The suburb of Ballarat North extends eastwards from the Ballarat-Creswick railway line, between Norman and Howitt Streets, for about 2.5 km to Black Hill.
Next to the railway line there is the suburb's most prominent landmark, Selkirk Bricks, with numerous kilns and chimneys. The brickworks began in 1883 in Allendale, Creswick gold diggings. In 1900 the business moved to its present location. In 2005 a fifth generation family member joined the business. East of the brickworks there was the Doveton Woollen Mill (c1875) which was taken over by the Myer Emporium in the 1950s.
For many years Ballarat North extended beyond Norman Street. The North Ballarat golf club opened its course there in 1919, and 52 years before then the citizens of Ballarat laid out the second cemetery on the (then distant) north side of Norman Street. The golf club and the cemetery are now in the later suburb of Invermay Park.
Ten years before the cemetery, in 1859, the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum was granted five acres of swampy land at the south-west corner of Howitt and Doveton Streets. The asylum became the Queen Elizabeth Centre, run by Ballarat Health Services, and there is an adjacent retirement village. A part of the original asylum building still stands.
Ballarat North's school children attended the Invermay and Macarthur Street (Soldiers Hill) schools until Ballarat North primary school opened in 1953 (386 pupils, 2014). A technical school opened in Norman Street (Invermay Park) two years later in 1955.
There are several sports and recreation venues along Doveton Street and a drive-in shopping centre at the corner of Doveton and Norman Streets.
The North Ballarat Sports Club and the North Ballarat Roosters football club are in a large reserve on the Midland Highway, Wendouree, west of the railway line.
Ballarat North's census populations have been: