Ashwood, 14 km south-east of central Melbourne, is a residential suburb adjoining Ashburton and Burwood. Its name derives from its two neighbours.
Ashwood's western boundary is Warrigal Road, the boundary between the former Oakleigh city and the Mulgrave shire. In the early postwar years Warrigal Road was the dividing line between the built-up metropolis and the shire with unmade roads shading into market gardens and poultry farms. The railway line to Glen Waverley crossed Warrigal Road near Ashwood, and Ashwood underwent residential development in the early 1950s. The Victorian municipal directory in 1951 described it as a rapidly developing area with an estimated population of 1500.
Ashwood includes the northern part of the locality of Jordanville (see separate entry) which consisted of two State Housing Commission estates either side of the railway, east of Warrigal Road.
Ashwood was also part of the postwar cream brick frontier of double fronted houses on comfortable allotments. A primary school was opened in 1953 and a high school five years later. The shopping centre on Warrigal Road was one of the first in Melbourne designed with cars in mind, the buildings being set back to allow angle parking behind the kerb alignment. Across the road is a free standing Woolworths supermarket. A short way east is the Stockville shopping centre with an unusual igloo shaped shop made of patterned concrete. It was designed by architect Robin Boyd for use as a supermarket, 1953-54, and is heritage listed.
Gardiners Creek runs through Ashwood, along which is the Ashwood reserve. Ashwood high school (350 pupils, 2014) is a secondary college and is adjoined by Parkhill primary school (301 puipls, 2014). Ashwood primary school (208 pupils, 2014) is a few hundred metres north. The public facilities off Electra Avenue were enlarged with a community centre in 2009.
Ashwood’s census populations have been: