Colonel Light Gardens is Australia's most complete example of an early 1900s garden suburb. It is also linked with the work of Charles Reade, Australia's first appointed Town Planner and a leading advocate of the garden city design, and with the 1920s mass-housing project known as the Thousand Homes Scheme.
Most houses were built in the 1920s under the Labor Government's Thousand Homes Scheme. This program allowed hundreds of families to move out of crowded, sub-standard inner-city accommodation into their own, more spacious homes in metropolitan Adelaide.
Colonel Light Gardens was built within 10 years of its design, so almost all buildings are of the same period. Remarkably, most houses and other buildings are in good condition and little altered, with the exception of the shopping centres.
Colonel Light Gardens is in the Mitcham District Council, about 6km south of Adelaide. The boundaries of the suburb are also the boundaries of the Colonel Light Gardens state heritage area.
The area is mainly residential and includes small shopping centres, schools, churches and meeting halls. It is known for its radial street pattern, reserves and gardens, wide avenues, laneways, street frontages and park-like setting. The consistent style of housing is typical of the mid 1920s Californian bungalow design.