Leichhardt used to be a neighbourhood where you knew all your neighbours. In our Leichhardt edition of There Goes the Neighbourhood, one resident states “my grandparents live next door and my uncle lives across the road.” Leichhardt is known for being a tight-knit community of (mostly) Italian migrants. The influx of Italian’s in the 1950s and 60s really brought Leichhardt to life. Restaurants, butchers, great gelato and other Italian run businesses provided Sydney with vibrant display of Italian culture.
Its proximity to the city and distinct character led to the gentrification of the mid 90s. Although working class, Leichhardt was viewed as a safe, yet diverse option for liberal but wealthy residents to move in, many of them renovating the old housing and factories. Like many areas in this program gentrification caused a change in the kinds of businesses that made up Leichhardt and it’s famous Norton Street strip. The Italian owned businesses that had built Leichhardt are being pushed out along with the residents.