Fitzroy is an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 3 km north-east of Melbourne’s Central Business District in the local government area of the City of Yarra. At the 2011 Census, Fitzroy had a population of 9,430. Planned as Melbourne’s first suburb, it was later also one of the city’s first areas to gain municipal status. It occupies Melbourne’s smallest and most densely populated suburban area, just 100 ha.
Fitzroy is known throughout Australia for its street art, music scene and culture of bohemianism, and is the main home of Melbourne’s Fringe Festival. Its commercial heart is Brunswick Street, one of Melbourne’s major retail, culinary, and nightlife strips. Long associated with the working class, Fitzroy has undergone waves of urban renewal and gentrification since the 1980’s and today is inhabited by a wide variety of socio-economic groups, featuring both some of the most expensive rents in Melbourne and one of its largest public housing complexes, Atherton Gardens.
Its built environment is diverse and features some of the finest examples of Victorian era architecture in Melbourne. Much of the suburb is covered by a historic preservation precinct, with many individual buildings and streetscapes covered by Heritage Overlays. The most recent changes to Fitzroy are mandated by the Melbourne 2030 Metropolitan Strategy, in which both Brunswick Street and nearby Smith Street are designated for redevelopment as Activity centres.
It was named after Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, the Governor of New South Wales from 1846 to 1855. It is bordered by Alexandra Parade (north), Victoria Parade (south), Smith Street (east) and Nicholson Street.