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Is Downer a nice suburb to live in?

By Tom_Jones - 21 February 2012 32

My wife and I (no kids) are thinking about moving to Downer but have little knowledge of the inner north.

Just wondering if there are any streets to avoid or any general comments on what life’s like living in Downer.

Thanks in advance – and please go easy, it’s my first post 🙂

TJ

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32 Responses to
Is Downer a nice suburb to live in?
kezzafezza 3:12 pm 21 Feb 12

I live in Downer, and its fantastic. I have previously also lived in Harrison and Giralang, and Downer is my favourite suburb. We live about 2 streets away from Northbourne, but we can hardly hear the traffic.
Summernats this year wasn’t too much of a problem, it was really noisy and I could smell the burning rubber on the first day, but for the remainder of the event I couldn’t hear it much. Eh, its only a few days of the year anyway.
Downer is beautiful, leafy and green. Its very, very quiet all the time, as most of the people that live around us and in our street are around 60 – 70 years old on average. The blocks are a fairly large size, and most have good old fashioned lawn for the backyard!
It will depend on where you move to, as there can be dodgy people anywhere, but on the street we live on, and all our surrounding neighbours, are fantastic. Within a day of moving in we had 4 separate neighbours come over to welcome us to the area. The old Italian guy next door has a huge organic veggie garden and is always giving us veggies (and homebrewed beer and grappa…).
The houses are all pretty old, but there are many (like ours) that have been fixed up on the inside so that they are far more modern.
There are still a few houso places, and we have one as a back neighbour but they are friendly and courteous and hopefully they stay!
Downer is a nice close walk to Dickson, but at the same time we don’t get all the weirdos in Downer that hang out around the Dickson shops.

Holden Caulfield 2:49 pm 21 Feb 12

astrojax said :

nah, downer’s crap. stay away… 🙂

as for the crime stats, comparing ainslie to watson, etc is one thing, but then mebbe check them against paddington or fitzroy or similar…

Yeah, good point, that’s actually very relevant for someone wanting to move house in Canberra.

astrojax 1:14 pm 21 Feb 12

nah, downer’s crap. stay away… 🙂

as for the crime stats, comparing ainslie to watson, etc is one thing, but then mebbe check them against paddington or fitzroy or similar…

sepi 1:06 pm 21 Feb 12

I actually would avoid parts of Reid, Braddon, turner and the bit of Ainslie close to Civic and Ainslie village, based on crime, but I wouldn’t avoid Downer.

XO_VSOP 12:57 pm 21 Feb 12

Better than evatt with bombs going off in yards and such.

BlackIce 12:28 pm 21 Feb 12

For those interested in the actual Crime Statistics, the AFP have a breakdown by region and suburb groups on their website.

dtc 12:06 pm 21 Feb 12

Chop71 said :

dtc said :

There are no inner north suburbs to avoid. Its not like some cities where the inner city is the ‘ghetto’ and the middle class live in the suburbs.

This has to be a joke right.

Check the crime statistics of Ainslie, Dickson, Downer and Watson and then tell me what you think.

According to the CT map the other day, the crime rate in Downer and Watson is equal to or less than the rate in most of Belconnen, Woden and Tuggeranong. Dickson is higher, but all commercial/bar areas are higher (and Ainslie is grouped in with Dickson, so not separately measured). So not sure of the basis for your comments.

And even if the rates were higher, you really think the actual number of crimes in these suburbs in any way makes them a ghetto or a suburb to avoid?

Skidd Marx 10:36 am 21 Feb 12

Charming suburb if you can put up with an older, slightly shittier house.

Buzz2600 9:53 am 21 Feb 12

I live in Downer and love it. There are lots of leafy, quiet streets in Downer. It’s close to Dickson (without being too close … assuming you won’t buy on Anthill Street). It’s also close to the sport fields and golf course on Northbourne Ave and within reasonable walking/cycling distance from Civic (about 3-4kms), Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie (about 1-2km) – not exactly on your door step but not far. I’d check your neighbours out – there are a few dodgey residents but not any more than any other suburb.

I’d avoid living too close to the old shopping centre in Downer. It’s currently closed down and looking very run down at the moment but there are plans in place to rejuvenate the area. This includes building 6 story apartment buildings etc. So, once they agree to it all (which could take ages – there’s been various plans for years) construction will be an issue for residents close by.

We were looking in Lyneham, Ainslie & Hackett areas & couldn’t find anything affordable but managed to find something in good condition in Downer. Downer is on the up!

sepi 9:51 am 21 Feb 12

It is lovely – nice quiet leafy streets, big oval, close to Dickson.

Downsides – it is flat as a tack, which is a little dull for walking or jogging etc, it has no local shops or school, and for the streets very close to EPIC the week of summernats can be very noisy. (Look at a map for this – it isn’t the Dickson end near northbourne that cops this, but the other end, in the streets that are normally very quiet.) Also it can be hard to get out of Downer at peak hour as there are no lights at the end of Melba st, and the other two exits from Downer are Swinden st onto Northbourne, or up onto the congested Phillip ave roundabout.

Secret upside – gardens in Downer go crazy. Anecdotally this is because it used to be the CSIRO agricultural area and they poured fertiliser around like there was no tomorrow. Or maybe it is just good soil in the shadow of Mt Ainslie.

Chop71 9:45 am 21 Feb 12

dtc said :

There are no inner north suburbs to avoid. Its not like some cities where the inner city is the ‘ghetto’ and the middle class live in the suburbs.

This has to be a joke right.

Check the crime statistics of Ainslie, Dickson, Downer and Watson and then tell me what you think.

Jim Jones 9:30 am 21 Feb 12

Great place to live!

KT67 9:29 am 21 Feb 12

I moved to the inner inner north (Turner) early last year from the outer edge of the Tuggeranong Valley. Its great.

marcothepolopony 9:24 am 21 Feb 12

It has pockets:
A few years ago a double murder and arson attack attracted attention to Downer. This may or may not have been drug related.
It is noisy if you live near Phillip Avenue or Northbourne – as the motor bikes scream along these avenues, and smelly at Summer Nats time with the burn outs happening over the road.
Lots of ex-government homes on large flat block, ripe for redevelopment. 7/10.

dtc 9:23 am 21 Feb 12

There are no inner north suburbs to avoid. Its not like some cities where the inner city is the ‘ghetto’ and the middle class live in the suburbs. All of Canberra is ‘the suburbs’ (well, apart from a very few public housing areas which no private renter could be looking at anyway).

Downer is in the process of being the next ‘it’ suburb, I reckon – 15 yrs ago it was Ainslie, then Dickson and its now Downer. Which means lots of unrenovated houses (1970s? built), quite a few renovated and a growing number of re-built.

Close to Dickson shops, which has supermarkets, library etc and close to ‘China town’ and a multitude of restaurants. Plus all the major fast food franchises all within easy waddling distance of each other.

Not sure about public transport, depends exactly were you live.

The Downer associations motto used to be ‘things are looking up in Downer’.

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