Individual place statement of significance::
Shops characteristic of McKay's Sunshine
Precinct statement of significance::
This Sunshine commercial precinct is of local historical and social significance as a part of a suburb created by Australia's leading industrialist, which set a milestone in the development of the industrial suburb under the influence of the Garden City movement. Sunshine became a yardstick for planning and housing reformers, with H.V. McKay being regarded as an expert on planned industrial housing. The McKay estate is of historical significance as it marks a crucial phase in the development of Sunshine, reflecting a period when McKay encouraged or directly provided services to the resident work force, such as recreation and retail facilities, in order to develop a stable local economy.
The precinct is of architectural significance in representing the prevailing interwar style of relatively unadorned parapeted single story shop fronts. The precinct includes community, civic and commercial premises. While the building stock provides a representative sample of generally typical small shops of the period, Sunshine does contain some more elaborate designs (such as the Derrimut Hotel), some of which can be ascribed to J Raymond Robinson, who fulfilled the role of company architect for the McKay Sunshine Harvester Works.
Characterised generally by low flat corrugated iron clad roofs cantilevered verandahs, the buildings are also set on typical narrow frontage allotments, with small rear yards (now generally redeveloped for storage or parking. The provision of commercial allotments close to the station was consistent with the garden suburb character that was intended in the original town planning designs, and perpetuated in the perceptions of Sunshine's character. In the early 20th century Sunshine's generous suburban estates were atypical of working class housing of the period.