Prior to European settlement, Boronia and surrounding suburbs were often visited by Aborigines from the Westernport and Yarra Yarra tribes, hunting during the summer months in the Dandenong Ranges and its foothills. The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation are the acknowledged traditional custodians of the land on which Boronia and all of City of Knox is located (source: Knox City Council publication).
Boronia was named in 1915 by local Councillor A. E. Chandler (prior to this, Boronia was considered part of Bayswater). Chandler named the suburb Boronia after the plant, boronia, which grew on his property at The Basin. The plant was discovered by Ferdinand von Mueller, an Austrian botanist, who came to Australia during the colonial period.
Boronia railway station opened in 1920, leading to an influx of residents and Boronia Post Office opened on 1 October 1920. A further influx occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.
Boronia is a tree-lined suburb, with views of the National Park and the city of Melbourne (from the foothills themselves). There are also nature reserves and extensive bike paths/lanes. Boronia includes sections of the Dandenong Ranges foothills and thus possesses many hills itself. It has the beautiful, natural, green backdrop of the hills and the Dandenong Ranges National Park. Knox City Council have endeavoured to protect this green backdrop to Melbourne by developing pro-environment planning guidelines.
Boronia Junction, a relatively new shopping centre, was completed over 2000–2001. Boronia Junction includes an AMF Bowling Centre, a number of restaurants and a hairdresser. There has been a cinema in Boronia for many decades (although not continuously). Metro Cinemas opened in 2005 (in the former Village Cinemas complex in Dorset Square). Boronia boasts over 11 restaurants, including Indian, Thai, Malaysian, Chinese and Italian cuisine.
The other two shopping precincts in Boronia are Boronia Village and Dorset Square (including Boronia Mall). There is also the Dorset Arcade and Chandler Arcade, both run by the Boronia Chamber of Commerce. Boronia is currently being targeted by Knox City Council for rejuvenation, in consultation with resident interest groups. Major works are intended for the Dorset Square retail and entertainment precinct during 2008.
There are a number of kindergartens located in Boronia. There are also four primary schools in Boronia; Knox Central Primary School, Boronia Heights Primary, Boronia West Primary and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary school.
Boronia K-12 College, established in 2012 merged with Boronia Primary School, Allendale Kindergarten and Boronia Heights College on Boronia Primary School’s campus. It ran concurrently as the Rangeview Campus, until the Mountview Campus (Boronia Heights College) closed in 2014.
Boronia High School (also known as Tormore Secondary College) closed in 1991