North Shore is an industrial and residential suburb adjoining Corio Bay, extending northwards from Cowies Creek, Geelong North to the Shell Oil Refinery at Corio.
In 1892 North Shore area was subdivided as a residential locality and bayside retreat. An esplanade and linear park were laid out and planted with trees, the remaining fragment now being Moorpanyal Park. A small jetty was constructed. Ten years later North Shore was a small holiday resort, but with a meat freezing works, a portent of future industrialisation.
In 1925 the Ford Motor Works were opened along with a phosphate works. Just north of North Shore, the Corio distillery was opened three years later along with a Shell oil depot. A fellmongering works opened at about the same time. The mouth of Cowies Creek was excavated to become Corio Quay. In the postwar years International Harvester (1946) opened its plant near Ford's, and at the northern end of North Shore the Shell Oil refinery was built in 1952-53. Later factories included Coca Cola Bottlers, Pilkington Glass and BHP Steel processing mills. As well as having port facilities, the industries had the Melbourne-Geelong railway line for freight carriage.
To the west of the bayside industry residential areas were developed. North Shore primary school was opened in 1926. It is in neighbouring Norlane, and underwent rapid growth from about 100 to 1000 pupils between 1951 to 1955.
North Shore's small residential area has a railway station and a local shop. St Columba's Presbyterian church has closed, but is remembered as the place where the North Shore Football Club (the 'Seagulls') was formed in 1927. The club played at the phosphate football ground until 1958 when it moved to Windsor Park, Norlane.
South of the residential area there is the Midway export woodchip mill, formed by a consortium of timber interests. It took over Kimberley Clark which had logged the Otways. A bayside park flanks Midway, leading on to Moorpanyal Park. Missions to Seamen is at The Esplanade.
North Shore's census populations have been:
Ian Wynd, So fine a country: a history of the Shire of Corio, Shire of Corio, 1981