Toa Payoh has an average crime rate for Singapore.
Toa Payoh, meaning “big swamp” in the Hokkien dialect, was originally a squatter’s district before its development into a residential town. The squatters in the area worked as pig farmers, hawkers, factory workers, domestic helpers, or mechanics. Between the 1960s and 1980s, Toa Payoh was notorious for its vice, with many crime syndicates and gang members living and operating in the area.
Following the government’s efforts to develop Toa Payoh into a residential town, the vice district was cleaned up and squatters were incentivized to clear out of the area. Today, the neighborhood is one of Singapore's most desirable to live in.
Toa Payoh was the first district to have an MRT station. Its location is only a few stops away from the bustling Orchard area and the city center, and is only a couple of stops away from the Newton interchange where there is access to the newly built Downtown line. These links make Toa Payoh one of the most convenient and accessible heartland districts in Singapore.
Needless to say, the convenience factor makes this an attractive place to live for professionals and young couples looking for a new home. The neighborhood is self-sustainable with supermarkets spread out around the area, as well as a shopping hub at Toa Payoh Shopping Mall. There are several primary and secondary schools in the neighborhood as well, which draw many families to the area.
Toa Payoh is bordered on the north by Upper Thomson and Marymount, on the east by Braddell, Boon Teck, and Kim Keat, on the south by Balestier, and on the west by Mount Pleasant.
CBD: 10.1 km / 15-35 minutes by car / 40-50 minutes by transit
Changi Business Park: 15.7 km / 20-35 minutes by car / 80 minutes by transit
Jurong International Business Park: 15.8 km / 20-40 minutes by car / 70 minutes by transit
One North Buona Vista: 11.4 km / 15-40 minutes by car / 50-60 minutes by transit
Tuas: 34.6 km / 35-70 minutes by car / 120 minutes by transit
Toa Payoh Town park is a great little pocket of nature for a relaxing stroll or energizing jog. The park contains a large pavilion, landscaped pond, gazebos, and large shady willow trees. Developed in the seventies, this intimate park has retained a rustic charm and beauty amidst the modern developments in its surrounding areas.
Also known as Siong Lim Temple, Lian Shan Shuang Lin is a Buddhist monastery built in 1907. Lian Shan Shuang Lin, meaning "Twin Grove of the Lotus Mountain Temple", refers to the twin groves of sala trees where Buddha was believed to have attained enlightenment. Originally constructed by Chinese craftsmen from Fujian province in China, the building comprises of a combination of Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou architectural styles.
Breaking conventions of what a typical shopping mall should be, Toa Payoh Shopping Mall comprises neighbourhood shophouses and void deck shops at the bottom of HDB estates. You’ll even be able to spot a few old colonial shophouses amongst the rows of local stalls selling a variety of your everyday necessities.
Through multi-sensory exhibits and features, the HDB Gallery tells the story of the development of Singapore’s housing estates, taking the country’s slums developing them into vibrant towns and neighbourhoods, all within a few short decades.
The third largest chain of supermarkets in Singapore, Sheng Siong is a grocery and fresh food provider in many neighbourhoods in Singapore. Expect to find less international import products at this retailer compared to other chains of supermarkets.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @limzerui, @layyuddi, @_raphfael_, @_blurpersonality_, @nickblitzz, @mermaideirdre, @kennykohgk, @wha_mm, @aileenchin, @esteban_jh, @jancxy_, @singaporeliciouz, @tinchusuey, @andhyprasetja, @mybuttercupbae, @daoronglin, @rahmadhany_ariyanto, @alitapereira for your great photos of this neighborhood!