Pascoe Vale 3044These residential areas, west of Coburg, are between 7 km. and 11 km. north of Melbourne. They are named after Pascoeville, the property owed by John Pascoe Fawkner and bounded approximately by the Moonee Ponds Creek, Gaffney Street, Northumberland Road and the western prolongation of Boundary Road. Fawkner acquired the property in 1839 as one of eleven lots in the subdivision of the Coburg district by the government surveyor, Robert Hoddle.
Pascoe Vale has been situated in three municipalities: Broadmeadows, Essendon and Coburg. A Pascoe Vale village was established south of Fawkner's residence in the vicinity of Pascoe Vale Road where it crosses the Moonee Ponds Creek. The small population of that area tended to be drawn towards the Moonee Ponds area of Essendon where there were churches and a school. Population was still concentrated near the village when subdivisional activity began in 1882 in the vicinity of the nearby railway line (1872). In 1885 the Pascoe Vale railway station was built at the cost of the subdividers, and had a country rail timetable, the suburban service ending at Essendon. That was the westerly edge of the present Pascoe Vale. Well beyond Pascoe Vale's eastern edge was Coburg North with its railway line. The space in between was not filled by housing until the 1950s.
Apart from the infrequency of trains the problems of unmade roads, unreticulated utilities and no sewerage deterred house builders. A primary school was not opened until 1911. Progress Associations in Pascoe Vale and West Coburg promoted their areas during the 1920s, and residents of Pascoe Vale built a public hall in 1922 at the corner where a shopping centre developed in Pascoe Street. On 26 June, 1927, the tram service along Melville Road to Bell Street, Pascoe Vale South, was opened, terminating at the main neighbourhood shopping centre for the area. Pascoe Vale's census population in 1921 was 348, and any substantial increase awaited post-war immigration and residential expansion.
The tramline stimulated further attempts to dispose of subdivided land left over from the 1880s land boom, and with some success. Streets were named after first world war places (Gallipoli, Heliopolis), or with regal origins. Balmoral Avenue has several notable 1920s houses, and houses in the war-named streets were built by the War Service Homes Commission. The Victorian Housing Commission constructed houses, including prefabricated Beaufort metal units, after the second world war.
Primary schools were opened at Pascoe Vale South (1954) and Pascoe Vale North (1956), and a Girls' Secondary School in 1956. In 1955 the Melbourne College of Textiles was opened on the site of a Migrants' Hostel.
Pascoe Vale's tenuous connection with the western side of Moonee Ponds Creek was lessened with the construction of the Tullamarine Freeway, 1969, which was exemplified by the loss of both congregation members at the Catholic church and a school opened eight years before on a site almost in the freeway's shadow.
Pascoe Vale South has few parks but has the convenience of a tram terminus and a railway station. Pascoe Vale has a linear park along a tributary of the Moonee Ponds Creek and four other reserves with sporting facilities, including a swimming pool.
The median house prices in Pascoe Vale and Pascoe Vale South in 1987 were about 90% of the median for metropolitan Melbourne. In 1996 they were about equal to the metropolitan median.
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