The Origin & Development of Tiong Bahru

Places
The Origin and Development of Tiong Bahru

The first point of the Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail starts at the heart of Tiong Bahru, namely the Market and Food Centre, where for decades, residents, neighbours and people from all over the island have come to shop, dine and take delight in each other’s company. Look out for a storyboard containing information about the history of Tiong Bahru as well as the Market and Food Centre. 

Tiong Bahru Road today stretches for more than three kilometres from Redhill MRT at its western end to Outram Road on its eastern end. For most Singaporeans, Tiong Bahru is a small, charming and chic housing estate awash with good eateries and eclectic little shops. 

But there is much more to Tiong Bahru than meets the eye, as this heritage trail and its marked sites show. The familiar Art Deco buildings we see today were built in the 1930s, when Tiong Bahru estate was developed as one of the first public housing programmes of the Singapore Improvement Trust (the colonial predecessor to the HDB). 

These 50 or so blocks of low-rise apartments and shophouses were originally meant to house residents from overcrowded parts in Chinatown. Today, Tiong Bahru  has become one of Singapore’s most sought-after residential addresses but it also has a very interesting past. In fact, much of the area around Tiong Bahru was once dotted by graves.