Ultimo is an inner-city suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Ultimo is located 2 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Sydney. Broadway is a locality around the road of the same name, which is located on the borders of Ultimo, Chippendale and Glebe.
Ultimo Useful Links
- Ultimo College
- Ultimo Library
- The Ultimo | Hotel
- Map of Ultimo
- Ultimo Public School
- Where to eat at Ultimo?
‘Ultimo’ was originally the name of the estate of Dr John Harris, on 34 acres (140,000 m2) granted to him by Governor King in 1803. It was named for a clerical error in a legal case against Harris that had prevented him being court-martialled. His offence was listed as ‘ultimo’ (having occurred in the previous month) when it should have been cited as ‘instant’ (having occurred in the same month). Harris Street is named in his honour.
The area remained as farmland, in possession of the Harris family, until it was subdivided in 1859. At that time, most of the current streets were laid out, and the descendants of John Harris constructed the first residences in the area (at least one of which–a row of terraces in Wattle Street–was still owned by the family in the early 1980s).
Residential development accelerated in the 1880s. In 1891 the population of the Pyrmont-Ultimo area was 19,177, in 3,966 dwellings. The population peaked at around 30,000 in 1900. However, the construction of factories, quarries, woolstores and a power station in the early 20th century saw the demolition of hundreds of houses, and a steady decline in population. It was a good site for warehouses because of its proximity to Darling Harbour.
Subsequently, many industries began to move to cheaper land further from the CBD, and the decline of the wool industry made Ultimo’s 15 woolstores redundant. By the start of the 1980s, derelict industrial sites began to be redeveloped for residences, mostly as apartments, a process that continues to the present.
Very little industry remains in the area, and its current character is a combination of residential and commercial. One conspicuous industrial relic is the brick shell of Davey’s Flour Mill, built in 1911, and adjacent to the southern approach to the Anzac Bridge.
The Dairy Farmer’s Cooperative operated from its facility in Harris Street and Ultimo Road from 1912 to its closure in 2009, after which the site was redeveloped by the nearby UTS in a project designed by architect Frank Gehry.
Wentworth Park commenced its life as a creek and swamp, known from the 1830s as Blackwattle Cove Swamp. Wentworth Park became a rugby league oval and the home ground of the Glebe Dirty Reds who were a part of the New South Wales Rugby League premiership back in its inception.
The 2001 census recorded a population of 4,054, 46% of whom were born overseas. Its proximity to Chinatown means that it has historically had a large Chinese population. In 2011, the most common ancestries in Ultimo were Chinese 27.4%, English 9.9%, Australian 7.9%, Irish 3.9% and Indian 2.5%.
In common with other inner suburbs such as Surry Hills, Ultimo still has some of the oldest examples of Victorian terraces. Despite constant ‘slum clearance and redevelopment during the 20th century, many fine examples exist which, as in other inner Sydney suburbs, have been progressively ‘gentrified’ in recent times.
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