Robertson Quay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robertson Quay
Historic Warehouses on Robertson Quay, 2011
Land area0.53 km2 (0.20 sq mi)

Robertson Quay is a wharf near the source of the Singapore River. It is the largest and most upstream of the three wharfs (the other two being Boat Quay and Clarke Quay) on the river and is named after a municipal counsellor Dr J Murray Robertson.[1][2] It now has al fresco dining as well as arts and culture.


The upper reaches of the Singapore River were originally mud flats and swamps. As the population and commerce of Singapore increased, the area was reclaimed in the mid nineteenth century.

In the 19th Century the swamps were reclaimed and warehouses and boatyards were constructed in the 1880s in both European and Chinese styles.[3] Children would jump into the waters to cool down in the afternoons.[4]

The Quay is named after the municipal counsellor Dr J Murray Robertson.[1][2]

In 1977, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew calls for a large $170 million initiative, lasting a decade, to clean up the Singapore River.[2] This involved clearing away the rubbish as well as dredging the river. The lighterage industry eventually relocated to Pasir Panjang.[5]

In the 1990s, the Urban Redevelopment Authority rezoned the area for new development of residential, hotel, and commercial use.[6]

It is now popular among joggers as well as families. It now has al fresco dining as well as arts and culture.[7][4]

On 16 May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore, Robertson Quay was the site of a significant breach of rules designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 by numerous parties. On 2 June 2020, seven people were charged for breaching rules. They were ultimately fined between S$8,000 and S$9,000 each, and six of them had their work passes revoked, permanently debarring them from working in Singapore in the future.[8][9][10][11][12] On 16 June, two British citizens who were also permanent residents of Singapore were charged in relation to the same gathering.[13] The result of their case was not published, but one was still posting photos on Instagram from Singapore after the case was completed, suggesting he had not been ejected from Singapore.[14]


Robertson Quay occupies 51 hectares of the Singapore River planning area. It starts roughly midway, or about 1.5 km from the river mouth, and terminates at the river source near the Kim Seng Bridge.



  1. ^ a b Koh, T. Singapore: The Encyclopedia (2006), p. 498, Didier Millet, ISBN 981-4155-63-2.
  2. ^ a b c "History". The Quayside | Singapore. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  3. ^ "Conservation Portal -". Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  4. ^ a b "Our Quays – Singapore River Cruise". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  5. ^ "Map – Saturday Indesign – Singapore – October 12, 2019". Saturday Indesign. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  6. ^ Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority On-site History sign.
  7. ^ "Singapore River | Carlton City Hotel". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  8. ^ hermesauto (2020-05-17). "Some Robertson Quay restaurants barred from selling takeaway alcohol after photos of gatherings draw flak amid Covid-19 outbreak". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  9. ^ "7 people charged over Robertson Quay gatherings during COVID-19 circuit breaker". CNA. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  10. ^ hermesauto (2020-06-02). "7 charged with offences under Covid-19 regulations in Robertson Quay incident". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  11. ^ "7 people fined over social gatherings at Robertson Quay during COVID-19 circuit breaker". CNA. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  12. ^ "140 Work Passes Revoked for Breach of Circuit Breaker Measures, Stay-Home Notices or Quarantine Orders". Ministry of Manpower Singapore. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  13. ^ "Two more men charged over Robertson Quay gatherings during COVID-19 circuit breaker". CNA. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  14. ^ "ALFRED / ALJO (@alfredwaring) • Instagram photos and videos". Retrieved 2020-09-14.

Coordinates: 1°17′25″N 103°50′23″E / 1.29028°N 103.83972°E / 1.29028; 103.83972