Ivanhoe is a residential suburb 9 km. north-east of Melbourne, south of Heidelberg. The land occupied by Ivanhoe was one of several portions adjoining the Warringal (later Heidelberg) village surveyed in 1837. Sales occurred the following year and, the Ivanhoe portion was considered to be of unusual fertility and landscape appeal. It had Darebin Creek on the west and the Yarra River on the south. By the 1850s there was an Ivanhoe village, a name derived form Sir William Scott’s novel, and used from 1853. A school was opened in the Anglican church.

During the 1850s smaller farms were taken up and by the next decade there were two hotels, market gardens, orchards, an elementary racecourse and “gentlemen’s villas”. A state primary school which replaced the one in the Anglican church, was opened in 1881. The Australian Handbook, 1904, described Ivanhoe as –

This entry not yet available.

Between 1910 and 1930 Ivanhoe underwent residential development. From being a pretty township with handsome villas, a church school, a golf links and a population of 2,013 in 1913, it had 5,016 persons in 1921 and 7,701 persons in 1933. The Victorian Municipal Directory described it as –


During the 1920s the Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School (1903) and the Boys’ Grammar School (1915) had growing enrollments. Another primary school in East Ivanhoe was opened in 1930. In 1937 the council offices of Heidelberg city were transferred from the old Heidelberg village to a new art deco civic centre in Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe. The move acknowledged that Ivanhoe’s shopping and commercial area was the more prominent of the two. Ivanhoe gained direct access to suburbs south of the Yarra River when the Burke Road Bridge was opened in 1926.

The areas of Ivanhoe which are distant from the railway station and shopping centre completed their residential development in the postwar years. Ivanhoe West, adjoining the Darebin Creek, has several Housing Commission dwellings and a small shopping area. The Bellfield primary school was opened in 1951. Ivanhoe East, adjoining the Yarra River, is famed for the Boulevard which overlooks the public golf course and Yarra Valley. Each Christmas residents decorate their houses and gardens and the display attracts many onlookers. There is an active strip shopping centre near the A.V. Jennings Beauview estate (1941). To the north is Eaglemont, which was developed during the prewar years, the attractions being its elevated position and proximity to a railway station.

Ivanhoe central has maintained its retailing dominance, with a combination of strip shopping and the Ivanhoe Plaza. There is a bowling club and tennis court near the shopping centre, and a croquet club, another bowling cub, tennis courts and ovals in parklands a little to the south nearer the river.


View of Ivanhoe from the clock tower of Heidelberg town hall in Ivanhoe, Heidelberg 1937

32 thoughts on “Ivanhoe”

  1. I have so far been unsuccessful in establishing the official boundaries of Whoeest Ivanhoe.
    Any assistance with the detail or where this information may be held would be most welcome.

    I did ask at Banyule Council offices in Ivanoe however I was told that they only have maps or information on Banyule boundaries.



  2. The now booming Western part of Ivanhoe which saw development later than Central Ivanhoe and Ivanhoe East, is bound by Oriel Rd on the East, Livingstone St on the South, Darebin Creek on the West and Banksia St on the North.

  3. I have been looking for this information. I asked at council reception for this information and was told by the receptionist that this is Banyule Council now, not Heidelberg, so we do not have that information. You will have to go to the Historical Society.

    Most information that I received around the area (I used to live in Liberty Parade) was that Oriel road was not the eastern boundary, it was Donaldson Creek.

    Would be very interested in your return comment.


    Geoff Swallow

    1. Hi Geoff

      I would support the Donaldson Creek theory, on the basis that Oriel Road was only a single width road at the time West Ivanhoe was developed by the Housing Commision, and Donaldson Creek (first time I’ve ever heard its name – it was always just ‘the little creek’ when I was a kid) was an open creek for all of it’s length through West Ivanhoe.

      Also, Oriel Road only ran from Ford Street north to Bell Street. It didn’t go through to Livingston Street. The road from Livingston Street to Green Street was called Kitchener Street. There were houses (a house?) in both Ford Street and Green Street that prevented Oriel Road and Kitchener Street from joining. They were demolished to put the (widened) road through as access to the Olympic Village for the games, and the MMTB bus service commenced at about that time.

      Of course, all of this is a long, long time ago, and is testing my memory, but I’m reasonably confident in its accuracy.

      I lived in Valentine Street, on the corner of Cook Street. I’m also sure I must have played football with your brother, ‘Billy’ Swallow?

      Ray Kinnane

      1. Greg and Ray,

        you guys seem to know Ivanhoe really well and can hopefully answer my question. I am looking at buying a property close to the corner of Jellicoe st and Dalveen road. I would appreciate your input on this part of Ivanhoe. I can find very little information about commission housing in what was called the old Ivanhoe adjoining Darebin creek. I don’t know if they exist now or how much effect it has on the surrounding area.

  4. Hi Ray,

    The boundaries you describe are those that I have settled on. I measured the area not long ago using Donaldson’s Creek as the eastern boundary, and came up with an area of less than one square kilometer. Not many smalled suburbs around I am sure.

    You lived where my mate Geoff Palmer moved into in 63/64?

    Sad news about Bill as he passed away in June 2007 with a number of problems including Prostate cancer, and Diabetes. Mum died aged 90 in 2009 and Peter in 2010.

    What years did you play football? I arranged a few football reunions from 66 to 89 however I did not see you in any of the photos (apologies)! I organised one in 2011 for the 1961 Grand Final winning side and had a brilliant day. If you happen to have a team photo which you are in, I would love to have a copy.

    We had another reunion of sorts this year as the junior football club “The Roosters” has been reformed as there are now many young children in the area again.

    Bruce, the third eldest knows you however he played with Bill in the 1966/67 grand final wins. The old coach Jack Mullane and wife Sheila are still alive and attended the juniors revival this year.



    1. Hi Geoff

      Sorry to hear about Bill, and other family members passing. My condolences.

      We moved out of West Ivanhoe in 1963, when I was twenty. We moved to Syndal, and I lost touch with a lot of folks from the old neighborhood. I remember it fondly though, as it was a great place to grow up.

      I can’t rember the exact years that I played footy, but it was probably only a couple of seasons. I wasn’t much of a footballer, cricket being my obsession, at that age.

      I think I played in the footy club’s first season, along with Frank Cloney, Des and Gary Boyd, Frankie Murphie, Bill, of course, John Cleary and others I can’t remember well. We did play in a Grand Final, which we lost to Fitzroy by a couple of points. Would that have been around 1959? Jack Mullane would know. He was the coach of that team.

      I don’t have any photos of that time, I’m sorry. I live in Japan now, and when I moved here, left most of my stuff like photographs with my older brother in Australia. But I don’t think there are any football team photos amongst them. There is a very early tennis club photo of Frank Cloney, Frank Murphy and Brenda Binotto, that I took in the very early days of the tennis club. But my memories of that time are a little vague, and exact dates escape me. Is the tennis club still going?

      Ray Kinnane

    2. Greg and Ray,

      you guys seem to know Ivanhoe really well and can hopefully answer my question. I am looking at buying a property close to the corner of Jellicoe st and Dalveen road. I would appreciate your input on this part of Ivanhoe. I can find very little information about commission housing in what was called the old Ivanhoe adjoining Darebin creek. I don’t know if they exist now or how much effect it has on the surrounding area.

      1. Did you end up buying a house in Ivanhoe West?
        My ex husband lived ag the end of Mabel St, the continuation of Liberty Pde.
        There was a dairy opposite & it was lovely hearing the horses trotting up the road early in the morning to deliver milk.
        Much of the area has changed & is changing fast with the old commission homes selling for over a million now.
        Bellfield Primary School is now cluster housing & Heidelberg High School demolished.
        It is a sought after area now being close to the city (9kms) & in zone 1 train catchment area.
        Sadly there are hundreds of units going up & many of the beautiful character homes have been demolished.
        We lived in Kenilworth Pde as a child in the late 40’s. Lucky for us we can still enjoy looking at our old family home, although we don’t own it anymore.
        I haven’t moved far. I now live near the town hall.
        Hopefully you ended up settling in Ivanhoe before the prices soared!

        1. I lived at 15 Malta Street, West Ivanhoe. The dairy you are referring to was the Thornlow (I think that’s how it was spelt) Dairy. I was born in 57 and can just remember horses and clinking bottles early in the morning. Then of coarse everything changed. I went to school @ St. Bernadette’s with T. Lynch, B. Williams, Corrine and Karen Hope and Pauline Thornlow.
          We Thornycrofts are now scattered all over the place. From Melton, Kew, to Mortlake and Willcannia.

        2. Hi Irene
          I also grew up in Kenilworth PDF at no 33 not tethered any more the Clarks next to creek that was always flooding ,was you home on cnr Wallace st cheers Alan Clark

      2. Neil Jessup was the architect associated with the 1956 Olympic Games stand designs, also the housing for the athletes in the Ivanhoe- Darebine area. After the Games this accomodation became housing commission accomodation.

      3. I lived in 9 Mabel Street about 1950 to 1954 my best friend was from the dairy, can’t recall her name now, I’m 77
        I went to Ivanhoe State School, my parents, relocated to Gordon, near Ballarat, they had the general store. We all moved to Newcastle in 1958, where I am now living. Can’t believe how the old house looks, mum and dad would have been proud.

  5. Hi Ray,

    Japan, a long way from West Ivanhoe and Syndal. What was the reason for the move?

    I have a surprise for you if you send me an email address. I have completed the names on the 1960 photo taken near the Grotto at St Bernadettes which had been lost for over 50 years. My brother Bruce and I put all the names to it. Most of the photos in those years did not have names and I have now named all team photos that are known to exist.

    The St Bernadette school photos from 1955 to 1965 proved much more difficult (I arranged a 50 year reunion for my 1962 class and the older 1961 class which was a fantastic success) however I have named close to 99%. There are no class/student records of those years as one of the later principals had a cleanout and mixed up the boxes that were to be disposed of. Apparently she told the cleaner to throw out the boxes on the left but did not tell him which side to stand when he denoted left or right. You really could not believe someone could be so careless.

    Anyway, I have some photos of the 1960 reunion as well (Cloney, Murphy, Donahue, Boyd’s etc) which you might be interested in.



    1. Greg and Ray,

      you guys seem to know Ivanhoe really well and can hopefully answer my question. I am looking at buying a property close to the corner of Jellicoe st and Dalveen road. I would appreciate your input on this part of Ivanhoe. I can find very little information about commission housing in what was called the old Ivanhoe adjoining Darebin creek. I don’t know if they exist now or how much effect it has on the surrounding area.

  6. Hi Geoff

    I’d love to have some photographs! I didn’t even know that we had posed for class, or team photos. At seventy, my memory really is playing tricks! Any photographs that you could find the time to send me, I would really appreciate. I can remember the grotto, just off Stanley Street, but I can’t remember photos near it. Amazing.

    How do I send you an email address? Can I just post it here, safely enough?

    How I ended up in Japan is a simple story, really. I worked for a printing company in Clayton as a photographer, and a Japanese woman came to work there part-time. She was studying and working at Monash Uni at the time, we started going out, and eventually married. We stayed iin Melbourne for quite a number of years before I eventually got to visit her home country, and that was because we were working on a language teaching project that required original photographs of things Japanese. By that time she was working full time at La Trobe Uni, and I had started my own freelance photography business. We spent a month in Japan, travelling a lot, and taking lots of photos. I loved it. That was in 1995. I got the chance to come back in 1997/98 for a year, as my wife had won a Japan Foundation grant to do research in Osaka for a year. I came with her, as the grant paid a small amount for my living expenses. That was really the clincher. I gave up most of my photography clients, as I had been doing it for a long time, was getting older, and so the work was getting too demanding physically.

    When we got back to Australia in 1998 my wife started looking for work in Japan, and eventually got a full-time lecturer position at a University in Kyushu, teaching Japanese to foreign students studying there – mainly Korean, Chinese and some American and European students. Meanwhile, I had undertaken part-time study at La Trobe to get an English Teaching qualifications. We moved here in 2001, after selling our house in Eltham at that time, and all of our posessions that we couldn’t transport, like cars, furniture, etc. The initial move was going to be for five years, to see if we really liked it. We both thought at that time we would go back to Australia. But we loved it so much here, that we stayed, and will now end our days here. We have bought a house in Kyushu, and now both only work part-time, as we are past retirement age. I only take photographs for myself now, and have had a couple of exhibitions here, and a couple back in Australia, of Japanese photographs.

    Life here is very easy, and we enjoy it a lot. We come back for visits every couple of years, to see my brother and sister, and friends. But this is home now.

    Please tell me how to get my email address to you. AS you can see, being interested in photography, I would love to see some pictures!


  7. The housing commission area for certain was boundered by Ford Street in the south, Oriel Road both sides, Liberty Pde which which has the Darebin Creek behind it and Banksia Street as the northern border. Past Banksia Street is West Heidelberg! The Eastern Border is what is now known as Donaldson’s Creek. My mother was still living there up to 2008.

    1. Thanks, any idea about the current reputation of that Ivanhoe west area? I see lot of new houses now between Liberty Pde and Oriel road. BTW area between Bell and Banksia street is now known as Bellfield and West Heidelberg now starts past Bell street.

  8. Yes forgot about the Bellfield change! They wanted or should I say “tried” to have all of the “West” Ivanhoe area changed to Bellfield which was totally rejected by residents. My mothers block at 31 Liberty Parade on the north side between Jellicoe and Beatty streets has a double story on it now with unrestriced views to the city and worth at least a million. The area I would say is evolving and is a very nice place to live.

    1. Hello Geoff, great reading all comments above, what great days i had around West Ivanhoe, i remember all the names,played many games of football with them. the only time i catch up with the boys is at funerals unfortunately, a few have now passed away, the last being Jack Mullane. My older sister Maree taught at St Bernadettes for a few years, i could find out the dates if it would be of help to you. Maree and i lived in Waterdale Rd , down the river end. Most people seem to think Waterdale Rd started at Ivanhoe junction, in fact it starts off at the Yarra river. all the best ,Paul Gaughwin.

    1. Hi Phil,

      You may be interested, I have Ivanhoe AFC formed by at least 1907 when Doug Bennett Was recruited to play a few senior games with Fitzroy FC.

      Cheers John Guest

  9. Old maps show \”Donaldsons or Dry Creek\”. The properties of the time ran from Waterdale Rd to Darebin Ck (around 1854). Donaldsons old house Bellevue still existed when I was a child in the 1950s (I snuck into it with schoolmates, as we were told there was a kangaroo there – there was a well in the front yard but we saw no roo). It became RSL flats when demolished.

    1. You would be thinking of Airlie Maternity Hospital. Then for many years it was an aged care facility but is now closed and the site will be developed for, I believe, upmarket retirement living.

  10. So much interesting information mainly of interest to those of
    us that grew up in Ivanhoe. I grew up there in the
    1950’s-1960’s and the changes since then have been enormous with many fine old homesteads demolished in the 1960’s to make way for units. A lot of the old blocks had 60 foot frontages and 300 foot depths to allow the cultivation of vegetables and fruit.

    The old no longer extant Donaldson’s homestead of Belle Vue in Waterdale road was mentioned and my father and his elder
    brother rented Belle Vue from the mid 1940’s until about 1952.

    I have several old photographs from their time there.

    For those interested in Belle Vue and the history of the
    Donaldsons the book “Kangaroo Ground” by Mick Woiwood
    published in 1994 provides some good photos and quite a bit of information. I went to the auction of Belle Vue with my father in about 1960 and he was very dismayed when he learnt that the RSL had purchased the property and intended to demolish everything to build war widow’s flats which still stand to this day. Where the Ivanhoe swimming centre is stood another house owned by the Donalsons called Wellington House.

    The Donaldsons were victims of a bushranger attack when they lived at Kangaroo Ground so Belle Vue, like a lot of other
    homesteads had secret passages and rooms for them to hide, a
    similar house still standing in St Kilda is “Oberwyl”

    The old MMBW maps of the area in 1908-1915 are available in
    digitised format on-line from the State Library Victoria, maps
    2460-2464 detail the Livingstone street Kenilworth parade
    region of Ivanhoe around 1908 – 1910. Maps 2644 & 2641 detail
    the Bell Vue Wellington house area around Waterdale road.

    Does anyone remember the old Gaylard (Gaylord) mansion in
    Kenilworth parade before it was demolished around 1961? It
    appears on the MMBW maps as “Cooee”, Kenilworth parade was made up of 60foot X 300 foot blocks with many fine old
    homesteads, all had names as presumably when they were built there were no street addresses. The Gaylard mansion ended up
    being adjacent to the Ryans house which no longer stands
    either, becoming the Le Pine funeral directors car park. Where
    Le Pine now stands was once the Ponyarra sisters cake shop,
    wonderful home made cakes made right in front of you.

    Another interesting site was the enormous quarry on the
    boundary of Ivanhoe’s Rockbeare park and Northcote, owned by
    the Adams family it was exceptionally deep with the four
    storey rock crushing plant at the bottom and a huge collection of clapped out WWII vintage earth moving vehicles in a park at
    the top of the quarry. The area is now parkland with only a
    hint of what it was with the stark rock wall at the northern
    end. The quarry was only one of a chain of basalt quarries
    that extended up through Northcote to Preston, all filled in

    And yes the now Oriel road was formerly Kitchener street off
    Livingstome St according to the old MMBW maps.

Fill in your details below or login