Living locally is about more than just frequenting cafes and knowing your grocer's name. At the heart of Brunswick East is a sense of a shared responsibility to support local business and make choices with the environment in mind.
Here are five of the spots that make Brunswick East one of Melbourne's greenest enclaves.
Whether you're shopping for a new house plant, scoping out good coffee or ordering your weekly groceries, Ceres (pronounced "series") should be your first stop. An award-winning, not-for-profit sustainability centre and urban farm, it neighbours Merri Creek and has become the heart of the neighbourhood. Kids visit for school excursions, and the rest of us can take workshops in permaculture, gardening, cooking, craft and sustainability.
Roberts Street & Stewart Street, Brunswick East
Merri Creek bike path
It's one of the city's favourite scenic paths for good reason. The Merri Creek trail begins its life at Dights Falls, where the creek meets the Yarra, and meanders north some 20 kilometres into Coburg. On weekends, when prams and joggers are more prevalent, it becomes a bit trickier to glide through, and it's best to avoid certain sections of the trail after heavy rains. But at most other times you can enjoy the sealed path as it travels alongside the creek, shielded from traffic, past Coburg Lake Reserve, the Brunswick Velodrome and Ceres.
Bees are important, and at this Lygon Street stop you’ll find everything you need to start and maintain your own hive – as well as beeswax candles, handmade ceramic honey pots and 10-gallon drums of the golden stuff. If you’re not buzzed on that idea, there’s plenty more here to help you cook, eat and live sustainably. Cheese-making workshops, ferment-it-yourself kombucha and sourdough baking classes are regular, and you’ll also find all manner of organic produce, DIY foodie books and equipment. After you pick up some fresh Tasmanian leatherwood, it’s back on your bike.
500 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Where Nicholson Street weaves through Brunswick East and comes to an end sits Jones Park, a green reprieve from the city. It's a favourite for dog owners (and dog admirers), with off-leash rules. Walking through on your way to Ceres or A Minor Place, you'll find a pond full of ducks and frogs. You can also spend a long, lazy afternoon in the park; there are electric barbeques, picnic areas and play equipment.
9–23 Albion Street, Brunswick East
Abrahams Reserve and Brunswick Velodrome
As cyclists on the Merri Creek trail whizz past, take a walk through the greenery of Abrahams Reserve towards a site of Melbourne's sporting history that still draws crowds and competitors today. First built in 1912, Brunswick Velodrome was restored in recent years to ensure its iconic stand and track keep the pace into the future. In 2016, Brunswick Cycling Club – which calls the Velodrome home – celebrated its centenary. It welcomes competitive road and track cyclists of all ages and abilities, and was the training ground for many past Olympic and Commonwealth Games heroes.
Abrahams Reserve, 50–72 Harrison Street, Brunswick East
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with East Brunswick Village.