When I was a kid, Hornsby meant Westfield shops and the cinema, Waitara meant the car yards, Hornsby Heights was in the bush and Asquith wasn’t even thought about, because that would mean going past Hornsby train station!! I have stayed in the area over the years and although a lot of that remains the same, a lot has also changed.
Going to the shops at Hornsby used to mean driving up to the shopping centre rooftop carpark (where my mum always parked in the same spot) and walking down to the shops past the indoor centre stage. The stage has gone and in its place the shopping centre has sprawled over two large areas with a central mall. I kind of miss looking down from the carpark glassed roof area into the centre stage, but I guess you get the same feeling now looking down from the curved walkway between to the two Westfield areas. And right in the centre now is the water fountain. Still undecided whether I love it or hate it – as is the case with most locals.
Waitara still has the car yards, but if someone talks about Waitara nowadays they often refer to the massive number of highrise residential developments being built. The whole area is not immune to this rapid growth though and Asquith now is quickly losing all its lovely old houses with construction happening everywhere. Personally I worry about the rapid growth of the area…are there enough green areas, are there enough schools, will infrastructure be improved? Thankfully we still have a pocket on Hornsby “old side”, with its heritage facades and Council is talking of redeveloping an old quarry for what they are dubbing will be “the Centennial Park of the North”. Thankfully as well, we still have beautiful bushland and walking tracks in the area to get away into nature, which are nice being right on our doorstep.
So am I concerned about the area, yes. But do I still love this area, a resounding yes!
Words and pictures by Kathy Wallace, her pictures can be found on Instagram here @kathybenmax