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Canterbury is a suburb in south-western Sydneymarker, in the state of New South Walesmarker, Australia. Canterbury is located 11 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business districtmarker in the City of Canterburymarker.

The City of Canterbury takes its name from the suburb but its administrative centre is located in the adjacent suburb of Campsiemarker, which is also a large commercial centre. Canterbury is surrounded by Ashburymarker to the north, Campsiemarker to the west, Earlwoodmarker to the south, and Hurlstone Parkmarker to the east.


Indigenous Australians lived in this area for thousands of years. In 1770, the land along the Cooks Rivermarker was explored by officers from the HMS Bark Endeavour.

In 1793, the area's first land grant was made to the Chaplain of the First Fleet, the Rev. Richard Johnson. He gave the 100 acre (0.4 km²) grant, located one mile (1.6 km) north of the river, the name Canterbury Vale. The grant was passed onto William Cox, who sold the land for 525 pounds to Robert Campbell in May 1803, after going bankrupt. By 1834 the Campbell Estate grew to 1,242 acres (5 km²). In 1865, daughter Sarah Jeffrey subdivided the land into allotments, each containing several acres.The first major industry was established in 1841 with the building of the Australian Sugar Company's sugar mill by the Cooks River to produce molasses and spirits. Other industries and trades such as boiling down works and tanneries later developed along the river. The Methodists built the first church in the suburb, with services beginning in 1841. The railway line was completed in 1895, encouraging suburban development and leading to the area becoming heavily populated. This was too late for the Sugar Mill, which ceased production in September 1854, but was favourable for horse racing, which informally began in 1871.

After much petitioning of the State Governmentmarker by local residents, the Municipality of Canterburymarker was proclaimed on 17 March 1879. A Town Hall was opened in 1889, but eventually Campsiemarker became a more important centre and the city administration was moved from Canterbury in 1962.

Image:StPaulsAnglicanChurch_Canterbury_NewSouthWales.jpg|St Paul's Anglican ChurchImage:Canterbury2.JPG| Former Canterbury Post Office buildingImage:Canterbury4.JPG| Art-deco amenities buildingImage:Cup and Saucer Creek and SugarMill NSW.jpg|Junction of Cooks River and Cup and Saucer Creek, with old sugarmill in the background

Commercial area

Canterbury has a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial developments. Commercial developments are mostly situated on Canterbury Road and surrounding streets. The shopping centre, close to Canterbury railway stationmarker, includes an Aldi supermarket and the landmark Hotel Canterbury.
View from the Canterbury Road railway bridge, looking north
Industrial area along Cooks River


Canterbury Road is a major arterial route, 11 kilometres long and the only vehicular crossing of the Cooks River within the suburb. The road connects the inner suburbs of Sydney with Bankstownmarker and suburbs further to the south-west. Secondary routes, King and Holden Streets, connect the suburb to Ashfieldmarker in the north.

Canterbury railway stationmarker is located on the Bankstown line of the CityRail network. The line, which crosses the Cooks River, was opened in 1895 and electrified in 1926. Two additional tracks were laid for goods traffic through to Port Botanymarker. The station is the terminus for several Sydney bus routes.

Pedestrians and cyclists can cross the Cooks River at one of two dedicated footbridges making the riverside pleasant and accessible for recreational users. The popular Cooks River bicycle track follows the river along its northern bank connecting the suburb with Homebushmarker to the north-west and Botany Baymarker to the east. The river itself is navigable only during high tide and used occasionally by canoeists. This contrasts with the early history of Canterbury when the river was used to import large quantities of sugarcane.

Parks and gardens

Extensive parkland may be found on the banks of the Cooks Rivermarker. Canterbury Park Racecoursemarker, on the northern bank, features a 1,578 metre track (racecourse) and attracts thousands to its horse racing carnivals.

  • Tasker Park is on the southern bank of the Cooks Rivermarker near the railway bridge. It is named after WS Tasker (alderman 1925-31 and 1937-44). It includes playing fields, a swimming pool and an ice rink. It is connected to the northern bank by a footbridge.

  • Mary McKillop Reserve is on the southern bank of the Cooks River next to the Canterbury Road Bridge. Originally a rubbish tip, it was built up above flood levels from riverside soils in the 1930s. The reserve was named after Alderman Sydney Hollingsworth Simpson, who helped secure the land, however many residents assumed it was named after Wallis Simpson. A path along the river called "Coronation Row", commemorates the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and her visit to Sydneymarker in 1953. Simpson Reserve was renamed Mary MacKillop Reserve by Canterbury City Council in 1995.
  • Canterbury Park, according to modern boundaries, is part of Ashburymarker. It is home to Cambell and Blick Ovals.



Canterbury is part of the East Ward of the City of Canterburymarker and together with Earlwoodmarker, elects three councillors to the city council. The mayor of Canterbury represents the city and not the suburb alone.

For New South Walesmarker state elections, the suburb is in the Electoral District of Canterbury. The district includes surrounding suburbs of Campsiemarker, Earlwoodmarker, Hurlstone Parkmarker, Croydon Parkmarker, western Dulwich Hillmarker, eastern Belfieldmarker and northern Turrellamarker.

For federal elections, Canterbury is in the electoral division of Grayndler. In state and federal elections, Canterbury residents predominantly vote for the Australian Labor Party.

Notable residents


  1. Book of Sydney Suburbs, Frances Pollon (Angus and Robertson) 1990, p.50
  2. Book of Sydney Suburbs, p.50
  3. Welcome To Canterbury Girls High School
  4. Welcome To Cps!
  5. Canterbury South Public School - Homepage

External links

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