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Queen Victoria Market

Peter Maltezos's picture

Queen Victoria Market

Bounded by Elizabeth, Victoria, Peel, Franklin, Queen and Therry Streets

Queen Victoria Market is Victoria's premier open-air market.

The Queen Victoria Market was officially opened on 20 March 1878, despite markets operating from the site in varying forms prior to that date.

The Lower Market (bounded by Elizabeth, Victoria, Queen and Therry Streets) is the oldest part of the Market.  It was originally set aside in 1857 for a Fruit and Vegetable Market due to over-crowding and congestion at the Eastern Market but the location was unpopular and the market gardeners wouldn’t use it.  Instead it was used as a Livestock and Hay Market until it was permanently reserved as a Market in 1867.

Visitors come not only to shop, but also to be entertained by buskers who perform on the surround. The vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere of this historic site has endeared the Market to Melburnians for more than 125 years.

The Queen Victoria Market has changed over the years.

The sections M, N, O and the row of shops after that in the foreground of the above photograph have been demolished to make way for a car park.

Below, a Saturday morning scene on the Peel Street side of the market that you will not see anymore.


Two earlier shots.


Photographs I’ve taken over the last few years.

Below, in 1884, William Salway designed a striking new front for the Meat Market, featuring relief sculpture of some of the livestock featured as meat inside.


The next five are of the Night Market held every Wednesday night over Summer between 5:30pm and 10:pm.

The market website:


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Peter Maltezos's picture


From Herald Sun

$100m needed to save grand old Queen Victoria Market

John Masanauskas and Wes Hosking

November 30, 2012 12:00AM

Queen Victoria Market

Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market is in line for a $100 million upgrade, but Padre Handcrafted Coffee owner Marinus Jansen says basic facilities like parking and plumbing need addressing first.

QUEEN Victoria Market may not exist within a decade unless a major redevelopment occurs, says re-elected Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

Cr Doyle said yesterday that the city council would consider borrowing funds for a staged refurbishment that could cost more than $100 million. "I just don't like to see one of the city's most precious assets running down," he said.

"If we don't make a start now, in 10 years we may not have a Queen Victoria Market."

Under a potential Doyle plan, the 134-year-old market would be turned into a Federation Square-style precinct with a park and plaza opened on the current carpark site.

It would be equipped to stage festivals and other events, while the market trading areas would be upgraded with improvements such as major refrigeration storage and hot and cold water access.

Cr Doyle said that the heritage sheds would be renovated, with all the works planned in consultation with traders and the wider community.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Video about the latest redevelopment proposal.

It seems they want to reconfigure the carpark site and build a diagonal connection between Franklin Street and Dudley Street through the carpark. The land south of this connection will then be sold off  to developers for apartments to fund the redevelopment.


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Peter Maltezos's picture


From The Australian

Thousands of jobs to be created in Queen Victoria Market revamp

October 31, 2013

John Masanauskas, Jonno Nash

A $250 million revamp of Queen Victoria Market is expected to create thousands of jobs and transform the precinct into the "Fed Square" of the city's north.

A park, special event spaces and an underground carpark feature in the long-awaited plan to redevelop the Melbourne icon.

The State Government and the Melbourne City Council have joined forces for the project which could take a decade to complete.

Premier Denis Napthine said the market needed modernisation but the famous heritage sheds would be retained to ensure the traditional atmosphere survived.

"I'd love to see (the carpark) underground, I'd love to see this as a green site where if you're having a Wednesday night market for example, that you can do your shopping for the week but also sit there and have your coffee and eat your famous donuts or have a picnic," he said while announcing the project yesterday.”

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Chris Peska's picture

^^umm underground carpark sounds great but doesn't Napthine know that it is the site of Melbourne's first cemetery? Might be a little tricky I would think.

Observe. Design. Build. Live.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

^^ Hopefully all the remains are relocated this time to where they have moved some of them (Fawkner) already.

This would allow proper redevelopment of the site and yes, including a multi level underground carpark.

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Fedsquared's picture

Doyle said in the press conference that he saw no need for remains to be moved (as in they wouldn't be touched by the redevelopment. Anyone know how far south the remains lay?

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Chris Peska's picture

not sure how far south the remains are.... but in the coming weeks, Laurence and I will combine powers to provide a potential alternative use for the carpark... might end up being cheaper and more useful for the retailers at the market.

Observe. Design. Build. Live.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

A new road from Franklin Street to Dudley Street will run through the old cemetery site and the rest will be public open space.

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Peter Maltezos's picture

Vic Market plan has large plaza and land sales to developers

April 22, 2014 Aisha Dow

Queen Victoria Market

Big plans to revamp Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market will be unveiled on Tuesday, with a proposal to replace the car park with a large public plaza and carve off a slice of land for development.

Melbourne City Council will announce five key concepts for the $250 million makeover, following initial community consultation.

Under the plan, the former Old Melbourne Cemetery and existing car park will be turned into a large public space. New basement car parks will be built beneath three northern sheds, along with possible storage facilities.

Queen Street at the eastern entrance will be closed to cars and a stretch of Franklin Street rerouted for more direct traffic flow to and from the city.

Meanwhile, at the southern end of the site, an entire city block could be sold off to developers to help fund the rest of the redevelopment project.

The land will be given to the council by the state government and will likely become home to a mixed-used development.

Read more:


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Alastair Taylor's picture

Removing the roundabout on Dudley / Peel is long overdue - often cars forget that a tram line runs through the middle or just pull up too long of the white line to allow trams to through safely.

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John Price's picture

The website SaveQVM.com contains information about the Renewal proposals as far as is known in public.

There are three main objections to the current proposals: They involve

Sale of Public Lands
Demolition of old buildings and
Building a new road across the Old Melbourne Cemetery

The reasons for the objections are

• Public land in the CBD should not be sold until proper serious public use is identified - it should not be sold just to help out the council Budget. (The likely revenue from the sale has been stated by Councillor Mayne to be only a small part of the project cost.)
• Demolition of old buildings includes removal of A B and C sheds to make way for the Underground Car Park. However these sheds can't be rebuilt as they are now since an underground car park has surface structures such as ventilation shafts, escape stairways and entrance ramps. The remaining 1929 wholesale market buildings on Franklin St are also marked as a possible development site.
• A road joining the heavily trafficked Dudley St and Victoria St is completely unwarranted under any sensible city design principals. It is also unnecessary. The current Council statements about the reasons for this road are wrong or misleading.

For further information see SaveQVM.com

You can still see the Council brochure for the second round of “consultation” on http://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/

John Price

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John Price's picture

Yes get rid of the roundabouts, but don't build a new road across the Cemetery. See my post about the current proposals.

John Price

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John Price's picture

There is an image showing the extent of cemetery on the web site SaveQVM.com

John Price

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Peter Maltezos's picture



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Peter Maltezos's picture

Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal: Have your say

Engagement will open from Monday 2 March to Sunday 29 March.


​or call 9658 9658 for more information.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


What do the Queen Vic Market and the Eiffel Tower have in common?

January 31, 2016 - 12:15AM Neil McMahon

Think of the world's grandest landmarks. Think the Great Wall of China. The Eiffel Tower. Egypt's Pyramids. The Statue of Liberty. The Sydney Opera House. Now add to that list: Queen Victoria Market.

Queen Victoria Market?

Yes, as that somewhat dowdy, but much-loved Melbourne fixture approaches its 150th birthday in just over a decade it has two trump cards in its pocket: a bold bid for listing with the UN alongside those other global icons as a protected World Heritage site, and a $250 million master plan to re-invigorate the market as a key part of the city's social and cultural fabric.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, at the urging of lord mayor Robert Doyle, confirmed the plan for National Heritage listing followed by a World Heritage application last year. That application now looks set to be tied to another city icon, but more on that later.

The case for World Heritage status has been laid out in a study that portrays the Vic Market as much more than just a city market – but rather allows the site to claim its place as a key element in the city's foundation story.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Protecting Melbourne’s Treasured Queen Victoria Market

11 July 2017

The Andrews Labor Government has approved new planning controls that pave the way for a major transformation of Melbourne’s beloved Queen Victoria Market and the creation of thousands of jobs.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Planning Richard Wynne joined Lord Mayor Robert Doyle today to progress plans for the transformation of the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere.

The redevelopment will provide desperately-needed repairs to the internationally-renowned market and give traders renewed opportunities to grow their business.

The project will deliver new cold storage facilities, power, and modern toilets, as well as improved car parking and pedestrian access.

The redevelopment will create 2,500 jobs during construction, and pave the way for a precinct that will accommodate more than 60,000 jobs.

To protect the character of Queen Victoria Market and enable works to begin, the Labor Government has approved new planning controls.

Strict heritage controls protecting the market will be maintained, as will existing height controls over the market sheds and fresh food halls.

The Government has also applied a new mandatory height control of 125 metres on the nearby Munro site to preserve and protect the market.

Queen Victoria Market has traded continuously since 1878 and now attracts about 10 million visitors every year.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Vic Market to go deep underground, but some traders still dark on Melbourne City Council

AUGUST 24 2017 - 6:27PM Clay Lucas

The next stage of Melbourne City Council's quarter-of-a-billion-dollar Queen Victoria Market redevelopment has been unveiled, with a proposed underground parking lot to go deeper beneath fruit and vegetable stalls than originally planned.

It will cost $11 million more than the original estimate, but ultimately take up less space for market traders.

Yet many traders remain sceptical about the project, which will now need to be signed off by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The council on Thursday met with market traders to release details of an $8 million program to  support operators during the five-year market renewal.

There are 700 traders at the market, and acting lord mayor Arron Wood said the redevelopment was needed so the market did not "continue to decline".

"We are working with traders and market management every step of the way to ensure their businesses can thrive," Cr Wood said. Any business that could demonstrate its income was hurt by the renewal would get financial assistance, he said.

The council will vote next week on the revised design for market sheds A to D, near the corner of Victoria and Peel streets.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Biggest public square in Melbourne planned for Queen Vic Market
March 28, 2019 — 2.22pm Jewel Topsfield

Queen Victoria Market
An image of the latest proposed redevelopment of Queen Victoria Market.

A new public space larger than Federation Square would replace the open-air carpark at Queen Victoria Market under the latest proposed redevelopment of the 141-year-old landmark.

Melbourne City Council has now abandoned plans to dig beneath four of the market’s heritage sheds to create three levels of underground car parking and a service area for traders.

The latest proposal would still deliver 1000 car parks for market customers, which has long been a contentious issue, but they would be contained within a 38-storey apartment tower on the corner of Queen and Therry streets and a future development site on Franklin Street.

Lord mayor Sally Capp said once the new car parks had been built the existing asphalt car park would be turned into the biggest public square in Melbourne.

The 1.5 hectare civic space – to be called Market Square – would be used as a venue for community festivals, farmers' markets and other events and provide a place where people could eat.

None of the proposed works will disturb the 6500 bodies that lie buried beneath the market in what used to be the Old Melbourne Cemetery, which is believed to be an archeological treasure trove.

Heritage Victoria last year rejected the underground parking lot, saying it could not be assured the market's heritage sheds could be returned to the site in their original condition.

The heritage authority also believed the fabric of the 19th century market – the largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere – would be irreversibly altered if it went ahead.

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Larina Bespalova's picture

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