The Canterbury district of Campsie is perhaps the only suburb in Sydney to boast its own Poets’ Corner, which stretches from the Council Chambers to the Cooks River.
Sadly, however, the tag stems more from the names of such precinct streets as Shakespeare, Browning, Dryden, Burns and Cowper than the lyrical oratory of aldermen past.
Much of the land now occupied by the suburb’s signature brick and timber Federation homes, with their characteristic stained glass windows and fretwork verandah decorations, was originally owned by one of the colony’s early Chief Constables, John Redman.
Not surprisingly, Redman had little difficulty arranging a constant supply of convict labourers to clear his land of trees, and split, stack and eventually deliver the logs to his principal customer, Sydney Gaol.
Along with other inner municipalities in the Sydney region, Canterbury has a distinctly cosmopolitan image. In fact more than 45 per cent of Cantabrians were born overseas, with the largest concentrations of migrants coming to Australia from Lebanon, China, Greece and Vietnam.
The shops on Campsie's main thoroughfare, Beamish Street, reflect the diversity of the suburb's population, while you can sit in Anzac Mall and watch the world go by.