History & Origins
Toa Payoh, in the Hokkien dialect, translates as ‘big swamp’ (with ‘Toa’ meaning ‘big’ and ‘Payoh’ meaning ‘swamp’). The name takes reference from the large swampy area that the town used to be. Toa Payoh's old Chinese name, was known as Ang Chiang San (alternatively An Xiang Shan) or "Burial Hill". The area was called as such because of the presence of an old cemetery located in the area. Other references to its origin come from John Turnbull Thomson, a government surveyor, who refers to the area as Toah Pyoh Lye.
Toa Payoh is home to about 105,000 HDB residents, living in approximately 37,900 flats. The housing estates are self-contained and has a town center which acts as a focal point for the shopping and entertainment needs of the residents. As one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Toa Payoh was the first to benefit from the Estate Renewal Strategy spearheaded by Singapore’s Housing Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). On the private housing side, existing projects include Gem Residences, Trevista, Thomson 800, Sky @ Eleven, Oleander Towers, 18 Woodsville, Maisons @ Braddell, Nin Residence and Sennett Residence.
Transportation & Connectivity
The district of Toa Payoh is served by 3 current MRT Stations, namely, Toa Payoh (NS19), Caldecott (CC17) & Braddell (NS18). There are 26 connecting bus services from Toa Payoh MRT (8, 26, 28, 31, 56, 73, 88, 90, 105, 129, 139, 139M, 141, 142, 143, 145, 153, 155, 157, 159, 163, 231, 232, 235, 238 & NR1), while Caldecott & Braddell provide another 12 and 4 bus services respectively.
Toa Payoh is home to 8 Primary Schools (Cedar Primary School, CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), First Toa Payoh Primary School, Kheng Cheng School, Maris Stella High (Primary), Marymount Convent School, Pei Chun Public School & St Andrew’s Junior School), 6 Secondary Schools (Bartley Secondary School, Beatty Secondary School, Cedar Girls' Secondary School, CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh), Maris Stella High School & St. Andrew's Secondary School) & 1 International School (Stamford American International School Singapore).
There are 2 major malls serving the residents of Toa Payoh. They are Toa Payoh Mall and The Poiz Center (near Potong Pasir MRT). Residents can also take a short 10 minute walk across the PIE (via overhead crossing), to visit the malls in Balestier District (e.g. Zhongshan Mall, Balestier Plaza or Shaw Plaza.
Recreation & Amenities
While just out of the zone for the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Toa Payoh itself does host quite a number of smaller, more communal spaces for residents to relax. These include Toa Payoh Town Park, HDB Hub Mini Park, Toa Payoh Sensory Park, 146A Rooftop Garden, 118A Community Garden, Toa Payoh Lorong 7 Park & ABC Waters @ Kallang River. Sporty residents can also engage in sporting pursuits at the Toa Payoh ActiveSG Sports Hall, which features a swimming complex, as well as badminton & basketball courts. There is also a SAFRA branch next door, which has tennis, squash & karaoke facilities for its members.
URA Master Plan
As part of HDB’s ‘Remaking Our Heartlands’ (ROH) programme, ‘Our Charming Toa Payoh’ town will have new housing, enhanced public spaces & improved connectivity. This will include revamping the existing Toa Payoh Sports & Recreation Center and its potential integration with the town park & library.
Did You know?
- Toa Payoh is home to one of Singapore's unofficial heritage sites, the now famous Dragon Playground
- Toa Payoh has been featured on local TV in the Chinese series titled "Home in Toa Payoh", the series starred Fiona Xie, Huang Biren & Mimi Chu and aired in 2007
- Rediscover Singapore by visiting Toa Payoh’s ‘Dinosaur Playground’ in front of Blk 27 Kim Keat Ave Singapore 730827