The Mont Albert District - a Pictorial History 1830 to 2013

1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct

Indigenous Heritage
Geology and Topography
Vegetation and Fauna
Climate and Hydrology
1840s to 1870s
1850s - Parish of Nunawading
1852 - Whitehorse Inn
1861 - Postal Services
1880s - Electricity Supply
1880s to 1920s
1882 - Phantom Railways to Doncaster
1883 - Residential Heritage Precinct
1884 - Broughton Park subdivsion
1884 - Brickworks
1885 - Surrey Hills district - map
1888 - Football Clubs
1889 - Gas Supply and Gasworks
1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower
1890 - Mont Albert Railway Station
1892 - Surrey Hills Golf Club
1892 - Water Supply, Reservoirs and Sewerage
1899 - Telephone Services
1905 - The Surrey Dive
1907 - Scouts and Guides
1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct
1914 - Mont Albert Progress Association
1916 - Californian Bungalows
1917 - Schools
1917 - Wattle Park
1924 - Early Shortwave Broadcasting from the Surrey Hills district
1924 - Black's Estate
1925 - Bus Services
1929 - Tramways
1930 - Cricket Clubs in Mont Albert
1930s - Balwyn - Beckett Park Bonfires and Wildlife Sanctuary
1948 - Grange Tennis Courts
1957 - Pioneer Park
1961 - Surrey Hills Communications Tower
1981 - Box Hill Miniature Railway
Koonung Creek Parklands
Heritage Notes
Mont Albert Road - Early History
Mont Albert Rd - the East End
Elgar Rd - north and south of Mont Albert Rd
Mont Albert Rd - View St to Elgar Rd
Bushland Reserves
Service Associations
Sporting Clubs
Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Walking Trails
The Author's Websites
References and Acknowledgements
Comprehensive information about the Village may be found at

1919 - shopping centre lots for sale

Boundaries of shopping centre Precinct


2013 Easter Egg Hunt!


The Mont Albert Shopping Centre, Hamilton St, is of considerable aesthetic significance. The precinct is the most intact inter – War shopping centre in the City of Whitehorse.

There are some 57 shops in the Village.

Characteristics of the precinct
Although several shopping centres in the municipality were developed in Whitehorse adjacent to railway stations in the inter – War period, Mont Albert retains the greatest number of relatively intact shops, which display typical inter – War architectural details, particularly at parapet level.

Historically, the stylistic homogeneity
of the precinct’s building stock reflects the large amount of residential development, which occurred in the Mont Albert area in the first three decades of the twentieth century.

Mont Albert Shopping Centre comprises a continuous strip of shops along the east side of Hamilton Street and in Churchill Street, opposite the Railway Station, and a shorter strip of shops at the north end of the west side of Hamilton Street.

  • A mix of single storey and double storey shop buildings.
  • Predominantly masonry buildings.
  • The shops in the precinct were predominantly built between the mid - 1910s and 1930.
  • Typical characteristics displayed by many of the shops include plain parapets comprising red or clinker brick piers flanking rendered panels, sometimes with raised central sections.
  • Some of the shops in Hamilton Street have skillion-roofed verandahs with timber posts. Not all of these are original or suitable to the style of building.
  • In common with most shopping centres, several of the shopfronts have been considerably altered, although some retain original or early shopfront elements.
  • Some of the shops have cantilever verandahs, the scale of which matches the posted verandahs. Some cantilever verandahs may be original.

Hamilton St
The land now occupied by this shopping centre was first subdivided in the 1880s, and the first purpose-built shop appeared in 1912-1913.

This was " Pope and Moran Grocers", on the north-west corner of Mont Albert Rd. It later became Tom Morris'  Grocery, as an imporatant part of the centre.

It survived well into the early 60s - the author recalls making puchases there in 1959 - long wooden counters and customer chairs - brass weighing scales, bag of wheat, hay and chaff. It is now a shop which sells furniture and high-end chair coverings. 

In 1919, 14 shop sites on the eastern side were auctioned, advertised as "choice".

In the 1960s, the Salvation Army built an imposing two storey structure on the western side as its National Headquarters, but this subsequntly became the Salvation Army Supply Centre.

The original Post Office was opened in 1914 on the eastern side - this was relocated in the 1970s  to a modern new double-storey shopping strip on the western side.

This new strip was built on land on which two shops were sited as far back as 1915.

The newsgency dates back to the 1930s and was originally on the western side, later sited to its present position at no. 42 on the eastern side.

The Foodworks supermarket is on the eastern side - until the 1980s, this was two separate adjoining shops.

Other popular shops include Mont Albert Fish and Ships, KIndilan Opportunity Shop, The Orient Express cafe, Country Fare Home Style Cooking, Zint Patisserie Bakery Cafe,

By 1930, shops stretched along both sides of Hamilton St, and a few along Churchill St.

Over the decades, a village atmosphere evolved - pastrycooks, bakers, millers, estate agents, hairdressers, debtiksts, butchers, follrists, barbers, chemists and dressmakers.

The barber shop was on the corner of Hamilton and Chuchill Sts, but closed down in the 1960s and a TAB moved in. Now, the property is a Rail Fan shop.

The building at nos. 17-19 on the western side has an interesting history. It dates back to about 1915, and was a milk-bar in the 1950s. It became cafe in the 1990s, now the Orient Express, and now offers a good service to customers who like to enjpoy their cappucinos at European-style chairs and tables on the footpath, under brightly colored umbrellas!

Several Opportunity Shops are well-supported.

The chemist shop is still in its original position next to the newasgency - it became a "pharmacy"  in later years!

An estate agency survives next to the Laundro Mat./Dry Cleaners

A bakery is in Hamilton St, a popular target for local tradies around midday!

Saturday mornings are represented by a sausage-sizzle run by a local charity on the footpath outside the bakery! This also serves as an unofficial commujnity meeting place.

Whilst not in Hamilton St, a Pizza shop operates in Mont Albert Rd, just around the corner. 

A State Bank was built in the 1930s in Mont Albert Rd, directly opposite Hamilton St. This had closed down by the mid-1990s and the building is now apartments.

A small modern shopping strip is sited on Mont Albert Rd, adjacent to the western side of Hamilton St. These include a convenience store, a Chinese restaurant, and a video-hire outlet.

A community notice-board and public conveniences are located next to this strip.

This strip was built on land which was part of a service station until the 1970s.

Ample on-street and off-street car-parking is available, with car-parks behind the shops on both sijdes of Hamilton St. 

The Orient Express Cafe
Not everybody likes puns, but you have to at least appreciate the thought that went into naming this little cafe in Mont Albert. The walls of the Orient Expresso are hung with vintage railway posters, most from either the Orient Express or the London Underground. This is fitting, given that the cafe is located right next to Mont Albert railway station.

Directly opposite is the popular Railfan shop.which moved from the CBD to Mont Albert in 2012,

1918 - shopping centre

1923 - shopping centre

Shops as at April 2013
Hamilton St - eastern side
2  Entice by Design
4  Country Fare Home Style Cooking
8 Hunter Design and Interior Services
10 Fine Jewellry
14 Youn and Co, Solicitors
16 not a shop - a footway
24-26 St Vincent de Paul
28-30 Foodworks
32 Cornehls and Blackburn Butchers
34-34A Premimum Fruit
36 Lady Hamilton Fashion Boutique
38 Zint Patisserie Bakery Cafe
42 Pharmacy
44 Nswsagency
46-48 Dry Cleaners/Laundromat
Hamilton St - western side
1 Florist
1A Post Office
1D Lynch Hair and Beauty
1E  Extra Depth Footware
3-7 Salvation Army Supplies
9 Kindilian Oppoirtiunity Shop
13-15 Gosh Gifts
17-19 Orient Express Cafe
Churchill St
2 Churchills for Hair
4 Fanrail
6 Stevens
12 Gruchy and Associates

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