Hillview is naturally endowed with lush greenery as it is encircled by the woodlands of Bukit Gombak to the north west, Bukit Batok Nature Park to the south and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve to the east.
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, Union Carbide 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). Today, only the old Ford Motor factory still remains as other factories made way for new private residential developments.
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 two railway truss bridges spanning across the undulating terrain 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. Ideas include preserving it as a green corridor, a cyclist highway with direct access into the central business district, gardens and community spaces.
Second World War
Located just beside Bukit Timah Hill, the area witnessed one of the fiercest military encounters in Singapore during World War II as Bukit Timah held strategic and tactical importance to both the Japanese and the British. The Ford Motor Factory 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.
Princess Elizabeth Estate, 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 nearby restaurants, delicatessens, watering holes, cafes, and convenience stores. A commercial shopping mall, HillV2, located at the beginning of Hillview Avenue houses Dean & DeLuca, Cold Storage Market Place, Joyden Canton Kitchen and iO Italian Osteria.
Adjacent to HillV2 is a new Hillview Community Club. It houses F&B outlets, enrichment centres, a dance studio, culinary studio, multi-purpose hall, rooftop garden and other recreational facilities.
Under the 5 years 2014 Master Plan, an education institution is planned at the junction of Hillview Avenue and Elizabeth Drive.
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