Quiet by nature, Lilyfield’s working-class roots underpin its community-centred vibe. Sydneysiders are yet to tap into this neighbourhood that’s situated on the fringe of the city. Lilyfield is defined by architecture that echoes its intriguing history, Iron Cove and bordering parklands.
On the fringe of some of the Inner West’s most thriving neighbourhoods, Lilyfield is quiet yet endearing. It includes foreshore parklands on Iron Cove and urban streets lined with cottages that are reminders of its working-class heritage.
A large part of this suburb is parkland – Callan and Leichhardt Parks run down to the foreshore of Iron Cove. Historically, Callan Park was an estate which became a psychiatric hospital. Now it is home to the University of Sydney College of Fine Arts, NSW Writers’ Centre and the NSW Ambulance Education Centre – the psychiatric and rehabilitation centres have been relocated. Locals bring their furry friends to play in the beautiful and peaceful grounds around the heritage-listed sandstone buildings.
Further west, Leichhardt Park is a sprawling outdoor recreation area, accommodating boating, football and everything in between. The popular Bay Run around Iron Cove passes through Callan Park and Leichhardt Park.
Lilyfield may not have the cafés and dining opportunities of Rozelle and Leichhardt, but on Saturday the Orange Grove Farmers’ Market on Balmain Road is in full swing with great coffee, food and an enormous range of produce and goods on sale. Other days of the week the intimate café scene at Orange Grove Plaza keeps locals happy.
The City West Link bisects Lilyfield, so commuting to Sydney’s CBD is easy by road, light rail or bus.
Still in the midst of gentrification, Lilyfield has elements of grunginess, but with workman cottages being beautifully restored with contemporary add-ons, Lilyfield is slowly being revived.
Lilyfield’s architecture is an eclectic mix of styles and sizes. In contrast to neighbouring Rozelle, Lilyfield’s terrace houses, workmen’s cottages and architecturally-designed homes sit on generous blocks that line wide streets.
Homes that have been beautifully restored or are undergoing extensive renovation can be found along Ryan, Lamb, Cecily, Gladstone and Starling Streets.
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