Aitkenvale, a residential suburb, is 7 km south-west of central Townsville. It was named after Thomas Aitken who arrived in Townsville in 1867 and took up 3500 acres on Ross Island (now South Townsville and Railway Estate). In 1883 he put up for sale subdivided land south of Castle Hill, overlooking the Ross River, which he named Aitkenvale. Sales were unspectacular, but enough for the Aitkenvale Hotel to open in 1884.
A post office was opened in 1896, and Aitkenvale and neighbouring Mundingburra were outlying rural areas that remained in Thuringowa Shire until 1918 when they were amalgamated with urban Townsville. Aitkenvale primary school was opened in 1924, set among farm lands that extended to Hermit Park where Gullivers nursery bred the Triumph mango.
By the early postwar years urbanisation was evident: Pugh's Queensland Directory (1949) recorded St Mary's Catholic church and the Palladium cinema. In 1955 suburban boundaries were clarified with the Aitkenvale West post office being named Aitkenvale, and the Aitkenvale post office being named Mundingburra. Riverside Christian school was opened in 1968 and Stockland Plaza shopping centre (three discount department stores and over 150 other shops) was opened in 1970. Most of the housing stock dates from this period and the next two decades, comprising medium-priced high and low-set detached houses. There are some commercial/industrial areas, particularly between Illich and Aitkenvale Parks in the north of the suburb. In 2009 a major department store, Myer, was added to Stockland.
Aitkenvale's census populations have been:
Malcolm Rea, Aitkenvale, Brisbane, Australian Post Office, Public Relations Section, 1971