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The centrally located town is home to about 105,000 HDB residents, and we manage 37,900 flats in the area (as of 31 March 2018).
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.
The clearance works for the development of the town were delayed by 2 years, due to the initial resistance from squatters living in the area. In 1962, however, the squatters began moving out of the site. The land was then prepared in 1964, in time for HDB's second five-year building programme in 1965.
Toa Payoh is the first town comprehensively planned and developed by HDB. It is based on the Neighbourhood Principle where several neighbourhoods are grouped around a Town Centre that acts as a focal point for the entertainment and shopping needs of residents.
Toa Payoh has played host to many significant events, such as the visits by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, and again in 2006. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the town in 2007. It also hosted the South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games in 1973.
As one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Toa Payoh was the first to benefit from the Estate Renewal Strategy – an integrated and systematic approach to rejuvenate older HDB towns, making them more comparable with newer estates. The estate renewal efforts revitalised Toa Payoh, and the pioneer HDB town is a vibrant place today, and home to the HDB Hub, our headquarters.
In 2015, Toa Payoh was announced as one of the towns to be rejuvenated under the Remaking Our Heartland programme. This will further rejuvenate the town with enhanced commercial and recreational facilities, as well as new residential developments.
Planned around the concept of ‘A Community in a Garden’, Bidadari will be developed into a tranquil urban oasis. A new estate of Toa Payoh, it will house the new regional Bidadari Park featuring a lake, community lawns, a heritage walk and wooded experiential trails to observe flora and fauna. When completed, Bidadari estate will have about 10,000 residential units.
Toa Payoh Stadium is frequented by residents of the area, as the major sports facility in the town. Toa Payoh Sports Hall and Toa Payoh Swimming Complex are all located right beside the stadium, making the place a one-stop location for different sports.
Besides being our headquarters, HDB Hub is also a convenient shopping and dining place for the town’s residents. The many neighbourhood shops and pedestrian mall in Toa Payoh Town Centre also make the place a bustling environment.