LeichhardtLocation: Inner Suburbs
If you love all things Italian from handmade pasta, freshly ground coffee, and seasonal gelati to stylish shoes, then Leichhardt is the place for you. Leichhardt's Norton Street is to Sydney what Carlton's Lygon Street is the Melbourne Litle Italy . Norton Street is lined with delis, cafes and cake shops. Casual dining is the focus here at cafes such as Bar Italia, Bar Sport and Berkelouw.
Since the middle of the 20th century, Leichhardt has been a centre for the Italian community, reflected in the many Italian-owned businesses in the area. Although it has become less distinctively Italian of late, its Italian character is still palpable, particularly in the popular restaurants and cafes of its main street, Norton Street. The community has a wealth of social and cultural organisations located in Leichhardt, and work is underway everyday to develop the Italian Forum Cultural Centre. Co.As.It. is one of them and they provide a range of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to enhance the quality of life of the community and to promote the Italian language and culture in New South Wales.
Leichhardt is the yearly host of the Italian Festa on Norton Street where local traffic is temporarily closed on Norton and neighbouring streets transforming surroundings into a huge European style outdoor cafe, celebrating Leichhardt's cultural diversity with an International Food Fair, gift stalls, community expos and live entertainment throughout the day. Leichhardt is also known for its cafe culture with cafes in abundance. The oldest cafe in the area is Caffe Sport, which is located on Norton Street.
Leichhardt is also home to many creative industry workers and is known for its colourful and inventive mural art, such as the panorama at the Renwick Lane and at the Hawthorne Canal Railway Underpass. Leichhardt has access to many art and cultural organisations. Commercial galleries are found throughout the area and Boomali Gallery, the Aboriginal Arts Organisation is situated in Flood Street in Leichhardt.
Leichhardt Organic Food and Farmers Market
Orange Grove Public School, Perry St/Balmain Rd, Lilyfield
Trading: Every Saturday 8am 1pm
Type: Art & Craft, Artisans, Vintage/Retro, Farmers, Produce, Organic, Fashion, *Wheel Chair Friendly, Food
Phone: (02) 9999 2226
Sydney Style Markets
The Italian Forum, 23 Norton Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040, Australia
Trading: 3rd Sunday of the month 3.30pm 8.30pm
Type: Artisans, Designers, Fashion
One of Leichhardt s most popular parks - Pioneer's Memorial Park - was the final resting place for over 10,000 people. In the 1860s a group of five people formed the Balmain Cemetery Company. The company purchased land on the corner of Norton and William Streets, Leichhardt and the land was subdivided into small plots and sold as grave sites. In 1886 the area was transferred to the Leichhardt Municipal Council. The Balmain Cemetery covered 11 acres and by 1912 contained 10 608 graves. The first recorded burial was that of Henry Guttridge, aged 45, on 26 January 1868. The last recorded burial was that of George Holley, aged 79, on 7 May 1912. The majority of burials took place before December 1908.
In 1918 the Commonwealth Government strongly advocated the conversion of the cemetery into a recreation area, but this was opposed by the State Government as the cost of removing the bodies was a particular concern. Over the next 20 years several other unsuccessful attempts were made to convert the area and during this time the cemetery was neglected and the condition of the existing headstones deteriorated. In 1941 the Cemetery was dedicated as a public park. 14 tombstones were removed to Camperdown Cemetery, two moved to Ebenezer Presbyterian Churchyard, and two to St Barnabas Church ground, Broadway, Sydney. Others were used as monuments or for stone walls and the levelling of the park. Conversion commenced in 1942 and the park was called Pioneer s Memorial Park, dedicated to the pioneers of Leichhardt. In 1949 the War Memorial which stood at the corner of Marion and Norton Streets was re-erected in the park as a monument to the soldiers killed during both World Wars.
Included among the graves in Balmain Cemetery were those of Edmund Blacket, architect, and his wife Sarah. Their tombstone was moved to Camperdown Cemetery. At this time the tombstone of the merchant and politician who the City of Townsville was named after, Robert Towns, was moved to Townsville. Also buried in Balmain Cemetery were the architect Ferdinand Hamilton Reuss, the merchant William Salmon Deloitte, and Captain Thomas Stephenson Rowntree.
Close to the Johnson's Creek Aqueduct, the White's creek Aqueduct was one of the first major reinforced concrete structures to be built in Australia. An original key component of the upstream extension of the Main Northern Sewer), it presently carries the sewage derived from the Balmain/ Annandale areas across White's Creek on its journey to the ocean at Bondi. These 1896 Aqueducts were the first structures in Australia to incorporate reinforced concrete using the Monier Patent. They were designed by W. Blatzer to carry the northern main sewer across Johnston s and White s Creeks. This new form of construction was investigated by Royal Commission and the contractor.
Whites Creek Aqueduct, Piper Street, Leichhardt
What we today know as Leichhardt was once the area inhabited by the Wangal band of the Dharug (Eora) language group. The 'Eora people' was the name given to coastal Aborigines around Sydney - Eora means from this place - local Aboriginal people used this word to describe to Europeans where they came from, and in time the term became used to define Aboriginal people themselves. How long the Wangal had lived around Leichhardt is unknown, but we do know that the Dharug were living in the Sydney area for at least 10,000 years before British Settlement in 1788.
European settlement had a disastrous impact on the local Aboriginal people. In the early days of the colony this was mainly due to depletion of local food stocks and the advent of introduced diseases such as measles, possibly chicken pox, venereal disease and smallpox, to which the Aboriginal population had no genetic immunity. In April 1789, however, a catastrophic epidemic of smallpox (or possibly chicken pox) spread through the Eora people and surrounding groups, with the result that local Aborigines died in their hundreds. Governor Phillip estimated that it resulted in the death of 50 percent of the local Aboriginal community. By the time white settlers entered the area, only a few Aborigines lived in the area now known as Leichhardt. Early British settlers Hugh and John Piper had a number of large land grants here between them. Hugh established the Piperston estate which was bought in 1846 by Walter Beames, a friend of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. Beames assisted Leichhardt with provisions for his explorations. He changed the name of Piperston to Leichhardt after his friend. Leichhardt was one of the first growth areas of Sydney resulting from the gold rush of the 1850s. As the miners drifted back to Sydney, they sought land upon which to build their homes in what were then the outskirts of Sydney. Due to the influx of people, tram services were commenced, which in turn encouraged further development. The southern part of Leichhardt around Parramatta Road was once part of Petersham. The Municipality of Leichhardt was established in 1871. The name recalls German explorer Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848) who disappeared without trace during an exploratory journey across Australia.