We’re excited to be launching our second Sydney house on BRICKX, in the popular inner west suburb of Balmain. It just so happens that Sophie, our Head of Communications, lives there so we thought we’d ask her to share with us “What is it like to live in Balmain?”.
Once you live here, it’s hard to even contemplate living anywhere else. In fact, it’s hard to leave its water-locked confines – even on weekends!
As a resident of Balmain for over 10 years, I’m guilty of this sentiment. My dream weekend means catching the ferry home from work and not leaving Balmain again until Monday morning. After all, they don’t call it the Insular Peninsula for nothing.
The problem (?) with Balmain is that it’s all too convenient. Everything you need is within walking distance. Who needs a car? It’s well serviced by buses and ferries – and for those who are more actively ambitious, you can walk the five or six kilometres over the Anzac Bridge into the city.
When it comes to day-to-day life, it’s all right on your doorstep. Supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and cafes, the gym, even doctors’ surgeries all within a stone’s throw, making it an unbelievable lifestyle.
Balmain is friendly; inclusive. It’s casual and big on families with a real village feel. It’s not uncommon for the dry cleaner or the pizza guy to know your name (and embarrassingly, your order. Vegetariana with loads of extra garlic – for the record).
A meander off the beaten track, up and down Balmain’s steep hills, will see you lost in the architecture and harbour views.
Balmain is known for its pubs. In fact, it has 22 bars and pubs – more watering holes per square metre than any other suburb in Australia. A stroll through Balmain’s streets reveals its interesting history – with pubs on almost every corner (once popular with sailors coming ashore) which have now been converted into charming homes.
Back in the day (I’m talking 1800s), shipyards were established along the foreshores. Of course shipyards, meant there were workers – most of who chose to drink and live close to their place of work.
Post WWII, saw large-scale industry dominate the Balmain foreshore. Some of these factories still exist today such as the Power Station and the Colgate-Palmolive building.
The gentrification of Balmain began in the 1960s when small numbers of middle-class professionals were attracted to the area’s architecture, harbourfront and proximity to the CBD. And that popularity hasn’t seemed to wane.
The suburb is a now melting pot of professionals, young families and empty nesters combined with those who’ve marvelled at this part of town for generations. On the main drag of Darling Street you’ll find an eclectic mix of pram pushers, those clad in active wear and you may even bump into the occasional local celebrity (actor Bryan Brown, journalist George Negus, actress Georgie Parker, radio host Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald and of course, Olympic swimmer Dawn Fraser who has her very own Baths named after her) all while running errands.
Sydney’s inner west has always been pretty good at preserving green space and Balmain is no exception. Most of the parks have water views and are dog (and child) friendly. They are popular spots to enjoy a coffee on the weekend and read the papers.
In summer, the aforementioned Dawn Fraser Baths are the perfect place for a dip. Submerged within glorious Elkington Park, the Baths were built in the early 1880s making it the oldest pool in Australia.
By night, it’s hard to be bothered cooking with many of the pubs offering $15 steak or a pie and pint for $20. By the time I go to Woolies, buy the ingredients, come home, cook, eat and clean-up, no thanks. It’s not hard to twist the arms of the local posse either.
And with the NSW Government’s Bays Precinct urban renewal development on its way, you would think Balmain is only going to grow into an even more enjoyable place to be. Though to this Balmainer, it’s hard to imagine it getting any better this.
– Posted by Sophie Onikul
To view the Balmain house property details (BLM01) , click here.
Click here to see more suburb data from realestate.com.au
The opinions and beliefs expressed by the authors and forum participants as part of this communication do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of BrickX, BrickX Financial Services or other entities within the BrickX group.