Old Toongabbie is a suburb located approximately 29 kilometres west of the Sydney CBD. It is only about 3.5 kilometres northwest of Parramatta CBD and belongs in the local government area of the City of Parramatta.
On the northeast, the area is bounded by a tributary of the Parramatta River, the Toongabbie Creek. Due to bushland regeneration, pollution control, and several remedial works to local waterways, the return of several rare wildlife species has been observed over the years. Platypuses have reportedly returned to sections of Toongabbie Creek.
Toongabbie is derived from an Aboriginal word, which is said to mean place by the water or meeting by the water. It is the oldest official use of an Aboriginal place-name after Governor Arthur Phillip named it so in June 1792. It was the word mentioned by the locals when they were asked what the place was called.
Noted for being the third settlement set up by the British colonisation after the First Fleet arrived in 1788, the place was founded as a government farm to grow food for the colony in April 1792. The farm was closed after eleven years, with the land being granted to settlers and convicts who had done their time.
The area continued to be known as Toongabbie until the Main Western railway line and the railway station of Toongabbie were constructed. The location of the station and the shops surrounding it became part of Toongabbie. The original settlement became known as Old Toongabbie.
From the 2016 census, Old Toongabbie has a small population of 3,133. The majority of the residents speak English at home, with the bulk of the population having English ancestry. Old Toongabbie also has a notable immigrant population who speak Arabic, Korean, Tamil, Mandarin, among many others.
Housing and Community
Old Toongabbie cuts through Old Windsor Road, thereby creating two different areas that are dominated by single dwellings from the 1950s and 60s. Part of this area has since become officially recognised as Constitution Hill in 2007. Residents enjoy a small and friendly community with quite a few shops and commercial areas.
The first school in Toongabbie, the Toongabbie Public School, opened on the 3rd of May 1886. The school closed by April 1911 due to low enrolments. The next year, the school reopened and has stayed open ever since, providing excellent primary education to the residents of Toongabbie, Old Toongabbie, and the neighbouring suburbs.
Old Toongabbie is close to the educational institutions in Toongabbie such as the Metella Road Public School and the Toongabbie West Public School. Toongabbie Christian College caters to kindergarten up to Year 12 students.
The suburb also benefits from the many good schools in the surrounding area such as those in Girraween and Greystanes. The selective Girraween High School is especially popular with parents and migrant families wanting to send their children to one of the best high schools in the area. The primary school, Girraween Public School, also offers quality and holistic education.
Greystanes Public School, Beresford Rd Primary School, Ringrose Primary School, and Widemere Public School are all primary schools in the nearby Greystanes. High schools in the area include Greystanes High School and Holroyd High School, with the latter having an Intensive English Centre providing a specialised program to non-English speaking migrants. Alternatively, if you are seeking Catholic education, you can find it in the Our Lady Queen of Peace Primary School and St. Pauls Catholic College in Greystanes.
After many years of campaigning by the residents, the first post office in the area was established in 1887. The population has grown sufficiently to support a second office in 1922 in Wentworth Avenue, known as Toongabbie West. An office opened in the main shopping area in Portico Parade in 1960 becoming Toongabbie Post Office while the old Toongabbie Post Office became known as Old Toongabbie.
Presently, Old Toongabbie has an IGA, restaurants, and coffee shops.
Although it doesn’t have its own train station, the suburb is close to the Toongabbie and Pendle Hill train stations. Residents of Old Toongabbie mainly commute to work using their private cars.
Old Toongabbie has Binalong Park where you can find many outdoor activities. It features sporting fields used by a variety of sporting clubs, schools, and community groups. The ground is used for soccer in the winter months. In the summer, it is used for cricket. Conveniently located next to Toongabbie Public School, you can enter the car park off of Binalong Road.
Just down the road from the popular Binalong Park is the unassuming Doris Sargeant Park. It is a gated playground with a grassed area, which is perfect for small children.