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Hillview, Singapore

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Title: Hillview, Singapore  
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Subject: List of places in Singapore, Bukit Batok New Town, Hillview, Bukit Gombak, Toh Tuck
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Hillview, Singapore

Hillview (山景) is a private residential enclave nestled in the northwest of Singapore, overlooking Bukit Timah and the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.[1] The word Bukit means hill in the Malay language. Hillview is naturally endowed with lush greenery as it is encircled by the woodlands of Bukit Gombak in the North West and Bukit Timah in the South East. Some of the residential estates in Hillview sits atop Bukit Batok.

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was established in 1883 and is the last primary rainforest in Singapore. By 2014, an eco-link bridge will connect both the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, currently separated by a motorway. Environmentalist are hopeful that this will generate greater bio-diversity.

From the early 1940s to the late 80s, Hillview was an industrial precinct with facilities such as Old Ford Motor Factory (built in 1941), Castrol Oil Company and Cycle & Carriage Daimler-Benz car assembly plant (built in 1965). Hume Avenue was probably named after Walter R Hume, an inventor turned entrepreneur who founded Hume Pipe Company (Australia). Subsequently, these facilities, other than the old Ford Motor factory (which was gazetted as a national monument), made way for new private residential developments.

Located just beside Bukit Timah, the area witnessed one of the fiercest military encounters during World War II as Bukit Timah held strategic and tactical importance to both the Japanese and the British. The Ford Motor Factory[2] most notably served as the venue on 15 February 1942 for the formal surrender of the Malayan Peninsula by the British Commanding Officer, Lt-Gen. Arthur Ernest Percival, to the Japanese Commander of the 25th Army, Gen. Yamashita Tomoyuki.

One can also find the Old Bukit Timah Fire Station here. Built in 1956, this is one of the oldest fire stations of Singapore. Other colonial fire stations can also be found at Hill Street (Central Fire Station), Geylang and Alexandra.

Since the 19th century, Bukit Timah and its surrounding area, which is away from the hustle and bustle of the city, have been regarded as the perfect sanctuary and get-away for the European expatriates in Singapore.

Bukit Timah was once an active quarrying site in the mid-20th century.

Hindhede Quarry, named after the Danish civil engineer, Jens Hindhede, once operated a granite quarry until it ceased operations around late 1980s. It has since been converted into Hindhede Nature Park and is a popular spot where visitors come to enjoy its scenic beauty.

In 1929, the Cold Storage Company bought 24 hectares stretch of forested land across Hillview. This area became known as Dairy Farm, named after the company's dairy farm business, which supplied the supermarket company with locally produced fresh milk. It has now been converted into Dairy Farm Nature Park. At the southern end of the park lies the Singapore Quarry, where visitors can relax and enjoy the picturesque view.

A new 80ha Chestnut Nature Park will be completed by early 2015, featuring a 30 km cycling loop along the Central Catchment Nature Reserve and a 7 storey Observation Tower to enjoy panoramic views of the Nature Reserve.

The KTM Malayan Railway used to operate passenger and freight services that ply through Hillview, from Malaysia in the north to Tanjong Pagar station in the south. Of significance are the 2 railway truss bridges spanning across the roads near Hillview. Under a bilateral agreement signed between Singapore and Malaysia on 24 May 2010, the railway land has been handed back to Singapore. There are now plans to redevelop the railway land running along Hillview into a Rail Corridor.[3] Ideas include preserving it as a green belt, a venue for sports (biking & trekking), art (sculptures), culture (museums) and horticulture.

Princess Elizabeth Estate,[4] which was previously located along Hillview Avenue's Elizabeth Drive, was built around 1951 to commemorate the wedding of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) to Prince Philip (the Duke of Edinburgh) in 1947.

There were also public housing built by the Housing Development Board (HDB) around 1979 at the north end of Hillview, with a community centre, a wet market, a hawker centre and some neighbourhood shops. In 1999, the government announced that the HDB estate would be relocated to Bukit Gombak via the largest Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). The residents started the relocation in 2003-2005. By late 2005, the last HDB estate was demolished.

Today, as one of the affluent residential areas in Singapore, Hillview boast several private condominiums and landed properties. It is served by restaurants & delicatessen, watering holes, cafes, and convenience stores (e.g. Cold Storage) at The Rail Mall. A new commercial shopping mall, hillv2, located at the beginning of Hillview Avenue is due to be completed by early 2014. It will be built on part of the site where the HDB estates once stood. It will house Dean & DeLuca,[5] Market Place Cold Storage, and Cold Stone Creamery.

By 2016, Hillview will be served by the upcoming Hillview MRT Station[6] via the Downtown Line.[7]


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