It is widely believed that Thomastown was named after the Thomas family who owned bought 106 acres in the area and began market gardening in the 1840s, the name Thomastown official started being used in the early 1850s. Shortly after, William Westgarth bought land north of Thomas’ holding, which he made way for German settlers, this area known as Westgarthtown.
Intact buildings of Westgarthtown (a heritage registered precinct in Thomastown and Lalor) including a Lutheran Church and cemetery, are evidence of German/Wendish settlement which commenced in 1850. Thomastown Post Office opened on 9 June 1862. The number of residents was small until the late 1800s, spurred by the opening of the railway to Whittlesea in 1889.
Early industrial development included the establishment of a Fowler’s Pottery factory in Settlement Road in 1922. The electrification of the railway line to Thomastown in 1929 prompted the subdivision of land around the railway station for residential development milk production and distribution grew during the 1930s when a German dairying family formed the Pura Dairy, ultimately to expand into Preston and became Metropolitan Dairies Pty Ltd.
Significant development occurred in the post-war years, particularly during the 1950s and 1960s. While German settlers already call this area home, more settlers moved in, mostly Italians, Macedonians and Greeks. In 1961 St. Clare’s Primary School opened, followed by Thomastown Secondary College and then Thomastown West Primary School.
Snapshot of Thomastown
1. Main Street Thomastown includes:
– Thomastown Library
– Thomastown Neighbourhood House
– Bubup Wilam for Early Learning
– Main Street Recreation Reserve
– Thomastown West Primary School
– Thomastown Secondary College
2. Thomastown War Memorial
Twenty one plaques are located in the Thomastown War Memorial area to commemorate the former pupils of the Thomastown Primary School who served in World War I.
3. Thomastown Industrial Area
4. Meridian Business Park – Over 70 warehouses, a 2-level office complex and a premium catering retail facility in the estate.
5. Westgarthtown – a heritage site of state significance.
6. R.G.C Recreation Reserve
7. Thomastown Recreation and Aquatics Centre (TRAC)
Planning and development
Thomastown is around 15 square kilometres in size, although known as a residential area, it has a significant industrial area.
Thomastown and Lalor Shops Master Plan HERE
Council adopted the master plan for Thomastown and Lalor Shops in December 2011. The Plan includes street improvements to shopping areas (improved landscaping, seats, shelters and bike facilities).
Greenhills Road Development Plan
The Greenhills Road Development Plan shows the proposed development for the following land parcels in Thomastown/Bundoora:
• 182 Greenhills Road, Thomastown
• 167 Plenty Road, Bundoora
• 214W Greenhills Road, Bundoora
• 172 Greenhills Road, Thomastown (part)
The plan includes:
• location of future housing developments
• pedestrian friendly streets capes
• road connections
• public open spaces
Future development of the land will be delivered generally in accordance with this plan.
In 2015, it was estimated that 21,400 people live in Thomastown with a 21 per cent increase forecast by 2036 to 25,800.
The median age in Thomastown is 38 and this is expected to remain the same by 2036. The age group forecast to experience the greatest change between 2015 and 2036 are residents aged between 70 to 84 (33 per cent).
An estimated 245 children will be born in 2015 (4 births per week on average). By 2036, it is expected to increase to 294 births per year (5 births per week on average).
More than two thirds of residents speak a language other than English at home and over half the population were born overseas.
Most common languages spoken other than English are Macedonian, Italian and Arabic.
Families and households
In 2015 there are approximately 7,750 dwellings and this is expected to increase to 9,450 dwellings by 2036 with an average household size of 3 people. About 37 per cent of households consist of couples with children and about 14 per cent are single parent households.
More Thomastown residents work in manufacturing than any other industry.
A small percentage attend school (pre-school, primary or secondary) due to the high proportion of residents aged over 60.
Travelling in and out
Less than half of all households have access to 2 or more motor vehicles and 67 per cent of residents drive a car to their place of work.
train station – pic https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/557883472576135072/