feature a new supermarket opposite Green Square (where the carpark and old service station is). I believe it’s either going to be a Supabarn or an Aldi.
Then there’s the ‘new shops’ aka the Foreshore. This is mainly comprised of eateries, including a Max Brenner, although there is a little grocery store and a hairdresser down the end. Across the road from the Foreshore is the Old Bus Depot Markets and the Glassworks which is also home to the land of deliciousness: Brodburger.
Kingston has a pre-school, but the closest primary and high schools are St Benedict’s Primary in Narrabundah and St Edmunds and St Clare’s in Griffith for high schools.
There’s one playground on the Kingston side of Telopea Park and it’s pretty good. It has one of those squishy rubber floor to soften the fall of any little ones.
A bit of Kingston trivia: the funeral parlour next door to the service station on Canberra Avenue has a small top window. This window was used by ASIO during the Cold War to spy on the Russian Embassy on the other side of the road! The Kingston Hotel, also close by, was (and kind of still is) a meeting place for Federal politicians. A very famous photo of Arthur Calwell and Gough Whitlam was taken outside the Kingston Hotel in 1963 while the executive of the ALP were meeting. You can read the full story here.
I first moved to Kingston at the start of 2012, and left two years later in 2014. The owner of my apartment was selling up, so it was a regrettable move for me. I miss it a lot. It’s a really lovely area and I’d definitely move back. I went for a drive through recently and there’s about 5 or 6 really old houses that are mid-way through being demolished, no doubt to make way for some new apartment complexes. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Old houses have so much history and character, it seems like such a shame to knock them down.
The only thing I dislike about Kingston is the width of some of the streets – it makes traffic flow a little difficult when there’s cars parked on both sides but all in all, it’s not a huge problem.
Streets are named after: Explorers, local pioneers and Australian flora
Federal Electorate: Canberra
Federal MP: Gai Brodtmann
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population breakdown: 48.8 per cent male, 51.2 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.4
Crime: 265 incidents in 2014 to date (not including parking infringements)
What do you think of Kingston? Have you ever lived there?