Willoughby is a suburb located on the lower North Shore of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 8 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Willoughby.
The City of Willoughby takes its name from the suburb but its administrative centre is located in the adjacent suburb of Chatswood, which is the local area's major commercial centre.
There is some conjecture as to how Willoughby was named. Some historians believe it was named after a parish, while others believe that Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell decided to commemorate Sir James Willoughby Gordon whom he had served during the Peninsular War and was the quartermaster-general in England when the First Fleet sailed to Botany Bay.
Captain Arthur Phillip's search for "good land, well watered" led to the discovery and colonisation of the rough shores of Roseville Chase, where Samuel Bates built a farm at Echo Point.
Later developments included the building of the first post office in 1871 and the construction of Pommy Lodge in the same year. The latter—a small sandstone building in Penshurst Street—was originally the Congregational Church, which later changed premises. Laurel Bank Cottage, a single-storey home, was constructed in Penshurst Street in 1884. The cottage is now owned and run by the local Masonic Lodge as a function and conference facility.
Circa 1920, Telford Lane—between Fourth Avenue and Eastern Valley Way—was created and paved; the method used was the one pioneered by Thomas Telford in England in the nineteenth century. This lane is one of the few surviving examples of the Telford method in Sydney.
In 1934, the Willoughby incinerator was built in Small Street, after a design by Walter Burley Griffin. It has been described as "a particularly successful example of an industrial building integrating function with site." Like Telford Lane, the incinerator is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Willoughby has a number of small shops, restaurants and hotels and is also the News & Finance centre of the Nine Network television, under the callsign of TCN-9. Next to this site is the TXA TV tower which at 233 metres high is the tallest in Australia. There are several small groupings of shops, the majority of which are on Mowbray Road, Willoughby Road, Penshurst Street and High Street.
Bicentennial Reserve which includes Hallstrom Park, features a soccer field, T Ball & softball fields and a children's playground. Willoughby Leisure Centre features a 25m lap pool, spas, children's pool, swim school, gym, basketball courts, netball courts and baseball field. Flat Rock Gully, built on an old rubbish tip, is bushland with two walking tracks to Long Bay, following the creek line.
Artarmon is the nearest station for Willoughby's residents, on the western border of the suburb. Also a number of bus routes cover the area. It is close to St Leonards and Chatswood railway stations. The Gore Hill Freeway, a major arterial route into the Sydney CBD, runs along the southern border of Willoughby, with exit from the freeway from Reserve Road and entry from Reserve Road and Willoughby Road. Transport NSW Bus Routes include 272 Penshurst St - Wynyard (city) via Freeway, 343 Chatswood CBD - Kingsford via North Sydney, Martin Place (city) and Redfern, 257 Chatswood CBD - Balmoral Beach via Neutral Bay and 267 Chatswood CBD - Crows Nest via Castlecrag and Northbridge. M40 express buses also operate along Victoria Avenue, Penshurst Street and Willoughby Road, express via the freeway to the city then onto Bondi Junction.
In the 2016 Census, there were 6,540 people in Willoughby. 62.5% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 4.7%, China 3.4%, New Zealand 2.2% and Hong Kong 2.0%. 68.9% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 4.3%, Cantonese 4.1%, Armenian 2.2%, Japanese 2.1% and Italian 1.7%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 32.4%, Catholic 28.4% and Anglican 13.7%.
Willoughby is known for a large Armenian community, who arrived in the area in the 1960s-1970s. More Armenian families made their home there once an Armenian Apostolic Church was built on Macquarie Street, Chatswood, close to the border with Willoughby. Willoughby contains several Armenian Churches and Community Centres (Cultural Clubs). It is home to the first Armenian Saturday School which still operates on Saturdays at Willoughby Girls High.
Incinerator designed by Walter Burley Griffin (1934)
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