History on Toh Tuck Road
Toh Tuck is a residential region situated on the western side of Singapore. It sits to the North of Bukit Timah, east of Bukit Batok, and South of Hillview residential estates. Between the 1940s to the 1980s, the nearby Hillview was an Industrial zone featuring facilities like Castro Oil Company, Old Ford Motor Factory, Cycle & Carriage Daimler-Benz, and Union Carbide.
Hume Avenue acquired its name in honour of Walter R Hume who was an inventor and entrepreneur. He started Hume Pipe Company based in Australia. However, Ford Motor Company is the only company that still stands in the area. Most of the early companies have been demolished to pave the way for the development of new residential properties.
Being situated just next to Bukit Timah Hill, Hillview witnessed a severe military encounter to ever happen in Singapore during the 2ndWorld War. Bukit Timah was of great importance to both the British and the Japanese thus fueling the war. In 1942, the British forces surrendered to the Japanese forces at Ford Motor Factor grounds.
Sitting to the north of Toh Tuck, the famous Bukit Timah isn’t just a hill or nature reserve. The area is rich in history that blends the colonial and local heritage. Originally, Bukit Timah was known as Bukit Temak by the locals referring to the Temak trees dominant in the area. Out of the errors in translation, the area was renamed Bukit Timah which refers to Tin Hill. The name came about because the locals thought that tin could be found in the area, but it was never discovered.
At the centre of Bukit Timah’s history is Bukit Timah Road. It is the longest and one of the oldest roads in Singapore. It was first laid down by the colonial government around the 1830s to access the neighbouring areas for administration. The Road connects the neighbourhood of Toh Tuck to other bustling town centres.
The introduction of a railway line in 1903 was a major step in enhancing transportation in the area. This also allowed access to various parts of Singapore. Within no time, Bukit Timah grew to become a major centre for trade and industry. The settlers gathered here giving rise to a multifunctional residential suburb.
The former Japanese plantations and farms in the area gave way to the construction of high-rise flats and industrial buildings. Before the 1970s, Bukit Timah was already a prominent industrial centre. Today, the neighbourhood features luxurious condominiums, terraces and bungalows making the area a premier residential district.