Why we love East Melbourne

2 August 2023

Locals describe East Melbourne as a small village of friendly neighbours, and an oasis. And it’s only a short stroll from the CBD.

East Melbourne is known for its green spaces and streetscapes, beautiful 19th century heritage homes and modern architecture.

Alongside tranquil residential precincts, there is an epic scale to East Melbourne.

Parliament House, the Old Treasury Building and St Patrick’s Cathedral are all found in this prestigious postcode.

East Melbourne is also home to the city’s sports and entertainment precinct, including Melbourne Park, AAMI Park and the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, affectionately known as The G.

Fast facts about East Melbourne

  • Postcode: 3002
  • Distance from the CBD: 2km east
  • Area: 1.9 km²
  • Bounded by: Spring Street, Victoria Parade, Punt Road / Hoddle Street and Brunton Avenue
  • Population: almost 4900 residents.

Connection to Aboriginal culture

East Melbourne is on Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country. The area has rich Aboriginal heritage and continuing significance. Many sites are mapped in the Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne project.

The area around Yarra Park and the MCG, for example, was a traditional gathering place and living area for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples.

Three of six scarred trees in the City of Melbourne are found in Yarra Park. Scarred trees provide a living connection to Aboriginal peoples’ ancestors and cultural practices, and are significant objects of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

Find out more on a self-guided walking tour of Aboriginal Melbourne, which starts in East Melbourne at the memorial for prominent Aboriginal leaders Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls and Lady Gladys Nicholls, who dedicated their lives to community service.

Pastor Sir Douglas and Lady Gladys Nicholls Memorial in Parliament Gardens

Who lives in East Melbourne?

  • East Melbourne is home to around 4900 people
  • That’s 3 per cent of the total population of the municipality
  • Median age: 42, the highest among all neighbourhoods in the City of Melbourne
  • Born overseas: 27 per cent of residents
  • 635 houses or townhouses
  • 2758 apartments in 152 residential apartment buildings and 1 student apartment building.

Source: Census of Land Use and Employment 2021

Businesses in East Melbourne

Explore the cosy cafes, local bars and luxe dining on offer in East Melbourne. Get supplies for your next picnic at the old-school East Melbourne General Store. Visit a secret gallery or go behind the with a tour of the MCG.

  • More than 520 businesses are based in East Melbourne.
  • East Melbourne businesses generate more than 20,000 jobs.
  • More than 40 per cent of businesses are in health care and social assistance industries.
  • Many medical rooms are based in East Melbourne to serve the nearby hospitals.
Outside the MCG, a big stadium at night under lights
The iconic MCG in East Melbourne

East Melbourne Library

At the heart of community life is the ecologically sustainable East Melbourne Library. It’s one of the friendly public libraries run by the City of Melbourne.

More than 48,000 people have visited this public library over the past year. Browse more than 26,000 library books, magazines and audio-visual items, and look for fresh titles as we replenish our stock with 3400 new books.

What you’ll find at East Melbourne Library:

  • more than 26,000 library books, magazines and audio-visual items
  • programs for children and adults
  • bookable spaces for community use
  • a local history room and service
  • computer access and 24-hour wi-fi
  • community garden.
East Melbourne Library

Iconic gardens in East Melbourne

Local parks can be discovered like jewels across East Melbourne: more than 650,000 m² of this inner-city suburb is covered by public open space.

Together with the iconic MCG on Brunton Avenue and surrounding Yarra Park, these open spaces form part of the green belt that wraps around the city.

Fitzroy Gardens
  • Fitzroy Gardens on Wellington Parade in East Melbourne: grab a coffee with heart from KereKere Green, then take a self-guided walk from the Visitor Information Centre. Look for stunning floral displays at The Conservatory.
  • Treasury Gardens on Spring Street in East Melbourne: a short walk from Victoria’s Parliament House. Watch the ducks on the lake or take a moment to reflect in the evocative Emergency Services Memorial.
  • Parliament Gardens Reserve on Albert Street in East Melbourne: a triangular park with a memorial to prominent Aboriginal leaders Sir Douglas Nicholls and Lady Gladys Nicholls. Overlooking the iconic Coles Fountain.
Treasury Gardens memorial for emergency services

Community health and wellbeing

East Melbourne boasts an active residents’ group that came together in 1953 to protect the iconic elm trees in the neighbourhood. Seventy years later, they’re still advocating to protect and improve East Melbourne’s heritage and amenity.

Powlett Reserve on Grey Street in East Melbourne is a beloved local park boasting a five-court tennis centre, hosting community tennis programs, coaching and public court access.

Powlett Reserve also plays host to a children’s playground and a 51-place childcare co-op.

Test out the new outdoor gym equipment in Powlett Reserve. It’s one way that we’re responding to the health and fitness needs of the community. Stay in shape with steppers, an inclined press, cross trainer and more.

About our neighbourhood model

We’re working to better understand and respond to community needs in a highly localised way through a new neighbourhood model.

Led by passionate neighbourhood partners, the model aims to ‘connect the dots’ between the City of Melbourne, residents and businesses, to empower local people, build community capacity and guide city projects through our neighbourhood portals.

To find out more and have your say on what matters, explore the East Melbourne Neighbourhood Portal, and get to know the local neighbourhood priorities.

A neighbourhood Future Melbourne Committee meeting was held in East Melbourne on Tuesday 15 August 2023. Watch on demand.

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