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The original inhabitants of the North Sydney area were the Cammeraygal and Wallumedegal Aboriginal clans.

Europeans settled in the area from 1805, when the first land grants were made. Development was slow due to the rugged terrain, limited access and limited agricultural potential. Commercial activities included farming, lumbering and boat building.

Access was improved in 1830, when ferry services began across Sydney Harbour. Land was subdivided and sold in the 1850s, with some growth in the 1870s and the 1880s.

The opening of the North Shore Railway Line from St Leonards to Hornsby in the 1890s was an impetus to growth. The opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge spearheaded development from the 1930s onwards.

Post World War II, economic growth and immigration provided drive for city growth in the 1960s and 1970s.

Development in the medium-high density residential sector, the North Sydney CBD commercial and office development accompanied the post-war growth.

The cultural aspects of North Sydney include historic buildings and landmarks, streetscapes, community events, pedestrian networks, parks and Sydney CBD views.

North Sydney City Council has identified specific cultural resources and included them in its planning controls throughout the North Sydney Local Government Area. North Sydney Development Control Plan (DCP) 2013

The Stanton Library's Heritage Centre Services include extensive historic archives on the local history of the area, such as historic photographs, subdivision plans, publications, Council rate books, and heritage leaflets/walking tours on aspects of North Sydney's heritage and history.

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