Toa Payoh: History

11 January 2007

Toa Payoh New Town
Toa Payoh was once an extensive and notorious squatter district. Most squatters engaged in farming and rearing pigs, while others were hawkers, factory workers, mechanics or domestic helpers.

HDB proposed to build their 2nd satellite town in Toa Payoh in 1960 but faces difficulties in clearance due to organised resistance by the squatters. However, the squatters started moving out in 1962 as a result of increased compensation rates and other practical inducements offered by the government. Clearance work was able to commence and the redevelopment started in early 1964.

Being the biggest development under the 2nd 5-Year Building Programme (1966-1970), Toa Payoh proves to be popular because of its central location and its proximity to the city centre. Planned against a Ring Road model, steps were taken to facilitate the emergence of definite neighbourhoods and the development of communities. The town is self-contained with a town centre acting as a focal point for shopping and entertainment, and industrial developments build to provide residents with job opportunities close to their home.

Toa Payoh was extended twice, in 1972 with the building of Neighbourhood 5 and in 1983 with the redevelopment of Temple Road Estate into Toa Payoh Neighbourhood 6.

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