Ashfield is in Sydney’s inner-west, about 9km south-west of the CBD, in the local government area of the Municipality of Ashfield. It boasts a strong public transport presence, affordable housing stock, pleasant natural environment and excellent amenities.
Ashfield's population is culturally diverse, with a large number of Chinese-speaking residents. The town centre features an array of Chinese restaurants with a distinct Shanghai influence, as well as Asian grocery stores, making it a popular destination for shoppers and food lovers from all over Sydney.
Ashfield’s urban density is relatively high for Australia, with the majority of dwellings a mixture of mainly post-war low-rise flats (apartment blocks) and Federation-era detached houses. Among these are several grand Victorian buildings that offer a hint of Ashfield's rich cultural heritage.
The main shopping precinct is along Liverpool Road and features street-level shops and Ashfield Mall, a shopping centre containing supermarkets, a discount department store and specialty shops. This commercial area extends into Charlotte Street and Elizabeth Street on the northern side of the station. A second commercial precinct is located along Parramatta Road, comprising mostly automotive-related retail and light industry.
Ashfield is located at the intersection of two major roads. Parramatta Road runs from Sydney city to Parramatta, and continues on as the Great Western Highway through Penrith and the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. Liverpool Road runs from Parramatta Road at Ashfield to Liverpool and continues on as the Hume Highway to Melbourne, via Goulburn and Albury. Another major road is Frederick/Milton Street which connects the City West Link Road at Haberfield with Georges River Rd at Croydon Park.
Ashfield railway station is on the Inner West line of the CityRail network, with express and all-stations services to the City Circle, Bankstown, Liverpool and Campbelltown. Several bus services also service the suburb.
There are three primary schools: Ashfield Public; St Vincents (a Catholic school); and Yeo Park Infants. There are three high schools: Ashfield Boys High School; Bethlehem College (a Catholic girls school; De La Salle College (a Catholic boys school).
There are no public hospitals in Ashfield but there are two private facilities, The Sydney Private Hospital and The Wesley Private Hospital, a well established mental health facility. The nearest public hospitals are Canterbury Hospital in Campsie and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown.
The major community event in Ashfield each year is the Carnival of Cultures. Held every year since 1996 in Ashfield Park, it includes performances, food stalls and children's entertainment. In recent years, the Sydney Writers' Festival has also held part of its program in Ashfield as part of the regular Authors at Ashfield series of talks.