Fitzroy, including Fitzroy North, is an inner suburb of Melbourne, located just to the north-east of the CBD. It is bordered by East Melbourne to the south, Carlton to the west, Brunswick to the north, and both Clifton Hill and Collingwood to the east.
Fitzroy was first established in 1839 as Melbourne's first suburb. Since then, it has transformed itself from an industrial working-class suburb into a highly sought after area with many apartment buildings and extensive shopping and dining precincts. Despite the change, Fitzroy features many examples of fine Victorian era architecture including the Fitzroy Town Hall in Napier Street which dates back to 1873.
The proximity of Fitzroy to Melbourne's CBD and its good public transport facilities have made it a popular suburb for both residents and visitors.
Fitzroy and Fitzroy North have 5 distinct shopping precincts, all with tram lines running along them. Brunswick Street is lined for almost 2 kilometres by shops including eclectic retail outlets, restaurants and bars. Smith Street, which defines the border with Collingwood, was Melbourne's first suburban shopping strip. It consists of over one kilometre of eateries, bars, second hand shops and factory outlets for clothing and homewares. Gertrude Street, which intersects both Brunswick Street and Smith Street, offers a selection of traditional pubs, restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Queens Parade is a wide tree-lined boulevard in Fitzroy North which has a village atmosphere and features a range of speciality shops and cafes. Also in Fitzroy North is St Georges Road which contains a series of local shopping strips with restaurants and retailers.
Fitzroy is known for its large number of pubs. A number of Fitzroy's traditional hotels can be found tucked away down back streets in residential areas, giving the sense of a village atmosphere away from the bustling shopping strips.
Fitzroy is home to a number of galleries and art studios, some tucked away off the main thoroughfares. It also has a thriving and creative street art community with large scale murals on the walls of some buildings. Tours are available of the more notable sites.
The largest park in the suburb is Edinburgh Gardens. Located along St Georges Road in Fitzroy North, it features 24 hectares of tree-lined pathways, lawns and sporting facilities. Other parkland can be found along Merri Creek, Alexandra Parade and on the site what used to be the inner circle railway.
There are a number of shared walking and bicycle trails through Fitzroy. The Capital City Trail and Merri Creek Trail run through Fitzroy North, with a branch that extends to Edinburgh Gardens. Dedicated on-road bicycle lanes are provided along a number of roads to cater for high cycle traffic.