North Melbourne is bounded by the CityLink freeway to the west, Victoria Street to the south, O'Connell and Peel Streets to the east and Flemington Road to the north. Since July 2008 its local government area has been the City of Melbourne, when it took over the administration of parts of Kensington and North Melbourne that were previously under the City of Moonee Valley, resulting in an increase of approximately 4760 residents and almost 3000 workers (2006 Census).
Formerly known as Hotham, it was essentially a working class area, with some middle class pockets, and was one of the first towns in Victoria to be granted Municipal status.
Today it continues to undergo gentrification, noted for its Victorian architecture, cosmopolitan demographic, commercial and older industrial areas.
North Melbourne's real estate is above the Melbourne median and the suburb remains a middle-class community. Residents of North Melbourne are significantly younger than most other areas; their median age was 28 years, compared to the national median age of 38.
Historically, the predominant housing types were old Victorian-style terrace houses, warehouses, and some low-rise apartments. By the time of the 2011 census, this had changed and 65.5% of private dwellings were flats, units or apartments. 27% were semi-detached (row or terrace houses, townhouses etc.), 6.2% were separate houses, and 0.4% were classified as "other dwellings".
North Melbourne was slower to gentrify than other inner suburbs, due to established families resisting the sale of their homes for decades. A younger generation finally began to move in the 1980s, capitalising on the proximity to the Melbourne City Centre. Many of the old factories and warehouses were converted into fashionable loft-style apartments in 1990s. Since 2000, there has been a large increase in new medium density apartment complexes being built and house prices now exceed Melbourne's median.
For inner-city Melbourne folk on the north side of town, Clayton Reserve is a small but welcoming, fenced-in area suitable for your furry friends to run, play and socialise to their heart's content. With a strong community feel, other dog owners are also usually friendly and happy to chat. Other bonus features include a dog fountain, bags and plenty of seats for tired humans.
The suburb is served by two railway stations, Flemington Bridge and Macaulay, both on the Upfield line. Despite the naming, the North Melbourne railway station is actually in the adjacent suburb of West Melbourne, while the Flemington Bridge railway station is within North Melbourne boundaries and not in Flemington. The Arden railway station is planned to be built on Arden Road within North Melbourne's industrial area as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. North Melbourne is also serviced by three tram routes and a number of bus routes.