The name Payoh originated from the name swamp whereas Toa originated from the name big. In connection to this, the name Toa Payoh means big swamp. The region was once known as Ang Chiang which has its origin from the Chinese community. The Chinese name meant burial. The name originated from the fact that there once was a cemetery in the region. The cemetery served the communities living here for a long time. The area has a Chinese background revolving around its name as well as traditions. The area has numerous buildings which serves as specific landmarks. It is a business hub just like many regions around Singapore. The year 1849 saw a survey report written about the region. The report portrayed the region as an agricultural hub. This was in connection to the fertile soil around the area. The roads serving Toa Payoh region are named with Malay street suffixes. Such names include Jalan Toa Payoh and Lorong Satu Toa Payoh.
According to history, the town of Toa Payoh was discovered when Singapore was a state of Malaysia. The history also has it that the town was once a squatter region. The town together with other squatter districts were famous with farming. Rearing of pigs was also a major activity that the squatter districts engaged in. Besides farming and pig rearing, the squatters were also known for hawking. Residents also worked as mechanics as well as factory and domestic workers. By the year 1962, the squatters began their exodus from the region. This was resulted by augmented competition levels. Government regulations also contributed to the exodus. Development projects begun to roll out in the beginning of the year 1964. Toa payoh region is one of the satellite cities in Singapore. It was the second in terms of age to be set up. It was the first town to be built specifically by the housing and development board (HDB).
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