Johnstone Park, on Geelong's western edge, is a favourite haven for shoppers and workers. Once a swamp, then a dam, the area was transformed into a park in 1872, the idea of Mayor Robert de Bruce Johnstone.
Johnstone earned a reputation as the 'parks and gardens' mayor for his support of the Geelong Botanic Gardens and of its curator Daniel Bunce. He served three terms from 1865 to 1867 and had the park named after him for his efforts to beautify Geelong.
Another Geelong mayor, Cr Howard Hitchcock, had a major hand in further Johnstone Park work that created the park's layout, central bandstand and entrance facing Mercer Street . It was part of his city beautification program in 1917, during the first of five terms as mayor.
On its southern edge, Johnstone Park is flanked by a series of important civic buildings, including the historic City Hall, Geelong Gallery, Peace Memorial and Regional Library.
Johnstone Park is bounded by Fenwick, Mercer, Little Malop and Gheringhap streets, and Gordon Avenue.