Northgate, a residential and industrial suburb on the Sandgate railway line, is 10 km north-east of central Brisbane.

Soon after the opening of the railway line in 1882 a Melbourne firm, McKenzie and Holland, opened a workshop to make signalling and permanent way equipment immediately east of the railway station, then called Toombul. When the North Coast line was opened at the Toombul junction, the station's name was changed to Northgate Junction (a portmaneau formed from North Coast and Sandgate), and later shortened to Northgate.

In 1890 land subdivisions were put up for sale, but most early housing in the area dates from 20 or more years after then. In 1922 the Northgate-Virginia school of arts at the corner of Scott and Ridge Streets was opened and four years later a Methodist Church and a Masonic hall were erected. Both were quite grand structures but ceased to function about 50 years later.

In 1947 part of a former US Army depot east of the Banyo railway station was acquired by the Committee of Direction of Fruit Marketing for the Golden Circle Cannery. Although in Banyo, the site was known as the Northgate cannery. In addition to the railway workshop (1915) and the cannery, there were also a box and case manufacturer, a handle factory, a brass foundry and a sawmill. Additional industry during the 1950s-60s included Nanda Macaroni (1948), Wunderlich tile and window works, a plastic irrigation factory, and a tobacco growers' warehouse.

Nundah and Virginia primary schools could no longer absorb Northgate's children and Northgate's primary school (east of the railway) opened in 1959. A Catholic primary school opened in 1952. Local shops near the railway station catered for immediate needs, but Sandgate Road, Nundah, and later Toombul Shopping town, absorbed most retail spending.

Northgate was a mature suburb by the 1970s and by the 1990s was being marketed as a cheaper alternative to Clayfield's high-priced housing. City access is available by rail, bus or the Gateway Motorway.

Northgate's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

From pioneering days: Nundah, Northgate, Virginia, Nundah, Nundah and Districts Historical Society, 2002

Telegraph, 11 June 1966, p11-14


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