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"Community spirit somewhat lacking, but it still has a great deal to offer"

I've lived in Guildford 35+ years. I've stayed here because the amenities are very good. In the last 15 years, however, the cohesive community spirit that was once strong has waned bit, by bit, by bit most likely due to the dichotomy of religious vs. secular and perceptions of lowering community safety (though the stats don'r reflect that at all). The community has largely become a culturally and socially divided one and apart from a few exceptions street by street, different groups prefer not to associate. As a result there is a little bit of palpable tension in the air at times but nothing to worry about if you keep your head down and are polite, but not too friendly with just anyone. It is sad to notice that Guildford isn't as cheery and easy-going as it used to be, but what it has gained is a bold multicultural "urban buzz" that gives the place great energy. The ethnic food options, fresh food shopping, two dollar shops, car mechanics and medical services are FIERCE, of course.

There are indeed bored and antagonistic teens (they like to shoulder charge depending on the season) and groups of 20-something single men that hang about, make lots of noise (there's plenty of loud music, speeding, revving and burnouts) but they're not formally "gangs" (so nineties...) and always on the move so most of the time you'd be mistaken for thinking that Guildford is as sleepy as it ever was. I notice all the noise because I'm studying at the moment so am spending more time at home when not at work rather than going out with friends, etc. I'm seriously considering some soundproofing measures!

The proximity to all essential amenities including shopping is fantastic, and I've been waiting for Guildford to be discovered by young families who can't afford housing in the inner West, but I guess having to travel an extra 20-30min on a train or in a car to inner-City workplaces is a stretch too far. Maybe they see the reports of shootings and terror raids which makes them think "no way!"? To be honest, it's all pretty minor. The media always make one or a few incidents seem like dozens and dozens. In a suburb of around 20k population, probably only hundreds of people would be actively involved in crime and far less are into religious zealotry (but it's still a shame and a worry). Many of those arrested for criminal activity are either from other suburbs or have only just moved into the area anyway and aren't long term residents at all. Everyone else just gets on with life. It's the same story in almost every other suburb in Sydney.

I am however considering moving in a few years, particularly if the sporadic noise becomes almost constant and if the multicultural mix gives way to majority religious-conservative groups and a minority of everyone else (which could be on the cards). As I get older I appreciate peace and quiet more than I used to and I don't appreciate others' religious adherence (whatever faith) being up in my face. I also like the idea of living in a community where I can say hello to anyone in the street or initiate a conversation about the weather without being treated with suspicion or like it's a threat to their very honour and soul. Nearly everywhere in Sydney is becoming more populous. It's a fact of life. Communities change, cultures change. Everything hybridises. That's both good and bad. You roll with whatever makes you happy and content.

Guildford's good. The undulating to hilly geography, its streetscapes and its amenities hold it up and carry it, but overall it's not amazing because its people aren't particularly amazing in their attitude towards the place (me included - I lost the magic feeling about 6 or 7 years ago, I guess). It's a great place to start and to simply get along, though. Even as a kid, I knew of people who were moving through Guildford (living here for 1-2 years) on the way to somewhere else, and it's in this capacity that Guildford has been good to a great many people. It's also been good to people who've lived here a very long time, like me. I appreciate this place and what it has to offer. It's a terrible place for those who want to hit the ground whingeing and complaining, and who want to take rather than nurture and give back (and are the main reason why Guildford isn't better). It's such a Sydney place in that regard as it is what it is and so far has had a great capacity to accommodate difference without too great a detriment to the whole. So ultimately I have a healthy respect for Guildford and its folk, whatever it is and for whomever choose to call it home.

Great for

  • Comprehensive transport options
  • Lower cost of living compared to other suburbs
  • A growing urban "buzz"
  • Close to Parramatta CBD.
  • Great for families.

Not great for

  • House prices have broken $1m and rents increasing
  • Can feel a little anonymous and lacking in community feel
  • Noise a little excessive at times (weddings/parties/hoons/bikies)

Who lives here?

  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • LGBT+
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

You"re a wonderful writer>

The opinions expressed within this review are those of the individual and not those of Homely.com.au.