Doncaster, formerly an orchard area, is now mostly residential.
It was first settled in the 1840s, and early settlers earned income from timber and fire wood, but the orchards soon predominated, growing citrus, pome and stone fruits. Fruit growing remained prosperous until the depression and the rural landscape was only a little altered by suburban growth until post-war years.
Between 1950 and 1955 the shire’s population grew at an annual average of 5%, and in the next five years the annual average growth was 28%. In 1963 G. J. Coles and Co. Ltd. acquired a nine acre site at Whites corner, at the intersection of Doncaster and Williamsons Roads, which is now the home to Westfield Doncaster.
Doncaster Hill, covering 58 hectares centred on the intersection of Doncaster Road and Williamsons/Tram Road, is set to be the civic heart of Manningham. Adopted in February 2002, the Doncaster Hill Strategy is Manningham City Council’s response to increased demand for more appropriate, sustainable and diverse housing options that accommodate the municipality’s changing demographic and social needs. Doncaster Hill is a 20-year strategy that plans to attract 4000 new residential apartments and five million extra visitors a year. The Hill is envisaged as a mixed-use sustainable urban village with a strong sense of place and a community-focused lifestyle.