Kalamunda, Australia’s ugliest town centre?

Update: This post has generated unprecedented bizarre comments from Kalamunda crackpots, including the best ever comment in the 91,000 made on this site, “I was clearly joking about writing a blog about my cat shitting…I have better things to do.”
But not a single person has actually disagreed with the point made, that is, Kalamunda’s built environment is a disgrace and a disaster.”

With Snuff still tantric training, I thought I’d take a close survey of Kalamunda town centre this Saturday. I know it is regarded by many as Western Australia’s ugliest town centre – even Dunsborough can’t match the decades of ill chosen building approvals, but is it Australia’s? And furthermore, who is to blame for the unrelenting shite that is Kalamunda town centre? There is not a single building in the main street that anyone would object to being demolished. Worse, there’s nobody actually calling for a street wide demolition. Just have a look at this awful, awful town, ironically surrounded by some beautiful residential areas.
Did nobody object to this revolting Reno of the Stirk Medical Centre? And notice how removing a Toyota dealership has made the place less interesting.
Update: the MSM has caught up with this. If this is pro-TWOP, I am happy to share the credit. But if it’s critical, let me say Mr McDonald is merely an acquaintance.

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Behold the magic vista of Haynes Street! Kalamunda residents, your council approved this.

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It’s not just recent development. Kalamunda’s commercial buildings were designed and approved by morons since, from long ago. Some abortions from the 70s. Didn’t the Post Office used to be tiled?

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These I think 80s.

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Who could possibly want to enter this building? Awful. Will be empty for years to come.

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There is nothing you could do to this place to make it inviting to enter.

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And the 1960s (?) library used to be a total abortion, but Kalamunda planners, council and ratepayers have managed to make the recent redevelopment even fucking shittier! The new “cultural” centre is ok I guess, but I assume only because the architects ignored any suggestion to match the rest of the built environment. Or the actual zigzag. But cultural and Kalamunda in the same title, only provokes giggling.

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Here’s a gem from the what 1960s? St BARNabus church. What a piece of crap. Maybe the interior is a masterpiece of modern design?

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And even in the 2000s they are still sticking to the most repulsive shit brick designs. Why? This look has been rubbish for 20 years. Yes. Good luck leasing this awful building. You’d have to pay people to enter it.

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And this is recent. Someone submitted plans for this, and the council said, “Yes, of course you can put that monstrosity in public view in the centre of our town. Why not decorate it with some burning turds in paper bags for the opening?”

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And perhaps the only two buildings worth saving, the Kalamunda Hotel and next door, still have to be shittified with giant roller door and plastic awnings. And a dubiously planned beer garden. (someone reminded me, the previous green and treed beer garden now part of the hideous coles carpark.)

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And here are some other random pieces of crap across several decades. Mind you, this is not a highly edited selection. This is what it is like across the whole town! Kalamunda is unrelenting shite from arsehole to breakfast. It should be beautiful. Why is it not?

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Thanks for this view Coles and Kalamunda council. Thanks heaps.

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A community centre. Jeeezus.

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How embarrassing that the only building of any interest in the main drag is a crappy 70s fock Tudor pub. BTW the ex antiques retro shop is for lease if you are desperately looking for some premises to go bankrupt in.

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About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
This entry was posted in worst of perth and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

387 Responses to Kalamunda, Australia’s ugliest town centre?

  1. And notice all the for lease signs? That’s because you are crap Kalamunda. Noone wants to climb your light coloured brick stairs to buy anything.

    Like

  2. Rong1 says:

    Perhaps this summer they can find a retired cop to use an angle grinder in the dry grass …

    Like

  3. Rong1 says:

    A spark meant for the escarpment

    Like

  4. Rolly says:

    Traditional approach to a beautiful area – compensate for the natural niceness by erecting visually offensive buildings.
    It’s everywhere, and it’s symptomatic of the need to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator.
    Standing out from the crowd is a recipe for incoming vitriol.
    Tall poppies and all that.

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to mention All the coffee shops

    Like

  6. Scanners says:

    Woah! Now I understand why where I live, Maylands, sometimes gets talked up. I’m sure that if most of those Kalamunda buildings featured could speak they’d be asking to be euthanised.

    Like

    • I particularly like that they have opted for brown Tarmac for the Main Street, to match the turd based initiatives of Kalamunda’s town planners.

      Like

    • Rooster says:

      Yes every wannabe hipster who can’t afford to live in Mount Lawley talks up Maylands to justify their desperation of having to live in some tiny dog box apartment in what has to be one of Perth’s most densely populated shit holes.

      But hey I suppose the suburb appeals to everyone – whether you’re recently out on parole, a junkie who needs to live close to your dealer, a recent immigrant who can’t afford anything bigger in Perth’s over-inflated property market Maylands is the suburb for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. BSWAM says:

    If it makes you feel better this is no worse than a dozen places within 15 minutes of where I live in the Hudson River Valley and certainly no worse than thousands of places in the US, Canada and Mexico, to take North America as a starting point.

    The modern world is an ugly place, alas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. vegan says:

    thanks tla for a timely warning on the dangers of this hell hole.

    although i think the library was rather good before it was extended and desecrated.

    Like

  9. Dave says:

    Worthy of the most time-honoured of architectural tools – a source of ignition, and an accelerant.

    Like

  10. Misspent yoof says:

    What about the gum nut sculptures at the roundabout?

    Like

  11. Bx says:

    TLA’s rage is palpable.
    And it’s so bloody difficult to escape the joint if one blunders into that carnage.

    Like

  12. Someone says:

    I’m just amazed at the uneducated people commenting on here who clearly live in a box. The Lazy Aussie…. You clearly are lazy .

    Liked by 2 people

  13. luke ridley says:

    If you dont like it so much get the fuck out here then. No one will miss you. Fuckface

    Like

    • Don’t blame me because you’ve let your town become a shithole. I did get out. As did everyone else who isn’t 85 yo in spirit. Maybe Kalamunda’s catch phrase should be “fuck off we’re vacant”? The unspeakable chasing the unleasable.

      Like

      • Plonka says:

        No, remember? “Fuck off, it’s winter.” They could write “Fuck off, it’s not winter.” On the other side of the sign and that’s the whole year covered.

        Like

      • lexiekolbe says:

        Wow good joke eddy murphy /\ I was expecting some cliche joke about old people. You sir are a baboon.

        Let me get this right…
        You started up some shitty blogger page comprising of suburbs that you dub as ‘The Worst of Perth’ probably compiled in the bedroom of your parents house.

        You’re blog doesn’t get anywhere near enough exposure to support your omniscient attitude. Do you blog for a reputable magazine? no…you get online to wordpress and write a whole bunch of shit in hope that someone cares. I could have a blog too…I could write a fuckin’ story every time my cat takes a dump…big fucking whoop. I mean, you go around in your spare time critiquing buildings and towns of Perth that you don’t like…sounds like shitloads of fun…so much fun that I might start up a blog about cat shit but sadly I don’t have time for that because I have a friend or two and a legitimate job.

        Have fun on your exhilarating life journey of complete douchey-ness.
        :) :) :)

        keep up the great material…we’re all on the edge of our seats in suspense for the next suburb you attack because we value your opinion so much.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you got a vacant shithole to rent out? Very best of luck, the second hand book stores will be queuing up

      Like

  14. Kalamunda lover says:

    If you don’t like kalamunda keep the fuck out. Then you don’t have to look at it and we don’t have to put up with snobby wankers like you lot. Fuck off to Baldivis or butler

    Like

    • I was forced to be there for the morning. Maybe it would be better for those who let their town become so bad to go. It’s your fault for letting it happen. It would be best for the town if you left. Don’t bother with the for lease sign. You have no chance renting it. Again, why are you angry at me over the fact that your town centre has been turdified? It’s not like I’m pointing out something that is a big secret. Fuck off and shittify somewhere else. You’re not welcome.

      Like

      • Lamenter of lost opportunities says:

        Actually, it isn’t really our fault. I remember my dad being outraged during the 80s and 90s when these monstrosities were being erected, saying it will come back to bite us in the arse. But what can you do in a hickville town where people generally have better things to do than run for council of a hickville town? Even as a kid I was shocked and amazed just how shit the Central building was, even when there was a plan on the table for an attractive open space being discussed. Turned down for being too expensive. Kalamunda is a lesson for Perth generally I think – invest a bit more in making your buildings attractive, hire an architect (possibly foreign and/or from the East where perhaps an element of architectural imagination still exisits) and save yourself from being featured here as a lasting memento for visual illiteracy and lazy town planning.

        Like

    • Bento says:

      It really is a shame, because the surrounding residential areas are mostly lovely. I’ve always had a soft spot, so I’ve been trying to think of an example of good development in the town centre, but I’m drawing a total blank. It really is quite shitty, from top to bottom.

      Like

    • Dame Shazza says:

      The snobby types are going to Butler?

      Like

  15. JaneZ says:

    Kalamuntians gonna hate it seems.

    I’ve been back here now for nearly seven years *ack it’s temporary right* and I still haven’t seen the need to actually go there. These pictures oughta keep me away for at least another 40.

    Like

  16. Pissingmyselflaughingatthelazyaussie says:

    Wow! You sound so intelligent Lazy Aussie. I’ve never read as much jive as you have written on here. So tell us about where you live ? It’s people like you that should not exist … Sorry! But there’s enough negativity in the world that we don’t need rainmakers like you writing crap , and you call it a job??Try getting a real job!

    Like

  17. Interesting says:

    Sounds to me like this so called reviewer might have a ” personal vendetta” against the place . This is a very personal review , not a very well written one

    Like

  18. Local says:

    If you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Really, I think many people would benefit from this.

    Like

  19. Jamie says:

    “The lazy Aussie” you an anti mundite who has nothing better to do with your time, Kalamunda is not even a “shitty town” try visiting Armadale or Forrestfield or Balga then you will know what a shit town really is, you have know idea about the history of kalamunda for a start! If I saw you in person I would probably lease one of those shops just to fucking show you we can rent out stuff. Then you can get stuffed while I make a good living.

    Like

  20. SaveKalamunda says:

    Exactly, most buildings been there since the 50’s/60’s like most of kalamunda residents. I wouldnt want it any other way. The guy that wrote this clearlys not been too hig wycombe….douche

    Like

  21. Plonka says:

    There is much research out in the world linking mental health with aesthetic environment. Looks to me like a few girls blouses out there just proved the validity of said research. It’s totally ok to feel proud of where you live, but why not try and make it a better place instead of aggressively defending truly ugly architecture?

    Like

  22. Plonka says:

    I shall stop immediately.

    Like

  23. Amused says:

    Yes, it is ok to feel proud of where you choose to live. Thankyou . So why bag the locals personally when your blog ( clearly not researched as Kalamunda is obviously an older town ) was aimed at the architecture ?? It’s obvious to the ” educated mind that clearly the locals don’t necessarily build the buildings!!! Wow… I had to actually point that out . So anyway , this confuses me.. Is this why you have now had to get some of your mates on board to comment to back you up ?? You’re a tool The Lazy Aussie .
    Of course Kalamunda would love some updated buildings, which has started to happen in recent years , as would many other older historical towns … You knob !!!!!

    Like

  24. Ricardo says:

    Long time resident, this article is spot on.
    If not for a modium of sentimental value, I wouldn’t go within 20 k’s of the dump!

    Like

  25. Cathy says:

    Well sorry you don’t like our gorgeous little town that has so much character😢 we are not all hills bogans but people who choose to live up here and enjoy its beauty. Spend more time here and you won’t be such a negative person. You may even begin to love the town centre and it’s so called ugly buildings😄 walk around and enjoy the sounds of the beautiful birds and take a breath of our fresh air. Evenings are amazing. Have you been to zig zag and checked out the amazing views of the city. For me the view of the city is amazing, living in that rat race forget it! This beautiful town is amazingly tranquil and beautiful and I love it.

    Like

    • Bento says:

      All you morons need to learn reading comprehension. Birds and attractive architecture are not mutually exclusive. The Zig Zag lookout is not in the town centre. The surrounding areas are lovely, which makes the shittiness of the town centre even more unforgivae.

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    • Yes. I have spent more time there. I lived there. I’m not sure what the zig zag has to do with the disgrace that is the town centre. As I said if you had read it, there are many beautiful residential areas. Why can’t it be a beautiful town as well. Why does the town have to be a disaster? I’m not sure why you would defend it.

      Like

    • orbea says:

      Go to the Zig Zag look out to the west and see where you would rather be…
      Watch out for bogan revheads, graffiti, broken glass, and Cockington Doggers

      Like

  26. Shane says:

    I’d much prefer our large bush blocks and OLD ugly buildings than be crammed in Ellenbrook or Canning Vale. I’m sure fancy new buildings there are nicer to look at but how about the fact the neighbours can hear you shit because your bathroom windows are half a metre apart… But i bet its well planned and has new buildings out in their town centres so you can’t call that ugly.

    Oh and you display a picture of Stirk medical with the vacant lot next door, its empty because it’s being developed. If this becomes an attractive looking building will that help us, old grand master of town aesthetics?

    You see thats the problem with older buildings, they look old. If you did a proper drive around Kalamunda/Lesmurdie you would have seen that we don’t waste our money on pretty fascias for old buildings. We focus on our beautiful surroundings like Stirk Park, Zig Zag and Bill Shaw Reserve. I’m much happier to see money spent there.

    You dodged the question Lazy Aussie but where exactly is the obviously beautiful suburb that you call home? You know what it doesn’t matter.

    Honestly mate you sound like a twat and now I feel like a twat for curiously clicking on the link to read rubbish you have typed up. Blah blah I know its the internet and you can write what you want but come on, who actually cares what you think. Think Kalamunda is ugly? Well so what, your opinion means nothing which is the same as my opinion of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sally benson says:

      Hear hear. Well said. But let’s repeat just to ensure it gets through the blinkers and ignorance…. Lazy Aussie, you are a twat. ‘Nuff said.

      P.s. I don’t live in Kalamunda but I do know senseless pathetic garb when I read it.

      P.p.s Still interested though, where did you say you lived? I’d love to take some bad-one-sided-well-positioned photos and write some well-written-biased-one-sided-practically-photoshopped-blogosphere-worthy-today-tonight-current-affair-media-magic-don’t-believe-everything-you-read-folks words about your home town.

      #getarealjobmate
      #dontjudgeabook
      #betyouliveinarmadale
      #probablyliveinkalamunda

      Like

      • orbea says:

        TLA “You are a twat ” Nuff Nuff said. So there.
        Jeez it doesnt take much research on this site to work out TLA lives in the Bayswater “Dome of Influence”
        Bayswater features heavily on TWOP. Stay a while, light a cheroot, pull up a divan and fire up the Onkyo.
        #hashtag

        Like

  27. Shiree says:

    Who “forced you to spend the morning in Kalamunda” and write this aggressive and immature article Lazy Aussie?

    It’s seems strange to spend the time writing so much hatred about some old buildings and posting photos of the back of a Coles shopping centre from a suburb you don’t live in.

    Like

  28. HB says:

    Hey, Lazy Arsehole, take your vitriol and stuff it into that cesspit you call a mouth! This is the home oif choice for thousands of young and old who would rather you returned to the dung heap you crawled out of!

    Like

  29. Amused says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha to you the lazy Aussie…. Once again …. NO THE RESIDENTS don’t have a say in how the buildings look …. Did you say you have done your research by living here… In the 80’s was it??? Think I might have seen you walking around the other day writing down your shitty notes for this shitty article …. I noticed the huge appendage attached to your forehead

    Like

    • The residents DO have a say in how their town looks. You’re just too fucking lazy to do anything about it. Residents in other suburbs are constantly protesting about inappropriate development, or making suggestions for the future of their town. Not you. What did you do? Nothing. What did 99% of the other Kalamorons do? Nothing. You just want to criticise people who tell you like it is. So you seem to actually be agreeing with me that your town is a shithole, just that it’s not your fault. Look in the mirror. There’s the problem.

      Like

      • Amused says:

        No , that’s where your wrong . What’s being criticised here is the way in which you chose to write this blog in the first place . If you don’t like criticism back or people having their opinion of your style of writing then GO AND LEARN how to express educated opinions using educated language and non bias language . So we’re still waiting on your response to the question….. Where do you live???

        Like

  30. rottobloggo says:

    Tremendous! We’ve come close, but we haven’t had what their husbands earn yet…today? CHEERS.

    Like

  31. Steve of Pickering Brook says:

    Kalamunda USED to be nice. Sure the buildings are ugly but all towns are a hotch-potch. When the Shire allowed Coles to put in the sewer (appropriately, for their shit development). They turned the pub’s huge beer garden and big gum trees into a car park, and the old character homes on big blocks have been demolished, the trees bulldozed and dozens of units crammed in to make it look like every other sea-of-roofs suburb. to create the village of the damned OAP’s, who cant get up the stairs and clutter the footpaths with their Gophers

    Like

    • Well exactly. Once Coles was approved, that was it. There are still some pockets of beautiful homes.

      Like

    • Any one of the commercial buildings would be forgivable on its own. Every town has them. But ALL of them? Nowhere, except perhaps Dunsborough or karratha has a townscape so consistently bad.

      Like

      • orbea says:

        Karratha is improving. Cannot be said for Kalamunda

        Like

        • Plonka says:

          The town might be, but the people? Not so sure about that. Karattha I mean. Fuck head bogans getting paid too much and thinking they’re worth it? Maybe it makes the town look pretty for a while, but what happens when the boom is over? Not pulling the piss out of you orbea…….. I’m with you on this. But cynical about improvements just to suit the suits if you get my drift.

          Like

  32. Misspent_yoof says:

    I think the “Not as shit as Armadale” number plates could really catch on. It applies to most places. Except Bunbury.

    Like

  33. RubyRuby says:

    I’m impressed that there’s so much internet access up in them there hills.

    Like

    • RubyRuby says:

      …and literacy. Well, letter-recognition ability, anyway.

      Like

    • Oh yeah. And Kalamunda, your mobile coverage is shit too.

      Like

      • Can't stop says:

        Where’s all your fake blogger mates today to back you up ?? Maybe get yourself a better internet/phone carrier . Although I’m guessing you don’t get paid much for your work as you’ve proved so I understand if you’ve set up your own makeshift antenna in your backyard …. Where was that again?? We’re all still waiting to know??

        Like

        • This is actual gibberish.

          Like

          • Can't stop says:

            You don’t like being criticised for something that someone really doesn’t know much about . Funny that .
            Honestly , try blogging about something that might make a difference in someone’s life , important issues . There are people dying innocently around the world at the moment , this is what makes reading your bullshit so fustrating

            Like

          • lexiekolbe says:

            It’s only gibberish because of your inability to comprehend anything that isn’t simplified for you first. I agree Can’t Stop…poor bugger must be broke seeing as he doesn’t get paid for this bullshit…he probably lives in maylands because he can’t afford mt lawley lol

            Like

        • Can't stop says:

          It’s called showing respect for a start in society , in light of the important issues going on . People like you who lack respect for society usually lack respect for themselves so they take up some form of bullying

          Like

        • Plonka says:

          I’m back, not fake. If you bother to read some of the other pages you’ll see that quite a few of us regularly check out TWOP because it’s funny and not meant to be taken too seriously. As for where I have been? At uni, getting myself an education. What have you been up to? That is a rhetorical question (because I really don’t care) which means I don’t need an answer. I really think you should bugger off and check out a blog called “The Real Perth” by a guy called Matt Hayden. He’s more your style, in that he talks a load of self serving shite.

          Like

        • orbea says:

          It’s 9.47am Wednesday and Can’t Stop (Tugging) has hopefully washed his hands and fired off forty job applications.

          Like

  34. Amused says:

    Your mother must be proud The Lazy Aussie

    Like

  35. Rolly says:

    Ain’t it amazing just how vehemently reactionary social snobs can be.
    I mis-spent 6 months house sitting in KM, for someone who was desperate to get out of the place.
    It was a couple of months before I came to understand why: She was a highly educated, well travelled, deep thinking, and intelligent person – the antithesis of most of the community I met whilst there.
    Shallow, ultra conservative types abounded who exuded an air of self satisfied superiority; “…after all, we live in the hills.” With a view to the city, no less. Just why anyone would want to have a vista of that stinking morass is beyond my comprehension unless, again, it is to reinforce a sense of superiority over the plebeians who live on the sand plains.
    Even the “Leafy Western Suburbs” emanated less of the “them and us” kind of attitude.
    Real Estate trading was always brisk, having a quick turnover of ownerships; the disillusionment of the many punters who initially bought into the myth of a progressive and cultivated community being a driving force.
    Heck, even the poorly educated peasants of Italian extraction who opened up the area initially, kept to themselves to avoid the all pervading snobbery.
    Lovely area, horrible town centre, and a community with a dense core of middle-class arrogance; Bogan or otherwise.
    Judging by the responses in defence of the place, little has changed; except, perhaps, for a lowering of the level of ‘genteel’ deportment.

    Like

  36. Murray Dickson says:

    Many people proudly call Kalamunda home. Who do you think you are to write such a defamatory and poorly written article?
    What I’ve just read is a terrible load of verbal-diarrhea

    Like

  37. Bento says:

    It’s interesting that of all the lengthy rantings about the unfairness and inaccuracy of this post, none of you have been able to point to a single example of something good about the town centre.

    Like

  38. Plonka says:

    That just reminded me of something that happened to me about 28 years ago. We were up in Kalamunda for the day and dropped into the local pool. The local kids came over and told me and my friends to “fuck off, coz you’re not local”. I’m not normally one to buy into generalisations, but I’m starting to think there’s something not quite right with these hill billies. They’re just a little bit creepy. Just a bit too quick to anger and none to clever either. And…to Can’t Stop. Why do you need to know where TLA lives? It doesn’t matter, he is bound to have taken the Micky out of his own suburb at some point. This is the whole point of this blog, it’s a celebration of all the ill conceived and ghastly things in our part of the world. It isn’t called “The Best of Perth”. If it was it would be boring and wanky and would have the word vibrancy in every post. Your town is truly ugly Kalamundians, get over it or do something about it. You live in a beautiful part of the world. You should respect and reflect that.

    Like

  39. Scanners says:

    Hey TLA, if this is all getting too much you can always go back to bagging Maylands. I live there, I find your jibes amusing, usually accurate and if I catch up with you there’s every chance I won’t chase you out of town with a horde of torch carrying locals.

    Like

  40. Scanners says:

    So it was, but on the other side of the tracks from me. I’m on the side with the small bar! And the river. Take that Mt Lawley, where’s your river, eh?

    Like

  41. Misspent_yoof says:

    Has this post set a TWOP record yet? Probably several, in fact – most posts in a day, most passionate but misspelt vitriol, most torch-bearing pitchfork-wielding lynch mobs…
    It’s kalamunted.

    Like

  42. whocareswhoiam says:

    Who cares whether kalamunda is like this or not? For people commenting who’ve never been here yet visit before you agree with over emotional and unjust comments as seen in the post.

    Also, granted you’re entitled to your opinion and for those of us that frequent the kalamunda shops may agree, who gives a rats ass?

    Do you have to shop here every day?
    No

    Do you have to look at it every day?
    No

    Does it affect you in any way possible if kalamunda is behind in the times in regards to buildings and town planning?
    Again, No.

    Quit being negative and write about good suburbs or ones that are coming up and becoming the ones to look out for.

    Contempt breeds contemp and if I wasnt from kalamunda and this post didn’t concern me, I would have viewed it in such a negative light. That may be what you’re after but its not an admirable quality in my books

    Like

    • You seem to have no point apart from agreeing with me but, what, not caring? Not caring enough but just enough to waffle. If you don’t care, why are you writing this rubbish? Most people care what their area is like. Everyone except those who live in Kalamunda who are content with their awful streets and empty shops. Your not caring is why it’s crap.

      Can’t wait for your next extensive post on how much you don’t care.

      Like

    • “Do you have to shop here every day?
      No

      Do you have to look at it every day?
      No

      Does it affect you in any way possible if kalamunda is behind in the times in regards to buildings and town planning?
      Again, No.”

      What does any of this mean? Pure waffle.

      Like

      • DonksWA says:

        You’ve obviously had a bad experience in Kalamunda at some stage in your life. You need to get out more often, and explore the depth and beauty of our caring and community minded lifestyle in the forest, our vast history, fauna and flora preservation, tourist attractions, vistas, spiritual representation, recreational facilities, and slower pace, It’s not just about buildings in Haynes St and other feeder roads within the town centre as you poorly captured in your photos. See the forest for the trees and open your eyes a good deal wider, and savour what Kalamunda has to offer to visitors to our unique place that we call home. Notwithstanding, I respect your comments, but you are so wrong.

        Like

        • Yes, but I am talking about the town centre. I have already mentioned that there are some beautiful residential areas. The bad experience I had was visiting Haynes street. Was that not clear? And why shouldn’t a beautiful setting have agood town centre. That’s what I’m saying. Surely it deserves it?

          Like

          • DonksWA says:

            The Kalamunda Shire met with the local communities within the Shire several months ago to help future plan the various precincts, including the town centre. Given time, and the fact that the future of local government agencies is in limbo, the town centre will undoubtedly be more inclusive and aesthetically developed. That’s all from me.

            Like

            • Well that’s good! If the focus of the town could be moved towards Stirk Park rather than Haynes Street it could be a very nice. The park at the centre with appropriate development leading back from it. Could be beautiful.

              Like

        • rottobloggo says:

          Slow food, slow eating – slow vibrancy!

          Like

    • Plonka says:

      Again with the write something nice! This post is called the Worst of Perth. Worst means, not nice, not good,it means things that aren’t good or nice. Good and nice are seldom interesting and never funny. ……………. I was going to say more, but I’m suddenly very bored with this.

      Like

  43. RubyRuby says:

    Is it wrong that each time I see a thinly veiled fiction to explain the absence of Snuff’s posts, it confirms to me that he really IS Batman? It would explain so much…

    Like

  44. BSWAM says:

    From what I understand the problem is less the individual buildings than the fact that they are at the dead center of town. We have plenty of this crap where I am but it tends to be in shopping mall zones or along major arterial routes. Most town centers are relatively intact, if shabby. That said the heritage hotels look nice, the blue 1980s building could be a funky space in the right hands and the 1970s pub is surprisingly convincing in a 1920s sham Tudor way.

    For real ugly you ought to see the stretch of 9W between Highland and Newburgh or maybe the blighted mall districts of Poughkeepsie.

    Like

    • The problem is that for every era they have chosen the worst possible example and gone with that. Also that it is almost every building. Every town has some examples, but Kalamunda is almost every one. Yes, being the centre of town is a problem. If the centre of town could be refocused on the quite nice Sturk Park, it would make a huge difference.

      Like

      • BSWAM says:

        The next time I drive the stretch from Highland to Newburgh I’ll put aside some time to record the ruinous roadside. Garage sales in Tivoli evidently just ain’t cuttin’ it.

        Like

  45. Bob says:

    I used to live in Kalamunda until recently and while the surrounds and the natural residential areas are quite nice, the town centre is a mish-mash of ugliness. So dissapointing. Such an untapped potential.

    Like

      • H says:

        No. Not exactly. You are constantly blaming the residents of kalamunda for this. How is this fair?! Maybe as an ex-kalamunda person yourself you would be less of a bully, but no. Shame on you.

        Yes, kalamunda doesn’t have nice new shiny buildings BUT it is an older suburb and people like you seem to think we can just tear it all down and rebuild it. What about the history? And who wants to see everything destroyed only to be replaced by shops you see everywhere else. There are some hidden gems in this town – shame your bullying nature didn’t care to look closure.

        Like

        • rottobloggo says:

          Constantly! (since Saturday).

          Like

        • Bento says:

          You’re right. All those town centres that are not complete shitholes just magically appeared that way. There’s nothing the residents could possibly do to improve the area, and there’s absolutely no way they could work together to push Council to do something about it.

          I agree, it would be a shame to lose the history of the TAB, Bankwest, Liquorland, Bunnings warehouse, Hans Cafe, and the vacant offices.

          Name one hidden gem. One. And if you say “the old Da Vinci’s building was nice before Big Rooster demolished it in 1982”, I win $5.

          Like

        • Where are these hidden gems in the town centre? Specifically which buildings?

          Like

        • I’m not really sure you know what bullying is. And you totally misunderstand. It’s not about shiny new buildings. The one shiny new building I featured, the auto parts barn is as big a piece of crap as the older buildings. Old, new and in between buildings are all bad. It’s about how they work in the townscape. How they enhance the amenity if the town. How they provide for the needs of residents and visitors. That they don’t actively repel customers thereby remaking unleased forever. I don’t think you’ve even read the post. The whole thing is a question as to why for decades, Kalamunda has made every wrong choice when it comes to the town centre. Every time it can approve the wrong building it does. And what history are you talking about? The history of empty shops? Light brick. What examples are you talking about? There us not a building on Haynes street that gas any history worth saving.

          Like

          • H says:

            You really don’t think you are bullying the residents of Kalamunda? You have blamed us for the demise of the town centre, as you so call it. If I have misunderstood it is simply because I could not get past this fact. I have taken complete offensive to this and I’m sure I’m not alone. Try going in to a shop owned by locals – Sebastian’s has such friendly service and they offer amazing foods! Dreams is a beautiful little shop filled with lovely gifts. Do I even need to mention Collodels? The best gelato.

            I’m not going to further comment. I feel you are taking advantage of the situation and are probably relishing in these responses. Simply know that you lived here once, you should have more respect for those living here now.

            Like

            • How am I bullying you? I’m not making you read this. I’m just telling you what is true. And again you misunderstand. I’m talking about the built environment not what they are making. You could make the best gelato in the world, but it’s no good if the premises are so crap that you wouldn’t want to go in there. I’m not so much relishing your comments as baffled. Kalamunda town centre is ill planned and ugly. It’s just self evidently true. I can’t really understand how anybody could disagree. And nobody really has. Plenty have objected to being reminded of just how bad the place is, but nobody has been able to give one example of a beautiful or even half nice premises. Including you.

              Like

            • I think you are confusing bullying with berating?

              Like

        • Dame Shazza says:

          Right on, when are they going to tear down that dated hotel and stick up a Dan Murphy’s?

          Like

  46. James Dee says:

    KALAMUNDA NEW YEARS EVE NAKED FRIVOLITY AND RIOTOUS LOCALS IN HAYNES STREETS (Youtube video link below)

    Like

  47. Bandicoot555 says:

    I’ve now lived in Kalamunda for over 30 years and the town centre is getting steadily worse. The Shire has been poorly governed over the years by various cartels of shopkeeper councillors – every 2 or 3 years the shopping precinct gets a “makeover” which only ever makes things worse. A example of the mentality is that the best that the northern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track can offer is a series of rose gardens.

    My long standing suggested remedy is two D9 bulldozers either side of the Kalamunda Hotel pushing down the hill and start afresh with a single concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Rardey says:

    How dare you come up to our beautiful town from down there on the flats and dictate how our town center should look like. Maybe you’d be happier if it looked like a cookie cutter Suburb of tilt panel commercial buildings. You think your suburb is so much better? Well let me tell you shit flows down hill buddy.

    I’ve lived in kalamunda for 30 year and have a decent honest job (accountant) and have made a valuable contribution to society, not like you some kind of arty snob thinking you’re so funny telling us our town looks bad, there was another man who had an interest in architecture and liked to tell people what was acceptable an his name was hitler!

    Like

  49. Rolly says:

    Y’no, I get the distinct impression that some of these defensive comments are merely piss takes, prob’ly written by lower secondary school students mucking about on the computers in the library.
    Though, perhaps, that is doing the kids some disservice; they can’t really be that immature, can they ?!?

    Like

    • It is fairly astounding how many idiots there are in Kalamunda. I think the school kids would a) already know their town is a hole, and b) wouldn’t care.

      Like

    • Rardey says:

      So what now you hate children too? It’s all well and good to sit behind you’re laptops spewing vitriolic hatred at our town and now our children too but were proud of ourselves up here and even of our main street might have a couple of buildings that don’t look like buckingham palace at least we don’t have all the crime and antisocial behaviour that you have in subiaco.

      You obviously have no manners, I feel sorry for you’re parents having raised such angry children.

      I won’t be responding to anymore of you’re nasty hate speech but I just want to tell you you’re not welcome in our town with that kind of attitude!

      Like

  50. Cimbali says:

    Phew, keeping up with all this reading is taking up entire days. I grew up in Kalamunda and returned here a decade ago. I like living here, I like the mad old people (granted most of them are my parents) they amuse me. I like how they remember me from school, or stop me in the street because they thought my leggings were tattoos, or ask me to get things down from the top shelves in Crabb’s, (and I like calling the IGA Crabb’s). But apparently the largest demographic in Kalamunda is not over 65 but under 25.

    I like the bad architecture, it amuses me too, and the piddling honkies, I find them particularly amusing.

    I can say that I have stood up at town meetings and suggested that the gallery and visitors centre be built overlooking the park instead of the skip bins at the back of the thai restaurant. To no avail.

    I did stand up at a town meeting and asked the architect of said gallery and visitors centre to please disregard the previous speaker who told him that he had to match the building to the library and the history village and just design something nice – which he did (and it’s not empty, it has a full program of exhibitions, good, bad and indifferent)

    I have been heard to say out loud at Kalamunda business breakfast meetings that I wasn’t particularly interested in providing things for young people to do in the area since I was entirely happy for the young people (my own included) to go away and do their things elsewhere and come back when they wanted to raise a family and shop at Crabb’s and that maybe there were better things to spend our money and time on.

    And I did veto a suggestion by a chamber of commerce member at an events meeting that the history of Kalamunda could be reenacted by people in costumes such as can be found in Williamsburg USA (cradle of the civil war) by laughing so hard I fell off my chair.

    However, actually making a difference to any of these things requires a great deal more energy than I am prepared to give. Shire councils are always going to be limited by money and the personal qualities of the people in charge – by which I mean, perfectly good and hard working and well intentioned councillors (should we have any) can have limited views on architecture. A quick survey of any council involved in public art projects should alert you to the fact that they absolutely cannot agree on what is good and what is not. I like progress and I like history but any suburban centre which has a great mix of the two will be largely a matter of chance and economics. In Kalamunda the majority of the buildings in the centre are owned by one or two (apparently old and apparently Italian) people. If it was in the economic interests of these people to make them nicer, they would, if it was in their economic interest to bulldoze them and build twenty auto one style tilt ups then they would. Currently it is in their interests to charge a lot to rent them and leave them as they are. Perhaps they will die soon and their children will turn out to be lovers of fine architecture. Or perhaps not.

    I am sad that many lovely shops have disappeared over the years: bookshops, a dress shop featuring local Perth designers, a shop called the four arts which had things like art supplies, guitar strings and ballet shoes, a lovely flower and gift shop, a funky second hand clothes and collectibles shop, just to name a few. But I don’t think that their demise can be put down to the architecture exactly. I am as guilty as the next person in Haynes street of buying as many of my shoes online as I have locally (or more guilty if the next person is one of my parents) financial crises, the rise of the ebook, bad business sense, all these things contribute to having empty shops in our main street and I’m not sure I would be any happier if the empty shops looked a bit nicer. Or maybe I would, I don’t know.

    Anyway the people who live here are the same as the people who live anywhere, they are a bit unhappy at being criticised and get defensive, that is no reason for them to be nasty or to shoot the messenger or for others to suggest they are losers or bogans or whingers just because they live here and choose to listen to the birds and look at the trees instead of the bad shops. It will be great if this thread makes the council actually think about the way town centre has evolved and perhaps steer it in a better direction but this is a large shire and Kalamunda only one suburb in it. If it joins with Belmont (and they are proposing an aggressive take over rather than a merger) then there is very little chance that anything will be done.

    I will finish now by saying that the fairy lights around the trees in Haynes street were my very favourite things and I am very sad that they have gone.

    The End

    Like

  51. Saw Dog says:

    Oh man, this takes me back. Congrats Lazy Aussie – your post has made it around the world! I remember working as a glassy at the Kala hotel and picking up the teeth after a fight on Thursday night when all the 8 Islander body guards were working the door waiting for someone to grow sick at whatever horrific band they had on and throw up so they could toss them out and join the all in brawl that started. Great days. Do they still love a scrap up in the hotel or has the age of the clientele genteely progressed? The thing is, I never realised just how horrible the other buildings were till you pointed it out. Perhaps, like a new parent, I though my Kala was alright, blind to the fact that it was, like everyone else could see, fugly to the extreme. Now with the years passed I look back at the photos and realised how hideous it really is … as parents sometimes quietly do. Still, I am pleased those locals speaking out for Kala do sound like they have mastered their ‘letters’, as the Americans say, well enough to articulate their cusses, confused outrage and shrieks. When I was there, that was such a struggle for so many. So clearly, the money spared in the architecture has gone to education, which surely can’t be a bad thing, now can it, Lazy Aussie? Or have I read too much into the fact that many of them are using full stops?

    Like

  52. RubyRuby says:

    So, if one considers that if Kalamunda were transplanted to Victoria, it would be Tecoma (where Community Action is a Thing, reflecting actual pride in local community character and involvement in development changes), or maybe Belgrave, which seems to consider the “urban design and streetscape” something to be actively managed, as neither of these communities bases their local pride on birds (plentiful – lyrebirds, even, to make it sound like there are more varieties than there actually are), trees (also abundant) or views of the rat race…

    And if Kalamunda were to move to New South Wales, would it really challenge Leura with its broader community consultation on new development?

    The scathing indictment and scorn from TLA is more than merited as there have been so many opportunities, through the various booms of the beautiful West, financially as well as aesthetically, to not have such a crap hole camped out in the middle of a gorgeous area.

    How is this so hard to comprehend?!!

    Like

  53. The Ex Antique Retro Shop Owner says:

    Ha! This is a great and apt post.
    Kalamunda ‘could be amazing’ but isn’t. Its true that the Shire is notorious for lack of vision or principles by which they make planning decisions. This is evident in the way the place is cobbled together and all of the missed opportunities to make the place more conducive with the strong community that Kalamunda actually is and inviting for the visitors. I think its also true that many businesses struggle as a result of all of this. My business did struggle on and off, but ultimately closed after a pretty sudden relationship break up, not bankruptcy ;) Thanks for your concern though.
    Keep up the rad sarcasm. I hope it has some impact where it needs to in addition to entertainment value.

    Like

  54. rottobloggo says:

    Meanwhile, Kala council hits back: CEO includes “whilst” in spray:
    http://kalamunda.inmycommunity.com.au/news-and-views/local-news/The-popular-website/7663506/

    Like

  55. Arcadia says:

    Never been there but it certainly looks – on streetview – to have an abundance of parking lots. It is hard to understand why a small town needs so much parking. Some of those shops have parking front and back. It must be punishing to walk around in summer. No shade. The Queensland Box was a bad choice of street tree, though many councils did the same.

    The view of the Liqourland on the main street is particularly brutal.

    Like

  56. sometimeslocal says:

    This is why when we do occasionally emerge from our near-ruins cottages we scurry to other suburbs to do our shopping. For that brief 40-60 minute period we can pretend we have a decent town centre and we belong there. All while internally hissing at these other inhabitants of the new foreign land. That and the town centre is usually over run with elderly people on gophers who smell so strongly of mothballs, it’s been passed down to their grand children.(Bless them) Stay strong guys. Stay Strong.

    Like

  57. Broady says:

    I came across this blog in reference to a complaint on Facebook directed at the council and with sadness couldn’t agree more with the sentiments. I live in the area and love the walking trails, my 1/2 acre block, the laid back feel, the people, the wildlife and the natural bush. It beats living in little boxes on the lowlands hands down.

    By any measure though the centre of the town is just plain ugly, and even some of the attractions (someone mentioned Stirk Park) are tired and run down. Step outside the centre and the bland architecture is is trumped by the ugliness of places like the Lesmurdie and Sanderson Road shops, and some of the other parks are absolutely disgraceful. If you disagree check out the Peter Thiel Park in Lesmurdie.

    Until recently the road my inlaws live on had four traffic signs spelt four different ways, one of many signals that the people working for ratepayers really don’t care.

    A few years back there was an attempt to look at town planning that was even more embarrassing – painting french murals on window shutters for example, and one of the common complaints was the Chicken Treat that met visitors up the main drag. We fixed that latter issue by approving a redevelopment of the building to a prominent Red Rooster instead!! That was a classic opportunity to set a building standard that was wasted. Converting the old police station to a Dome is another atrocity, and ratepayers funded part of that development (I know the story, I read the council minutes and they could have done far better). Step one street back from Haynes Street and a new eyesore looks likes its close to completion, a set of apartments that look absolutely hideous in my humble opinion.

    And now the council is spending ratepayers money to defend the indefensible – a merger with Belmont. The excuses given are preposterous and are aimed at the “no change” brigade and do not make any sense. I’m in favour of the merger and the economies of scale that will bring – sorry CEO of Kalamunda, you are an unnecessary cost.

    There are some shining lights but they are few and far between, and the best ventures look like they have been setup by younger owners trying hard to give it a go.

    The centre is dying, with every shop that closes less people will go to the centre, until eventually it becomes a compounding effect. In the ten years I’ve been here it has been so obvious.

    To those that say “if you don’t like it, move” – I like where we live but have resigned to travelling to do most things. I can’t see ourselves living here forever which is sad, and in the meantime we will continue the pilgrimage to other cultural centres to get our entertainment and culinary experiences.

    To the naysayers, a vibrant good looking town centre attracts people which supports business which encourages competition which improves quality of services which also improves employment prospects. Its good.

    Thanks for sharing the thoughts.

    Like

  58. I’m shocked nobody has taken the chance to mention the concrete limestone composite flower boxes lined up and down Haynes Street, surely they rate a mention in efforts to beautify Kalamunda? Once filled with annuals…so assuming they re flower, will once again brighten our lives as we travel into town for….actually I can’t think what I want there…in the mean time they serve us well. One can only assume they are used as gopher traffic control on footpaths, potential natural selection of people that fail to see them, rubbish depositories or crash barriers to prevent the seniors who perform incredible 90 point turns to parallel park on the streets of Kalamunda that hasn’t had the foresight to introduce angled parking…..but again, this can be adequately explained as part of the released lifestyle that slows us down whilst we wait on main streets to see this in action! On the good side apparently every cyclist in WA likes Kalamunda…….perhaps it is only there concentration required to prevent them from becoming a statistic of our town sport (how many cyclists can I take out today) that means they have not had the opportunity to delight in the miserable town centre!

    Like

  59. Scotty says:

    Hey, I find this article offensive. Two of the coolest people I know are both originally from Kalamunda. I mean sure both live around the CBD now but just because a town looks like complete shit, doesn’t mean to say the people are. As previously mentioned, some of them are the most awesome people I’ve ever met in my life.

    Like

  60. Anonymous says:

    hahaha my comment on the update….whoooyeah! unfortunately you and your blog still suck.

    Like

  61. Reblogged this on Local Govt. and Subiaco and commented:
    be careful Subiaco, a nomination could happen to you!

    Like

  62. Anonymous says:

    My wife reckons I could have written this article! Lived in Perth for 8 years and Kalamunda never failed to disappoint.

    Like

  63. A Kalamundian says:

    Kalamunda could do with an update, but it’s a nice place to live. It’s not full of tiny courtyard houses, there’s actually space. I’d live here any time above other Perth suburbs.

    Like

  64. wa winging scumb bag says:

    Fuck up all of you. Go kill yourselves u winging pieces of wa shit . Go fuck your mothers u low life Perth cock heads.

    Like

  65. Slippery says:

    I absolutely agree with TLA. As a local I really hate the town center, it’s ugly, impossible to park in and if you do actually manage to find something that you would like to buy there it’s way over priced. The only useful shops ever to be in Kalamunda have all died. Whats left is a mishmash of over priced coffee shops and a useless Bunnings. I constantly have to head down the hill for a 25 minute drive to do any useful shopping. So, apart from being so ugly, it’s also utterly useless to boot. I think a fresh start in Stirk Park sounds like a very good idea!

    Like

  66. Slippery says:

    And,

    Over the years of incarceration in KM I had gained the impression that as some sort of excuse for retarding progress, the council wanted to preserve the village atmosphere(not sure if it ever had such a thing, more like a feeling of gloom germinating from the many dilapidated, awkward, and ugly buildings placed at strange angles draining any sense of well being)………then, they approved the ridiculous Auto One that stands out like a turd in a punch bowl, which is also over priced. I guess the extra freight cost of coming up the hill is extensive. I see signs protesting the merger with Belmont, I on the other hand welcome the chance for change and to be rid of the retarded local councilors that need to be shipped into the lifestyle village down the hill….Belmont management can only be an improvement. Bring it on!!

    Like

    • How sad it is that merging with Belmont could see an improvement! I think it has been discussed before that the council didn’t want the auto one, but because they have no development plan or guildlines, there was nothing they could do to stop it. If they had bothered to make an appropriate development plan years ago, it might have been different.

      Like

  67. David says:

    Some years ago my wife and I visited Kalamunda for a meal, as the online reviews we read described it as being such a pleasant place. The drive there by way of Greenmount, the drive around to explore the area plus the drive back down the hill via the Zig Zag were very pleasant. However, we found the town centre and the available facilities such as the local shops and restaurants to be quite dissapointing and so have never returned to visit the town again.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Ryan says:

    Oh, well your knickers will surely be twisted when you see the latest monstrosity going up next door to the town plaza and theater building!

    Like

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