This name is of Aboriginal origin and is believed to mean “south part of Canning” possibly referring to the river. Booragoon was developed over nearly 20 years from the 1960’s until 1983. Some streets in this suburb have aboriginal origins while others are named after pioneers of the district, early members of the Roads Board, teachers, and merchants.
Pre-European occupation utilised the area bounded by Booragoon Lake which was a popular camping area with ample food supplies and birdlife. The W.A. Museum has discovered evidence that the western side of the lake has been used as a camp site and food source for at least 38,000
years. As recently as the 1940s there was a dairy farm nearby and farm hand Walter Back had permission to shoot ducks there. He noted that it was about 1.5 metres deep in winter. Today Booragoon Lake still provides refuge for a variety of birdlife. Garden City Shopping Centre initially consisting of sixty shops was constructed in 1972 at a cost of $20 million by the Hooker Group. It was the largest suburban shopping complex in Western Australia at the time. Businessesincluded, Boans (now Myers), Aherns (now David Jones), Charlie Carters, Walsh’s Menswear and Coles New World. After several expansions there is a variety of shops, supermarkets, a food hall and a cinema complex. There are several medical centres in the Garden City area, catering for general practice and specialist services. In 1969 the Booragoon Motor Hotel was built on the south-east side of the shopping complex and demolished in 1999 - 2000. The current bus port now stands on the site. The name personified Melville district at the time which, with suburbs containing large quarter acre blocks with gardens and jacaranda lined trees, was known as the ‘Garden City’. This era of its history is today reflected in the tree depicted on the City’s coat-of-arms. To the west of Garden City is the City of Melville Civic Centre and its various departments including a branch of the Library Service. The Civic Centre was built in 1967 to complete the requirements for the granting of City Status to Melville which occurred the following year. It houses the Melville Discovery Centre, a museum of local history and artefacts illustrating the history of Melville and its people. There are also research facilities covering the various suburbs. The City of Melville manages the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum and the Heathcote Cultural Precinct. Booragoon has a diverse collection of community facilities including the St John Ambulance Cadets Melville Division and the Civic Square Library. There is also the well equipped Melville Aquatic Centre, formerly the Len Shearer Aquatic Centre which opened in October 1977, and a complex of sporting fields.