Oxford Street is a major thoroughfare in Sydney, Australia, running from Whitlam Square on the south-east corner of Hyde Park in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney to Bondi Junction in the Eastern Suburbs. Close to the CBD in particular, the street is lined with numerous shops, bars and nightclubs. In recent years, Oxford Street has garnered a reputation as Sydney’s primary nightclub strip, and has subsequently seen a large increase in the number of crimes committed in the area.
The western section, which runs through the suburb of Darlinghurst, is widely recognised as Sydney’s main gay district and Oxford Street is closed to traffic once a year in early March for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The section to the east of Taylor Square, running through the suburb of Paddington forms an upmarket shopping strip and represents the home of the new medical faculty of the University of Notre Dame Australia as well as the University of New South Wales‘ College of Fine Arts, Victoria Barracks, Paddington Bazaar and St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney amongst other locations.
In May 1909 the Sydney Council resolved to widen Oxford Street from 66 feet (20 m) to 100 feet (30 m) by resuming the entire north side of the street between Liverpool and Bourke Streets. The project was carried out in five stages between 1910 and 1914. The result was a new boulevard and the creation of a Federation streetscape which remains today largely intact.
Trams to Bondi and Bronte beaches travelled down Oxford Street until the line was closed in 1960, replaced by the current bus service.