History of Queenstown

The town was once a huge swampy valley that has a canal running through it in a southeastern course.. The village situated within the district was also referred to by this name. Before 1942, the region was populated by hundreds of individuals living in attap roofed huts, growing vegetables, tending to fruits and raising livestock such as pigs and chicken. A British military camp named Buller Camp was also set up in the area which was subsequently cleared in 1953 to make way for the new housing estate. The country’s Housing Committee emphasized the problem of insufficient housing in the country in 1947.


The town was then selected by Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) as a location for housing development because of its closeness to the first productive public and residential housing arrangement located in Tiong Bahru. Fabrication of the district’s first estate, the Princess Margaret Estate, was started on July 1952. By late 1953, an initial set of 3 room flats units were ready for settlement. By 1956, construction on the Princess Margaret Estate (which was subsequently contracted to Princess Estate) already completed more than 1,000 flat units that is made up of one, two or three roomed units and around 68 promenade houses.

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The region gradually developed into a self sustaining and autonomous community. A number of the amenities and facilities included the Swimming and Sports Complex and the Town Centre. Construction of the Sports Complex was completed in August 1970. The Town Centre was totally completed in 1969 and had 3 cinemas and an assortment of outlets and shops such as a fresh food market, an emporium, a bowling alley, a maternity and child health hub and a nightclub and restaurant.

The success of the new town resulted in the development of two neighbouring districts (the Holland Village and the Buona Vista Estate) in the 1970s. Nonetheless, by the 1980s, the region had become an “old” estate with a higher ratio of senior citizens living in the region than elsewhere in the country, and a continuing migration of the younger generation into other new HBD (Housing Development Board) towns.