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Croydon (together with adjoining West Croydon) is an inner north-western suburb of Adelaide, situated approximately 3-5km from the western edge of the CBD. It is located within the City of Charles Sturt.

 

History

The Village of Croydon was laid out in 1855, comprising the 40 acre Croydon Farm and was most likely named after Croydon, England based on the birthplace of one of the original land owners, Philip Levi.

 

Demographic

Historically, the area has been populated by Greek and Italian migrants, however in recent years the suburb has grown considerably in popularity and is undergoing a period of change where younger couples and families are buying and renovating properties in the area. According to the previous ABS census data, the suburb comprised 65% native-born Australians and 15% European-born residents (this is reflected in figures showing that 6% of residents speak Italian and 8% speak Greek). The majority (75%) of houses are owner occupied, with 25% being rented. Detached dwellings form 83% of housing stock, semi-detached 6% and units only 3%.

 

Housing

Croydon and West Croydon are predominantly heritage suburbs with only a few new dwellings. The most common house styles are late 1800s-early 1900s Federation cottages and 1920s-1930s bungalows (a particular housing style in SA, not to be confused with the generic UK term for a single-storey house). Some particularly grand examples exist along the railway corridor of Euston Terrace/Day Terrace.

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A 1900s Federation-style house

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A 1920s/30s bungalow

To the west of Rosetta Street (i.e. the western side of West Croydon), more 1940s and 1950s dwellings exist, many in the Spanish Mission or Art Deco styles.

The median house price as of April 2017 is $559,000 and the median weekly rent is $420.

The majority of houses in the area are set on large (700sqm) blocks, with good-sized back yards. The area has commonly been known for its ‘market gardens’ so fruit trees, veggie patches and backyard chooks are very common. The area is rapidly gentrifying and many houses have been renovated, although period features and frontages are usually retained (many properties are local heritage-listed). Large rear extensions with open plan living and outdoor entertaining areas are quite common, as people take advantage of the block sizes in order to extend. There are still a few ‘fixer-uppers’ to be found if you fancy a project.

 

Shopping, & eating

Unlike many suburbs, Croydon has a bustling ‘village centre’ - the Queen Street/Elizabeth Street area. This popular shopping and eating precinct boasts:

Red Door Bakery – award winning pies, cakes and all manner of baked goods. Coffees, teas, croissants - the works.

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http://www.reddoorbakery.com.au/

 

La Lorientaise Crêperie – by far the best crêpes (sweet and savory) I have ever tasted.

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https://www.facebook.com/LaLorientaiseCreperie/

http://citymag.indaily.com.au/habits/plate-and-cup/introducing-la-lorientaise-creperie/

 

Croydon Social – family friendly dining where everything is cooked in a wood-fired oven. Fantastic pizzas and always a great range of craft beers.

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https://www.facebook.com/CroydonSocial2016/

http://citymag.indaily.com.au/habits/plate-and-cup/first-look-croydon-social/

 

Queen Street Café – friendly and popular café for breakfasts and lunches

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https://www.broadsheet.com.au/adelaide/cafes/queen-street-cafe

 

Hype and Seek – vintage, industrial and mid-century furniture and clothing store

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http://www.hypeandseek.com.au/

 

Plus…

Azalia Boutique – women’s clothing store

One Small Room –mid-century furniture plus jewellery, cards and books.

Oscar and Willow - homewares

Queen St Pilates Studio

Curious Orange Hairdressers

Palladeum Hair

Brooklan Tree Organic Skin and Beauty

 

West Croydon also has a growing shopping and eating precinct on Rosetta Street - currently featuring The Bruncherie Cafe, two hairdressers and Pineapple Vintage retro clothing store - https://www.facebook.com/pineapplevintageretro/.

For the big weekly shop, Welland Plaza is within easy walking distance just across Port Road. Here you’ll find a mid-sized Coles, a Post Office, Sushi Train, Dan Murphy’s liquor store, a great independent fruit and veg shop, pharmacy, café, two bakeries, butchers, newsagents, book shop, noodle bar and even a DVD rental place.

A 5 minute drive along South Road is the new Brickworks shopping centre. Here there’s a mammoth new Woolworths supermarket as well as a Big W, another fruit and veg place, an EB Games and various other stores and cafes.

 

Parks and Schools

In the heart of Croydon, next to the Queen Street shops and cafes is a ‘village green’ complete with grassed and landscaped park area, toilets, basketball court, BBQ and picnic area and a very cute train-themed kiddies playground.

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Grab a cup of coffee from Queen Street and join the other families in the park area, whilst the little ones play on the equipment and wave at trains as they pull into the adjacent station. As well as this, there are various parks dotted throughout the suburb, most with play equipment – you’re not going to be more than a 5 minute walk from a park wherever in Croydon/West Croydon you live. Additionally, the whole suburb is zoned 40km/h, making it very family-friendly.

Kilkenny Primary School is located in West Croydon (http://www.kilkennyc7.sa.edu.au/) whilst several other unzoned primary schools exist in nearby suburbs. The suburb is zoned for Woodville High School (http://www.woodvillehigh.sa.edu.au/) - two train stops west from West Croydon station.

KilkennyPrimary.png.8af030a05dd6dcdd65c27cdc5cb5efba.png

 

 

Transport

The suburb has great transport links including:

Trains: The suburbs are serviced by two train stations only 1.6km apart. Trains to the CBD run every 15 minutes and journey times are 7 minutes and 8 minutes from Croydon and West Croydon stations respectively. Trains home from the CBD run until after midnight. Due to the short distance, trips between Croydon Station and the CBD are approximately half the price of a standard ticket ($1.92 as of April 2017). In the opposite direction, trains run to the cruise ship terminal at Outer Harbor, via the historic city of Port Adelaide and the bustling beach-side town of Semaphore, or via a spur to Grange with its quiet beach and pleasant 2km walk to the busier Henley beach.

Trains.png.f2405aa4f05e92499c795e3e1289abac.png

 

Trams: The nearest tram stop is at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, a 10-15 minute walk along Port Road from Queen Street in Croydon. The tram line runs past the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the UniSA City West Campus and the footbridge to Adelaide Oval. Trams are free all the way to the southern edge of the CBD, but continue on to the beach-side suburb of Glenelg thereafter. Due to be completed by 2018, the North Terrace tram line extension will add an additional spur to the free service – this will run past the University of Adelaide campus to the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site and the Botanic Gardens. Frequency of trams is approximately every 10 minutes in peak hour.

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Buses: Multiple and regular buses run along Port Road and Torrens Road, providing direct access to the CBD.

 

Cycling: The suburb is perfectly placed for commuting to the CBD by bike – a trip takes approximately 15-20 minutes at an average pace, with the route predominantly on cycle paths through the Parklands and along the River Torrens. A dedicated cycle path between Queen Street in Croydon and the Parklands on the edge of the CBD is currently under construction with the first phase due for completion in mid-2017 and the second phase by the end of 2018. Once completed, it will be possible to cycle between Croydon and the CBD, through the parklands without riding on a road. The cycle path will also provide a direct 5-10 minute connection to the expanding community of Bowden with its bars, eateries, markets and shops.

Bowden.png.e61237371cbbdbfe1d6263266101567a.png

In the opposite direction, a cycling greenway (a route through quiet back streets) runs all the way to Outer Harbor.

 

Driving: The CBD is a 10-20 minute (traffic depending) trip by car along Port Road. The beaches at Grange/Henley Beach are a 15 minute drive by car. From Port Road, access to the north-south freeway (current stage to be completed by the end of 2018) will provide very easy access to the Barossa Valley wine region to the north. Once the southern stages are completed at a later date, access to McLaren Vale in the south will be equally easy.

 

Community

Croydon/West Croydon has a great, slightly arty community atmosphere. This is not only evident through the number of families seen walking and cycling through the suburb but in the many painted stobie poles (power line poles), mosaic pots and benches and other street art that adorns the area. Very active community groups looks after the gardens at Croydon and West Croydon stations and various artworks such as knitted flowers and home-made butterflies often grace the fences at Croydon Station. On several occasions in recent years, Queen Street/Elizabeth street has been closed for community street parties and events.

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Due to the high number of productive gardens in the area, there are regular fruit and veg swap meetings where apples can be traded for peaches and so forth. The West Croydon & Kilkenny RSL on Rosetta Street is open to the public every day and hosts a well-attended ANZAC Day dawn ceremony annually. In summer the RSL runs a weekly ‘night owls’ lawn bowls evening, beginners are welcome.


 

All in all I’ve loved living in Croydon for the past two years. It has the type of ‘village’ feel that can sometimes be missing from Australian suburbs, and is immensely walkable. If there was a suburb in Adelaide in which you could live quite happily without being dependent on a car, this is it. Worth a look if this sounds like what you are looking for.

 

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Good old Croydon featured in Real Living Magazine last month. Technically I think the article coveres the whole Croydon area (including Croydon park etc) but it gives a good overview of the area from a resident's perspective.

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