South Toowoomba, a residential suburb, is immediately adjacent to central Toowoomba. Their dividing boundary is the Warrego Highway (James Street). Its southern boundary adjoins Middle Ridge. The suburb's eastern boundary is defined by East Creek, one of two tributaries of the swampy Gowrie Creek which originally drew European settlers to Toowoomba. West Creek, the other tributary, is also in South Toowoomba, running through the City Golf Club course. Each waterway has linear park lands, and West Creek is also followed by the linking Toowoomba to Wyreema and Warwick railway (1915).

South Toowoomba is the northern toe of Middle Ridge and was originally surveyed as an agricultural suburb (1854) with two-acre allotments. A later survey reserved allotments on the south side of James Street for a benevolent asylum, Presbyterian and Catholic churches, Catholic and National schools and a market reserve. Groom Park now occupies the market reserve.

At the south-east corner where James Street is crossed by Ruthven Street, the Darling Downs Benevolent Society opened its first hospital in 1865. It later moved west to the site of the Toowoomba general hospital, and in 1878 its old site was used for the South Toowoomba primary school. The South Toowoomba school, opened in 1865, was Toowoomba's first school. In 1873 St Saviour's Catholic College opened, just south of the first hospital site. Nearby were St Patrick's Catholic church (1863, the first in Toowoomba) and its schools.

In 2013 the State government announced plans to close nine schools including Toowoomba South State School.

South Toowoomba has the Catholic St Patrick's Cathedral (1935) in James Street and Presbyterian, Lutheran and Latter Day Saints churches. The Lutheran church (1888) was built by German farmers from Middle Ridge. The New England Highway (Ruthven Street), the south approach to central Toowoomba, has several motels. The largest institution, Toowoomba Hospital, has stayed on its 1870s site, and between 1894 and 1910 added nurses' quarters and an operating theatre. In the 1950s-60s there was major reconstruction, including new nurses' quarters.

South Toowoomba's census populations have been:

census datepopulation
20065251
20115225

Bernie Moore, A short history of St Patrick's Cathedral, St Patrick's Cathedral, Toowoomba, 2010

Leo J. Ansell, Stones that speak: St Patrick's Cathedral, Toowoomba, Diocese of Toowoomba, 1989

Middle Ridge entry

Headwords: 
Copyright © Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2018. All rights reserved.
UQ Logo