It is a mixture of residential and industrial zoning, with an increase in commercial usage towards the centre of Maidstone, and more arable use on the outskirts.
Tovil has a history of paper mills on the Loose Stream near the River Medway, which ceased operation in the 1980s. These included Great Ivy Mill, Hayle Mill, Upper Tovil Mill, Lower Tovil Mill and Bridge Mill. These and other mills located along the Loose Stream which flows through Tovil were formerly used for fulling, corn and in one case gunpowder. Alabaster Passmore had an important printing works in Tovil and there were other small industries and a railway siding. Many of the industrial units have since been replaced by housing.
One notable local business is loudspeaker manufacturer KEF, which is based on Eccleston Road in Tovil. Goachersmicrobrewery is also based there.
The church of St Stephen was built in around 1840. The architect was John Whichcord Snr. It was built of ragstone ashlar in the Early English style but demolished in about 1990.