Have you ever wondered about the history of a particular area within the City of Canning?
Well, look no further as below you will find a brief overview of the history of each suburb within its municipality.
Bentley (8kms from CBD)
Bentley's Hill, a rise opposite the Boomerang Hotel at the corner of Walpole Street and Albany Highway, was the site for a convict camp during the building of Albany Road in the 1870s. John Bentley was the overseer of the convict group and it is also said that a man named Bentley took his life on this hill. In 1938, when the Nomenclature Committee Advisory Committee asked the Canning Road Board to suggest a name for the locality, Radium Park was offered but rejected. The accepted name of Bentley Park was based on information from local early settler families and park was deleted in 1956.
Cannington (12kms from CBD)
The suburb is the oldest in the municipality with many long-time residents, historical buildings and sites located in Cannington.
It is interesting to note when the railway was laid between Perth and Armadale, Cannington was the name of the local railway station. The initial settlement was around Mason's Landing with a secondary settlement growing to service the first. The secondary accompanying evolution incorporated market gardens and farming set up along the rich alluvial river flats.
The growth of the suburb and its importance today as a regional centre can be seen in the development of the City Centre and the location of the Council Administration and Civic Chambers.
East Cannington (14kms from CBD)
One of the early areas of Canning which was created when the Woodloes Estate was subdivided in the early part of the 20th Century. Woodloes was the home of Francis Bird of the Mason Bird Timber Company that cut timber in Carmel and transported their timber down a tramway which is roughly now Bickley Road to the Landing on the Canning River in Cannington. The company became defunct in the 1890s and the 500+ acres of Woodloes was subdivided. Woodloes house just upstream from the Landing is now the local museum.
The name of East Cannington originally stretched across into the Gosnells area. In 1948 the area within Gosnells was renamed Beckenham whilst the Canning portion retained the original name. East Cannington was officially recognised as a postal district in 1910 when the Post Master General agreed to allow Mrs Kelly’s premises opposite the Cannington railway station to be used as a post office and that it be known as “East Cannington”. Two mails were to be despatched daily, telephone installed and the sale of postage stamps and notes permitted. The area was semi-rural with poultry farms, dairies, strawberry growers and the like. A photo in a 1925 Western Mail pictorial spread of “Rural State School Children” shows some 120 children and was no doubt taken at the ‘new’ school that had opened in 1913.
Social life centred around a hall built in 1919 on the corner of Lacey St and Railway Parade in what is now known as Albion Park. The old timber hall, which was right on the boundary with the Gosnells area, was demolished in the late 1980s/ early 1990s.
Canning Vale (17kms from CBD)
Part of a dairy and rural district, Canning Vale was transferred from the Jandakot Road District to the Canning Road District on 20 July 1923. It is believed the name came from the property of William Nicholson, one of the first settlers in the area who owned a 1000 acre property named Canning Vale. The State Government announced plans for the Canning Vale Industrial estate in 1972 and a number of homes and local rural industries were affected by the proposal. The residential area then evolved from the mid-to-late 1980s with the development of a number of housing estates. It grew from mainly rural land one and two hectare lots to new subdivisions with block sizes of 650sqms to 700sqms. The residential estates set benchmarks for estate development across the metropolitan area. The City of Canning developed a large tract of land in Canning Vale, resulting in the Caladenia Grove Estate.
Ferndale (10kms from CBD)
Shearnstead was the name proposed by the Shire for this new subdivision in 1965 in honour of Mr Farnham Shearn the original grantee of Canning Location 314. However developers used the name Ferndale and this was adopted by the Shire in September 1965. In 1971, Plunkett Homes offered a pre-release of land in their new subdivision within Ferndale.
Leeming (16kms from CBD)
A small part of Leeming is located in the City of Canning. The suburb’s name commemorates George Waters Leeming, a surveyor who laid out the roads for the Jandakot Agricultural area in 1889 – the same year he married Maggie Sweeting, the second daughter of Canon Davies.
Life must have been good for him at that time as the previous year he had been temporarily appointed as Mining Surveyor for the Kimberley Goldfields district as well as holding 400 shares in the Phoenix Gold Mining and Prospecting Company which operated in the Yilgarn District.
The Jandakot Roads Board district was abolished in the early 1920s and divided up between Gosnells and Canning and the part containing this portion was amongst the area that came into Canning.
Lynwood (12kms from CBD)
When the area was being subdivided in the 1960s, the Shire proposed the name of Willetton. However developers, Realty Development Corporation (RDC) wanted the name Clovercrest Estate. Lynwood was finally agreed upon and the amendment approved on 31 December 1965. Extensive advertising was taken out by RDC selling Lynwood as where gracious living begins and the suburb was officially opened by Premier Hon David Brand in October 1965. It was planned to develop 1500 homes by 1972 with an expected population of more than 5000. In the 1970s local residents in Lynwood and Ferndale objected to the development of group housing being undertaken by RDC. The Progress Association likened the possible social problems of high-density cluster housing to those in high-rise developments. In the 1980s the area began to change, with an increase in older groups and a decline in the young. Most of the land use is single residential.
Parkwood (10kms from CBD)
Originally known as Lynwood, the area was developed under the estate name of Parkwood. Officially re-named in the 1990s, it was indicative of the modern development occurring from 1976 to 1986. The area is predominantly single housing with pockets of medium density housing.
Queens Park (10kms from CBD)
Originally known as Woodlupine, residents sought a name change following the horrific murder of a local girl Fairy Compton on 13 May 1911. The suburb then became known as Queens Park, after Queen Alexandra on 16 April 1912. The first local government municipality was formed under this name and was referred to in the early 1900s as the baby among the metropolitan municipalities. With emphasis on market gardens and nurseries, it "promised to become one of the horticultural adjuncts to (Perth City) and to afford the man tired of business care and worry, the opportunity to recuperate amidst pleasant surroundings." Over recent times, Queens Park has seen a quiet revival and with the advent of the revitalisation of the Maniana Precinct, the area shows promise of regaining its position as a local showcase.
Maniana The State Housing Commission suburb was given its name by the then Minister for Housing, the Hon H Graham in 1954. The Maniana Progress Association was very strong and their efforts included the transportation of a former RAAF building from Guildford to a site granted by the Housing Commission on the corner of George St. The building was used as a picture theatre and social hall. The association also carried out a tree planting program in the area. By 1959 it contained 300 houses and for many years was a thriving and energetic community. However, the area became badly run-down and in 1977 the Canning Town Council made representation to the Department of Social Security pinpointing social and environmental problems.
Today the new Quattro development is occurring on the site as part of a joint venture of the Department of Housing, Landstart, City of Canning and developers Peet Co.
Riverton (8kms from CBD)
It is not certain where the name originated from, however it is obvious that it comes from the proximity of the settlement to the river. In the early days, parts of Riverton were known as Muddy Reach and Burt's Paddock. In 1914, Riverton Estate Company advertised the whole of Riverton as subdivided lots open to returned soldiers after World War 1. However, most farming efforts failed miserably because there were no services and few lots were taken up. From the early Riverton Estate came a number of other localities, such as Rossmoyne, Shelley and Willetton.
Rossmoyne (10kms from CBD)
This small suburb tucked into the gentle curve of the Canning River was officially named Rossmoyne in August 1959 changing from West Riverton. However the name had been used for a road within the area by the Webb family. In the 1940s, half an acre could be bought for £50 in what is now considered to be Perth's garden suburb. Much of the area, developed from the late-1960s to the mid-1970s, is primarily single residential. Underground power, which has assisted in improving the local streetscape, is a feature of the suburb.
Shelley (9kms from CBD)
When Leach Highway divided the Riverton Estate in the 1970s the area alongside the Canning River was renamed Shelley. The suburb evolved following the reclamation of the river foreshore for development. A land sale in the Shelley Beach Estate in 1938 advertised blocks suitable for fruit, dairying and market gardening for £10 an acre. The tranquil riverfront suburb of Shelley satisfied a range of markets. Homes on the riverfront, in Rossmoyne and Shelley, rival those of Perth's most affluent suburbs, whilst closer to Leach Highway are homes that suit the average family. Medium density codings resulted in a unit construction boom in parts of Shelley in the 1980s, but this slowed when zoning changes were introduced in 1994.While parts of the suburb still have medium density codings, development must meet strict Council design guidelines.
In 1960, landowners who held blocks of river swamp agreed to a reclamation scheme initiated, financed and undertaken by the Shire of Canning. The highly-ambitious scheme saw the reclamation of 1.5 miles of foreshore between Corbel Street and Beatrice Ave, plus the resumption of 36 acres of privately-owned land. The Shire undertook the filling, road construction and resurvey, providing access to 80 river frontage lots between Zenith St and Fifth Ave. It also resulted in the beautiful Shelley Foreshore Reserve, one of the City's most picturesque parks. The dredge cut a new channel along the river, removing 400,000 cubic yards of river bed to fill the low-lying sections. The reclamation scheme transformed the area into highly desirable residential sites. Blocks on the river front, that fetched over £12,000 in 1971 are now worth well over one million dollars.
St James (6kms from CBD)
As part of the 5320 acres granted in 1842 to Samuel Bickley as Canning Location 2, St James was also part of the land acquired by James McDermott in 1930. In 1956 on behalf of the State Housing Commission, Canning Road Board constructed four miles of new roads in the area now known as St James.
The State Housing Commission built many homes in the area, which was named after a well-known Park in London. Streets were named after Prime Ministers and Members of Parliament.
Welshpool (8kms from CBD)
The name was used by the Railway Department for the siding established in 1898. A move was made by local residents in 1908 to rename the suburb Canterbury, however this was not successful. Around 1912 residents formed the Welshpool Mechanics Institute and to improve the local social life, a hall was built on Welshpool Road. The hall was not only a very popular place over the years, but also housed the first school. In the 1920s, industry began to move into the suburb and at the outbreak of WWII, 70 acres were acquired in Welshpool for the establishment of factories that supported the war effort. Following the war, the State Government took over the land and offered low rentals to encourage further industrialisation. A number of boundary adjustments occurred and in 1960, plans were announced for the Kewdale Marshalling Yards. Canning retains a portion of this now industrial suburb.
Willetton (13kms from CBD)
Another suburb that evolved from the Riverton Estate, Willetton derived its name from Henry Willett, who was assigned part of the original Canning Location 21.
Formerly small rural allotments, Willetton developed as a strong family suburb. In November 1964, Council proposed the name as Burtsville or Burtsdale after an early landowner, Septimus Burt. Willetton was proposed for the adjoining postal district and in late 1965, the Shire suggested Lynwood replace Willetton and Willetton replace Burtsville. This was officially approved on 31 December 1965. In September 1970 however, a 686 acre development within Willetton was released by the Dillingham Division of Silverton Transport and Development Underwriting The investment, in excess of $50 million, was one of the largest land and home displays of its type in Australia. It was to be named Burren-dah as the company believed Willetton was associated with light industry, but the name was not allowed. In the late 1970s, Canning Council and land-owners were involved in a $2 million coordinating development project of 45 hectares in Apsley-Collins Roads. This resulted in a large number of residential lots, sites for a school, a community centre, small shopping centre and public open space. The State Housing Commission released 32 blocks in 1982 with 18 sold immediately. In 1983, the State Government offered a $1000 discount to people purchasing SHC blocks and building on them within six months.
Wilson (9kms from CBD)
Five hundred and fifty acres of Canning Location 1 was granted to Peter Parker Smith in November 1829. Smith sold this land to George Stedman Watts in 1852 for £120. In 1897, the land was developed and sold as small garden lots by William Britnall and Richard Holmes. The land remained rural until the State Housing Commission resumed some of the land in 1954 for development. TM Burke Pty Ltd enlarged the suburb when it subdivided some adjoining land. Originally known as Beeloo, the suburb was re-named in 1958 following a petition by local residents. It was named after early resident and the first Mayor of the Queens Park Municipality, George Wilson. Between 1959 and 1964, more than 600 homes were built in Wilson. Many of the roads have been named after early settlers and soldiers who enlisted and lost their lives overseas.