Early Canberra



Posted on September 24, 2010 at 8:27 PM

The opening of Canberra's first garage is recorded in a November 1926 issue of the Canberra Times. The name of the garage was CANBERRA GARAGE.  This was the first and a very modern one.  It was followed by Brodie's Garage on the south side - it had a lantern on the roof to light the way to Canberra from the old Uriarra Road that linked Queanbeyan with Canberra - now Canberra Avenue - and Hunt's Garage behind the Hotel Canberra.  This article is found in the GENERAL SECTION.


There are many articles on Hunt's Garage which was to be the first of a number attached to the Hotels.  Many of the complaints by tourists recorded in the local papers state that there was insufficient undercover parking at the hotels for cars.  The thought of leaving them in the open was also too much for the visitors - the cars could deteriorate left in the weather.


Hunt's Garage is well remembered by Westlake people who used the track from their cottages in what is now Section 22  & Block 4 Section 128 Stirling Park Yarralumla across to the Hotel Canberra to catch the bus on Commonwealth Avenue or go to the pub behind the Hotel  Canberra.


The area of Ainslie, now called Braddon where the Canberra Garage was built was the light industrial area of Canberra. Here was a bakery, the Cordial & ice factory and the Canberra Steam Laundry.  Nearby was the old 2CA radio station and the Civic Theatre that opened in the early 1930s.  This theatre stood near the old railway platform. All that remained of the platform in the 1940s was the cutaway area that defined a platform and the area below where the rail line once sat.  The line came across the Causeway from the suburb of Causeway (now part of Kingston) and continued across in front of the War Memorial, behind St John the Baptist Church to Civic Centre which was to be the main railway station of Canberra. The 1922 flood knocked out the pilons holding the line over the river and the rail line built in 1917 was never rebuilt.

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