Australian Towns & Cities
Australian Capital Territory: City
Incorporating photos and Information from Michael Greenslade's former Australian Towns, Cities and Highways site

Established in 1927, Civic (officially, City) is the administrative centre of the Australian Capital Territory, with the Legislative Assembly located at Civic Square on London Circuit.

The name Civic was given to the central business district of Canberra by the city's original planner, Walter Burley Griffin, whom the nearby ornamental lake on the Molonglo River is named after.

Civic is designed around City Hill (formerly Vernon Hill) and features a land axis to the east formed by Ainslie Av radiating out towards Mount Ainslie and Constitution Av. To the west of Civic the land axis toward Black Mountain is less defined due to the location of the Australian National University, though University Av forms that part of the axis.

Civic features a swimming centre, casino, a number of federal government departments including Australian Tax Office, Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Department of Agriculture and Department of Foreign Affairs. The Federal Court of Australia, The Supreme Court of Australia, and the ACT Magistrates Court are also located in Civic. The major shopping centre is the Canberra Centre (formerly Monaro Mall) as well as the pedestrian malls of Garema Place and City Walk.

Civic is serviced by a large bus interchange covering both the eastern and western sides of the suburb as well as a light rail service out to the inner northern suburbs and to Gungahlin.

From 1921 to 1923, Civic was once serviced by a railway line, which connected with the station at Kingston terminated at the present day location of Garema Place until the rail bridge over the Molonglo River was washed away in a flood. Remnants of this line can still be located between Civic and Russell.

Civic features a number of significant buildings including the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings, which were the suburbs first commercial buildings in Civic. Both buildings have been extensively damaged by fire in the past.

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Preview: Description:
Legislative Assembly & Ethos:
View of the Ethos sculpture outside the entrance to the ACT Legislative Assembly in Civic Square on London Cct, April 2017. Created by artist Tom Bass in 1959 and unveiled 1961, Ethos is constructed from copper and was the first work of art commissioned by the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) for a public place in Canberra and was co-sponsored by the Canberra Chamber of Commerce. The title uses an early Greek word meaning ‘the place of living’. 2

Image © Paul Rands

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, City (SSC), 2016 Census QuickStats
2 ACT Government, ArtsACT, Public Art, Ethos

Last updated: 29-Jul-2020 12:38

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