You are in: St IvesTo Places
Located on a hill on Sydney's north shore, the area that would become St Ives would be one of the first areas explored on request of Governor Phillip in 1788. Like many areas on the north shore, St Ives was home to an impressive timber forest which had loggers move into the area in the 1820s with a successful saw mill introduced in the 1840s. Referred to as Rosedale until the 1880s, it is believed to have been named after Isaac Ellis Ives a member for the Legislative Assembly of neighbouring suburb St Leonards.
With all land allotments in the area of a relatively small size, by the late 1800s the suburb housed small agricultural pursuits such as market gardens and orchards and handsome residential houses for the Sydney elite. By the 1920s, residents were sufficiently concerned about the swift residential development of the area, and led by James Maunder, successfully lobbied for the council to purchase a plot of land at that time used as a Chinese market garden to establish a Village Green for the suburb. The St Ives Village Green is still in use today and provides an open leafy oasis, with particular reference to species of native flora, in an area which is otherwise heavily developed.
St Ives Showground is one of the suburb's prized heritage areas recognised in 2001 by the National Trust as an area of significant architectural and social history to the suburb. It would first be utilised by the St Ives Show Society in the 1920s and the St Ives Show held in March every year continues to draw large crowds. Never zoned for industrial development and sidestepped for Gordon when building the Sydney to Hornsby railway line, St Ives remained largely underdeveloped until the 1950s when demand for housing grew following the wars.
As a leafy, attractive and quiet suburb, it was particularly appealing to newly married couples who wanted to start families and this proliferation of young families had several state and prestigious private schools buy land in St Ives. With few apartment blocks approved to be built in the area and only a small village centre, the suburb has retained it charm and with highly educated professionals and their families still choosing to live in the area, continues to be a sought after postcode for families in Sydney.
SSC11933: St Ives