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Historic Landmarks

Discover the stories behind our historic landmarks.

Learn about Canning's Suburbs.

  • The original ‘Kent Street Weir’ was constructed from sand bags in 1911, and aimed to stop salt water from affecting agricultural land upstream. A more permanent weir was not completed until 1927 and has since undergone numerous changes to its design and function. The 1927 structure was designed by the Public Works Engineer.
  • The weir was a popular recreational spot in the years between the World Wars, providing deep water pools for swimming and good fishing spots. By October 1932, the weir was not performing as planned - salt water was getting above the weir at certain times of the year. A new weir was completed by June 1940, providing a much more substantial and efficient lock. By the early 1960s other previously popular swimming places in the river had deteriorated, and the pool at the weir became one of only a few public swimming facilities in the district.
  • In the summer of 1960/61, Kent Street Weir was showing signs of failure and major works to upgrade the weir were completed the following year. Further improvements were made in 1989, which included a timber bridge allowing access to both sides of the river and linking with the cycleway system through the regional park. A new weir was constructed in 2017.
  • Katherine Mary Clutterbuck, an Anglican nun who was known as Sister Kate, pioneered a cottage home system for looking after orphaned children in Western Australia. She became famous for her work with Aboriginal children taken from their families, later described as the Stolen Generation. In 1934, at the age of 74, Sister Kate opened a home on Treasure Road – a cottage named “Myola” which housed 10 school-aged children. Two more cottages were added within a few years, and the home continued to expand over the years.
  • The Chapel of the Guardian Angel at Sister Kate’s was built in 1937. It was reportedly a personal gift to Sister Kate from Jack Crossland (a Corrigin farmer) who also donated the land to her. The chapel was also designed by architects Parry and Clifton. It is now listed on the State Heritage Register.
  •  Sister Kate died in 1946 at the age of 86. Her colleague, Ruth Lefroy, continued as Superintendent Matron until her death in 1953. Her will made provision to donate the home to the Presbyterian Church.
  • By the mid 1980s, the home was still in operation for children needing care and also as a hostel for rural Aboriginal students. In 1988, the home’s name was changed to Manguri and it was administered by an Aboriginal Consultative Committee. The home was forced to close in 2002 due to financial difficulties. Notable residents of Sister Kate’s : Ken Colbung, Polly Farmer, Sue Gordon and Rob Riley. The site of Sister Kate's home in Queens Park now provides aged-care accommodation for former home residents and their descendants.
  • ​Woodloes Homestead was built by the architect Francis Bird in 1871 as his family home. It is the oldest building in Canning and one of the earliest architect-designed homes in the Swan River Colony.
  • Bird sold Woodloes to Joseph Shaw in 1882. The property was subsequently sold another 10 times, with some of the land subdivided and sold. The Town of Canning bought the property in 1974 (which by then was in a state of disrepair) and a major restoration was undertaken to provide a venue for the Canning Districts Historical society and to create a museum.
  • Woodloes Homestead was classified by the National Trust in 1988, nominated to the Register of The National Estate in 1991 and permanently added to Western Australian State Heritage register in 1997.
  • Benjamin Mason founded a timber company in the 1860s, with mills at Carmel and at the Canning Landing (later named Mason’s Landing.) By 1866 he was employing about 100 men. Timber was hauled from the Darling Ranges to Mason’s Landing in Cannington. From there the timber went by barge to Perth and Fremantle. By 1869, a steam-powered sawmill was established by the Canning River. In 1871 Mason formed a partnership with Francis Bird to form the Mason Bird Timber Company. The timber from Mason Bird went to build many important buildings and structures in Perth, including the Perth Town Hall, and was also shipped overseas.
  • Mason's partnership with Bird was dissolved in 1879, and records show that Bird continued to fulfil government contracts for timber until at least 1880.
  • Prior to his partnership with Bird, Mason's company had difficulties transporting their timber along the Canning River due to the shallows between Mason's Landing and Salter's Point. Barges were often grounded here, especially in summer, and the company had problems meeting export contracts. Mason requested that the Government take steps to ensure the River was navigable throughout the year.
  • Mason's company was contracted by the Government to build a fence and dredge a channel in the Canning River. Correspondence from Mason to the Colonial Secretary indicates that in 1866 a convict party erected stakes in the river, at least from Muddy Reach to the Oyster Beds. The 'fence' was reported to have been constructed from jarrah poles wattled with casuarina logs and boughs. It became necessary to maintain and repair it on a regular basis. Tenders for maintenance of the Canning River Channel Improvements were called in 1868, 1869 and 1874. Further repairs were undertaken in 1887-1888 and again by the Public Works Department in 1892-1897.
  • The remnants of the fence are still clearly visible from Centenary Avenue and Shelley Bridge, as well as from Riverton Drive in Shelley and Rossmoyne, and from the river edge near Clontarf and Waterford. The Convict Fence was listed on the State Heritage Register in 1997.
  • Some 230 men from the Canning District enlisted in active service in World War I. Of that number 43 were killed on the battlefield or died of wounds or disease. In 1921, in line with similar moves by local government and community associations throughout Australia, it was decided to build a War Memorial to commemorate those who died in the war. The site for the memorial was to be immediately outside the Canning Town Hall.
  • The memorial was in the form of a monumental arch, built from Donnybrook stone. It was unveiled on Monday 25 April 1921 by the then Minister for Works, Mr W. J. George. The Town Hall was extended in 1926, making the site very congested. Because the Town Hall became a popular movie venue in the 1920s, it was also considered that the site was not an appropriate venue for the memorial.
  • In 1948, after World War Two, a triangular portion of land on the corner of Albany Highway and Manning Road was chosen by the Canning Road Board. Local RSL branches fund-raised to relocate the structure and to beautify the parkland. The memorial arch was disassembled by local volunteers in 1956 and transferred to its present location, incorporating an additional section showing names of residents killed on service in World War II. The move and reconstruction was overseen by local stonemason, A.H Hicks.
  • Sikhs have been in Western Australia since the early 19th Century. Many early Sikhs in Australia were cameleers, working in the goldfields. If possible, they would come back to Perth to die. In Sikhism cremation is the usual method for disposal of human remains. WA Sikhs petitioned the government for decades to legalise cremation. The Cremation Act was legislated in 1929 as a result.
  • In 1932 a small reserve in what is now Adenia Park was allocated to two WA Sikhs, Bulla and Massa Singh, for a Sikh Cemetery. The funeral pyre was situated alongside running water. In 1977, the reserve was cancelled and reverted back to public open space.
  • In 1992 memorial stones and a plaque were unveiled acknowledging the existence of the Sikh cremation site and to celebrate Australian Sikh pioneers. The site is listed in the Heritage Council’s Register of Heritage Places. Around March 3 every year, Sikhs hold an event at the former cemetery to commemorate the arrival of early Sikhs in WA. This date is also significant as it marks the first Sikh casualty in World War II on WA soil.
  • The Australian Sikh Heritage Trail opened in Adenia Park in 2018. The 250 metre trail comprises a group of interconnected pathways, featuring plaques and signage commemorating the history of Sikhs in Australia. The site is now listed on the State Heritage Register.
  • The Canning Agricultural Hall was originally erected in 1898 for the Canning Agricultural, Horticultural and Recreational Society on a site purchased by the Canning Districts Road Board.
  • Over the years more land was acquired, and in 1941 the title to the hall and land was transferred to the Society. For a period during World War II, the hall and grounds were used for military purposes.
  • In 1974, the Society began leasing land to the Greyhound Racing Association and Cannington Central opened. The Agricultural Hall was eventually demolished as part of the widening of Albany Highway around 1990.
  • The Canning Show has been held regularly at the Canning Showgrounds since its beginnings in 1894, with the exception of War years and during the Great Depression.

Now known as Westfield Carousel, the area on the corner of Cecil Avenue and Albany Highway has always played an important role in the community. It has evolved dramatically throughout the years:

  • The Cecil Hotel was built around 1896-1898 by Stephen Gibbs, who was also its first owner and publican. The hotel had numerous owners, and was de-licensed in 1927. It remained so for 27 years until it re-opened as the Waverley Hotel in 1955.
  • The original Cannington School building opened on the Albany Road in 1898. Additional classrooms were added as the school grew. Children from as far away as Byford were travelling to Cannington to attend school.
  • In 1958, the first suburban branch of Boans, Perth's iconic department store, opened in Cannington between the Waverley and Cannington School. It became part of Carousel Shopping Centre when it opened in 1972, and became a Myer store after Boans was purchased by Myer in 1985.
  • Plans for business development of the area began in the 1960s. Cannington School was moved to a new site on Wharf Street in 1970. The old school buildings were demolished to make way for Carousel Shopping Centre, which opened in 1972. Boans became part of the new shopping centre, and became a Myer store after Boans was purchased by Myer in 1985.
  • The Waverley Hotel became the Carousel Tavern when the shopping centre opened. It was eventually demolished in 1992, due to the widening of Albany Highway.
  • The Canning Town Hall building comprises the original hall, built in 1909, the extension on the northern side of the building constructed in 1926, the eastern wing constructed in 1955, and various additions since then. It was built as a Town Hall and administrative centre, originally for the Queens Park Municipality. The War Memorial was erected in front of the Town Hall in 1921, but later relocated to its current site in 1948. The building was used from the 1920s for some time  as a picture theatre, and is still used for community purposes today.
  • With the growth of Canning by the late 1960s, plans were made for a new administration building. A new Council Administration Centre, costing $600,000 was built on 20 acres of land adjoining the old Town Hall which was previously part of the Wilson & Johns Nursery. The centre was officially opened by R.H.C. Stubbs, M.L.C., Minister for Local Government, on 2 May 1971.
  • As Canning continued to grow, these buildings also became inadequate. The current Civic and Administration Centre opened in 2006. The gardens at the front of the building were designed to acknowledge Wilson & Johns' Nursery, which had occupied the site until the 1960s.
  • For many years the only golf course in Canning was the privately run club at the rear of the Riverton Hotel. Run by D. Norriss, the very popular course was eventually closed to become a housing development.
  • A proposal for a $450,000 eighteen hole course covering 48 hectares on Whaleback Reserve was recommended to the Council. Whaleback Golf Course was opened by Mayor Ernie Clark in January 1981.
  • The “igloo” bunkers at the Whaleback Golf Course were originally a radar detection site in World War II. In 1943 the RAAF Ground Control Interception Radar Station Number 144 was established there as part of a nationwide network of radar units built to defend Australia against Japanese air strikes. Radar units in Perth and along the WA coast provided radar coverage for the Catalinas and Lancaster bombers that left Perth, and for submarines plying the coast, as well as for planes returning home. The Station operated until 1945. The bunkers are now used as Girl Guides/Scouts facilities.
  • Castledare is situated on the banks of the Canning River in Wilson. It was built on a 83 acre property originally known as “Balmoral”. The property had been occupied since 1895 by three successive families, the Flemings, the Meares and the McLeods. The Federation Queen Anne-style house, known as “Niana” was built by the Flemings in 1906.
  • In 1927 the property was purchased by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Perth who sought to open a home for “sub-normal” children. Castledare Home was opened by the Christian Brothers as a centre for intellectually handicapped Catholic boys in March 1929 with ten boys and under the directorship of Brother G. Hyland. Following the Depression, it changed direction, becoming a junior school to nearby Clontarf which catered for all types of “under-privileged” boys. The name of the school was changed to St Vincent’s Preparatory School for Boys, however it was still referred to as Castledare.
  • The advent of World War II saw Castledare also receiving migrant boys from overseas. The school expanded after the war and a Chapel was added in 1957, which later became the Parish Church for Wilson.
  • The mini golf course at Castledare was designed by the same architect who designed the nearby church. It was built by Mr Alvio Timeus with his uncle Emilio Timeus. The facility was intended as an amenity for boys resident at Castledare. It was also a major attraction at the Castledare annual field day and a large fund raiser.
  • By 1959, the school began to experience financial problems due to falling student numbers. As policies towards children in institutional care changed in the 1960s, doubts about the suitability of Castledare for children with emotional problems led to the withdrawal of the Christian Brothers from the school.The school closed in 1983. In 1998 the site was redeveloped – it is now an aged care facility and retirement village called Castledare Retirement Village, operated by Catholic Homes Incorporated. In 1994, the WA Parliament was presented with a petition with 30,000 signatures demanding an inquiry into the sexual and physical assault that took place in various institutions run by the Christian Brothers, including Castledare.
  • Castledare is listed on the State Heritage Register and has been classified by the National Trust. It is also the home of the Castledare Miniature Railway.
  • In the early 20th century, Riverton market gardeners Fred Riley and Jack Metcalfe needed access to Perth markets to sell their produce. Fred Riley donated both his time and money to construct a bridge, which was completed in 1911.The bridge was locally known as Riley's Bridge.
  • By the 1930s, the bridge was falling into disrepair, and was used on a ‘use at your own risk’ basis.
  • The bridge was demolished and replaced with the present bridge in 1953. Part of the original bridge was lowered and used as a jetty until the 1980s.

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