In the perennial debate pitting the east and west of Singapore, East Coast perhaps plays a pivotal role in tilting the scale in favour of the east-siders.
Besides the eponymous 15km East Coast beachfront, attracting outdoor enthusiasts to cycle, skate, run, and swim, foodies are drawn to Katong and the Seafood Centre, and sports and music fans will be well-acquainted with the National Stadium. At the same time, residents can live in an eclectic mix of HDBs with million-dollar sea views, and modern (and expensive) condominiums and landed property enclaves. Residents also enjoy nostalgia through shophouses that pay homage to the estate’s Peranakan culture.
While few will dare suggest that East Coast is an underrated estate, it may be less appreciated as a very convenient location. Nestled in a sweet spot of 15 mins drive (or MRT-ride in the near future) away from both the CBD and Changi Airport, residents are a stone’s throw from where they live, work, play – and fly and study.
A magnet for both local and expat communities who wish to live in the area, East Coast offers a melting pot of cultures – and access to a diverse variety of local and international schools, including established primary and secondary schools.
[Editor’s note]: Check out the other Neighbourhood Estate Guides that we have covered: Bidadari, Bishan, Bukit Merah, Hougang, Jurong West, Kallang, Pasir Ris, Queenstown, Sengkang, Serangoon, Sentosa Cove, Tanjong Pagar, Tengah, Toa Payoh, Woodlands, and Yishun.
Birthed From One Of The Most Extensive Reclamation Projects In Singapore
No guide to East Coast will be complete without mentioning the magnitude of the reclamation work done.
Dubbed “The Great Reclamation”, a pilot project began in 1963 to reclaim 48 acres of land near Bedok. In what would continue for another 20 years, and cost $613 million, the East Coast reclamation project was completed in 7 phases – with a total of 1,525 hectares of reclaimed land across spanning from Bedok to Tanjong Rhu, as well as extending the already reclaimed Telok Ayer Basin.
- From 1966 to 1971 – Tanjong Rhu (Phase 1) to Bedok (Phase 2)
- From 1971 to 1975 – Extending reclaimed areas in Tanjong Rhu (Phase 3) and Bedok (Phase 4)
- From 1974 to 1977 – Extending the already reclaimed Telok Ayer Basin (Phase 5)
- From 1979 to 1986 – Extending the already reclaimed Tanjong Rhu (Phase 6) and Telok Ayer Basin (Phase 7)
Interestingly, other locations in the east of Singapore had a big role to play in the creation of the East Coast we love today. Much of the material used to fill the reclaimed land parcels was excavated in Siglap, Bedok and Tampines. In fact, another iconic waterbody in the east – Bedok Reservoir – was created to complete the East Coast Reclamation project.
The reclamation work in East Coast is also set to continue. Already in the plans is a Long Island that is intended to stretch from Changi to Marina East – across the entire south eastern side of the coastline – and aid in Singapore’s bid to protect its coastline from rising sea levels.
Hot Spot For Recreational Activities – Quite Equally Split Between Sports & Food
It’s no surprise that hordes of outdoor enthusiasts descend on East Coast Beach at various times of the day and week. Its 15km shoreline, some of which stretches into Bedok and Changi.
There’s something to do for everyone. From those who enjoy cycling, roller-skating/blading, running and even swimming, to couples who want to walk their pets and families who want to spend time with their children in the sand or at the various playgrounds. You can also spot groups of families and friends dining out and BBQ-ing their dinners.
Nearby, sports lovers can also reach the Singapore Sports Hub and Kallang Wave Mall within a few short minutes. As expected, we can access a myriad of sporting activities, as well as enjoy attending concerts at the National Stadium or Indoor Stadium. While we’re there, we can also pop by Decathlon’s largest experience store in Singapore located in the vicinity.
Those who live in East Coast are a short walk away from sampling a variety of the best local foods (think Laksa, Chicken Rice and Wanton Noodles), Peranakan-inspired cuisine strewn along Katong shophouses, and hipster bistros down Joo Chiat Road and Siglap.
Besides the popular Katong, Siglap and Joo Chiat belt of eateries, there are malls such as Parkway Parade and 112 Katong. Nearby Dakota, there is also the Old Aiport Road Hawker Centre and Dunman Road Hawker Centre. On East Coast itself, we can enjoy going to Lagoon Food Centre or the Seafood Centre.
Unparalleled Connectivity In A Uniquely Central Location
As mentioned, one of the less-known traits of living in East Coast is its accessibility. Flanked by East Coast Parkway (ECP) and Nicoll Highway – it takes drivers just 15 minutes to get into CBD. It takes the same amount of time to get to Changi Airport as well.
Once on ECP, exits to Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE) are very close by. Drivers also have a short 10-minute drive to Paya Lebar if they need to access Pan Island Expressway (PIE) instead.
Those who take the bus have good connectivity to town via both the ECP and Nicoll Highway. There are also extensive bus routes to Paya Lebar Central – a lively office and commercial centre – where we can also hop on the East-West Line (Green Line).
By 2024, the Thomson-East Coast Line (Brown Line) will be up and running. This will connect the entire East Coast from Bayshore to Tanjong Rhu – comprising 7 MRT stations – as well as to the city centre via Shenton Way and Orchard, and all the way up to the north via Woodlands.
A Vibrant Mix Of Old And New, Public And Private Housing Estates In East Coast
There is a good variety of public and private housing, that are both new and old, within East Coast. Comprised mainly of older flats, Marine Parade is home to the first batch of HDB flats built on reclaimed land in Singapore in 1972. Today, there are nearly 8,000 flats in Marine Parade.
Slightly off the beachfront, Dakota comprises both new and old HDB flats – with three recent BTO launches in 2017 (Dakota Breeze), 2020 (Dakota One) and 2022 (Dakota Crest).
The government has also announced plans to build more BTOs in East Coast. These upcoming launches will be the nearby Bayshore housing precinct – which promises to be “Plus Projects”, signalling the popularity of its location.
There are also many hot spots for condominiums in the East Coast area. Amber Road and Meyer Road are two of the most popular stretches for freehold condominiums within walking distance of the beach. Another popular beachfront condominium hotspot is the Bayshore area.
The other well-known housing locations include the Tanjong Rhu stretch as well as private condominiums in Dakota and Dunman Road.
Adding to the diversity, East Coast is also a popular landed property enclave. Mountbatten and Katong are home to diverse types of landed properties, including bungalows, semi-detached homes and terrace houses. Nearby, Dunman Road and Siglap are also landed property enclaves.
Established Schools – Catering To A Mature Housing Estate
As a mature housing estate, East Coast offers many established schools as well. While there is only 1 MOE Kindergarten near Marine Parade on MOE’s SchoolFinder platform, we got 22 hits on private pre-schools via Schoolpedia.com. This attests to the demand for private pre-school education, and perhaps the disposal income of those who live in the estate.
There are 5 primary schools, 6 secondary schools, and just 1 junior college nearby East Coast. Interestingly enough, East Coast Primary School is situated in Bedok – nearby Chai Chee – and may be harder to get to for families living near East Coast Park.
|MOE Primary Schools|
|1||CHIJ (Katong) Primary|
|2||Haig Girls’ School|
|3||Kong Hwa School|
|4||Ngee Ann Primary School|
|5||Tao Nan School|
|MOE Secondary Schools|
|1||CHIJ Katong Convent|
|2||Chung Cheng High School (Main)|
|3||Tanjong Katong Girls’ School|
|4||Tanjong Katong Secondary School|
|5||Dunman High School (Main)|
|6||Broadrick Secondary School|
|1||Victoria Junior College|
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