Forestville is a suburb of Northern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Forestville is 12 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council. Forestville is part of the Forest District.
Forestville's location is at a junction between Sydney's North Shore and Northern Beaches and is often considered to be part of both, with Middle Harbour forming the boundary of this distinction. The suburb is bound to the east and west by bushland of the Garigal National Park and to the south by Middle Harbour.
Flora and fauna thrive in Garigal National Park and nearby Davidson National Park, with the area, along with Frenchs Forest, Belrose and Terrey Hills, receiving some of the highest rainfall in Sydney.
Forestville means town in the forest. This area was originally thick wooded forest until James French settled here and began felling timber in 1856 and eventually built a small wharf on Bantry Bay to ship timber to Sydney. French later acquired more land in the adjacent suburb which bears his name, Frenchs Forest. The area was used for so called "soldier settlement" farms after the 2nd world war with very mixed success. Much of the land, particularly toward Killarney Heights was totally unsuitable for any type of farming and was developed as housing land in the early 1960s.
French's Forest Settlement Post Office opened in 1920 and was renamed Forestville in 1947.
Forestville Village Shops - or The Centre - is the suburb's main shopping centre located on Darley and Starkey Streets with a Coles supermarket and a variety of specialty shops, services and food options.
A few shops are located along Arthur Street, including a cafe, physiotherapist and chiropractor.
Forestville is also formerly the home to the office and call centre of the NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue Service (WIRES), which has since relocated to nearby Brookvale. Cook Street is also home to many DIY shops such as a Mitre 10 (also known by its original name "Eatons") and multiple car service centres and other industries.
Dotted with many parks and reserves and almost completely surrounded by beautiful bushland with lots of native flora and fauna, Forestville is a low density housing area consisting of mostly family homes with medium-sized backyards. The housing style is mixed.
Many of the timber Soldiers Cottages that were originally built in the 1950s and early 1960s have gradually been replaced by large project homes and smaller townhouse villas. However there is increasingly a trend towards renovating and preserving the original cottages or building architect-designed houses which sit well in the bushland setting. It's this organic approach to housing development by Warringah council and the wider Forestville community that has allowed Forestville and the surrounding neighbourhoods like Killarney Heights and Frenchs Forest to grow and expand yet still maintain their unique bushland identity and local character.
There are three primary schools in Forestville, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Forestville Montessori School and Forestville Public School. The nearest high school is Killarney Heights High School and other high schools nearby are The Forest High School in Frenchs Forest and Davidson High School in Frenchs Forest. There is also the Aspect Vern Barnett School for children with autism spectrum disorder.
There are a number of churches in Forestville:
- St David's Anglican Church
- Cityview Church
- Forestville Uniting Church
- Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
- Rest Church
- Ruach Ministries (a network of house churches)
Sport and recreation
Sporting facilities in Forestville include sporting fields, tennis and netball courts which local teams such as Forest Killarney Soccer Club, Forest Netball Club, Forest Rugby Club and the Forestville Ferrets Junior Rugby League Football Club call home ground. There is a Returned Services League Centre (RSL) nearby called The Forest Club.
At the 2016 census, there were 8,329 residents in Forestville. The median age of 42 was higher than the national median of 38, and 20.2% of the population were aged 65 years and over. The most common ancestries in Forestville were English 26.8%, Australian 21.4%, Irish 8.1%, Scottish 6.7% and Chinese 5.6%.
65.9% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth were England 6.0%, China 2.5%, New Zealand 2.1% and South Africa 1.4%. 74.7% of people only spoke English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Armenian 3.5%, Cantonese 2.7%, Mandarin 2.6%, French 1.9% and Japanese 1.5%. The most common responses for religion in Forestville were No Religion 9.7%, Catholic 23.8% and Anglican 18.2%.
Following a redistribution in December 2009, Forestville residents may be allocated to one of two Federal electorates. This could be either the Division of Warringah or the Division of Mackellar. Forestville is home to the former Federal MP for Warringah, and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Warringah Road is the main thoroughfare that connects Forestville to the adjacent suburbs of Roseville Chase and Frenchs Forest. Two different bus companies operate in Forestville. The privately held Forest Coach Lines operates numerous routes through the suburb, connecting Forestville to the Sydney CBD, Chatwsood, Terrey Hills, Mona Vale and Warringah Mall. The State owned Sydney buses operate a single bus route, which runs from Chatswood to Manly and passes through Forestville.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Forestville (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
- The Book of Sydney Suburbs, Compiled by Frances Pollon, Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1990, Published in Australia ISBN 0-207-14495-8, page 106
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- "Eaton Building Materials - Forestville". eatonbm.com.au. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- "Frenchs Forest Motors". frenchsforestmotors.com.au.
- http://www.foresttyres.com.au/ Archived 22 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Being neighbourly in Forestville means you can keep up with the Abbotts". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Australian Electoral Commission map http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/maps/nsw/2009-aec-a4-map-nsw-division-of-mackellar.pdf
- "Tony Abbott puts Forestville on the map". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Forest Coach Lines website". Forest Coach Lines. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "PrePay-Only - Chatswood to Manly". transportnsw.info. Retrieved 17 May 2019.