West End is an inner-city suburb of southern Brisbane. Geographically, West End is bound by the Brisbane River to the west and the south. It was named so by early English settlers who found the area a fond reminder of the West End of London.
According to 2001 census, over 43% of the households in West End are couples without children, while 31% are couples with children. Just over 50% of the dwellings are stand alone houses and 37% are higher density residential properties, including multi-storey blocks of apartments and units.
The area’s major attraction is the popular café and restaurant scene, as well as its quaint and quirky shopping centered along Boundary Street. It is also renowned for its high concentration of ethnic and organic grocery stores, which is reflective of the progressive lifestyle pursued by West End residents. The Davies Park on the riverside hosts one of the largest Farmer’s markets in Greater Brisbane every Saturday.
Some houses are covered by historic preservation laws seeking to preserve the historical character e.g. tin roofing. Contrasting sharply with the historic homes are new buildings of contemporary designs. Prices for all types of properties have been increasing dramatically in recent decades. According to REIQ, the median unit/townhouse price in West End for 2005 is $310,000, and the median house price is $490,500.
West End is adjacent to the suburbs of South Brisbane and Highgate Hill. These three suburbs make up a peninsula of the Brisbane River, which helps maintain a close geographical community.
The Aboriginal name for the area is Kurilpa, which means place of the water rat. An area of significant importance to the Aboriginals of West End is Musgrave Park.
West End is home to a large percentage of the Brisbane Greek community. Among local residents are also immigrants of Italian, Lebanese and Asian descent. About one quarter of residents speak a language other than English at home.
West End was one of the first suburbs of Brisbane to be serviced by a tram line, being opened in 1885. Initially the tram was horse drawn, and terminated in Boundary Street but in 1897 the line was electrified and extended to the southern end of Hardgrave Road, via Vulture Street. It was subsequently extended down Hoogley street to the ferry terminus at the end of Hoogley street. The tram line closed on 13 April 1969.