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7 Unique Street Names in Singapore You Can Buy Property For a One-of-a-kind Address

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
Have you ever driven or walked past an interesting road sign that made your head turn?
While unique street names aren’t exclusive to Singapore, they are perhaps more distinctive in a country as diverse as ours, thanks to an eclectic mix of cultures, languages, and history.
Indeed, for every avenue, road, and street, there is a Lorong, Jalan, and Bukit. And if that’s not unique enough, our streets are also named in English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil.
So, without further ado, we’ve compiled a list of interesting street names in Singapore, as well as properties you can find in the area.
But first…

How Streets Are Named in Singapore (A Brief History of Singapore’s Streets)

Street names don’t just convey addresses; they also give us an insight into Singapore’s history, neighbourhood, as well as prominent figures and communities that have contributed to the nation. Apart from that, they also hint at how affluent the neighbourhood is.
Like everywhere around the world, Singapore’s street names are named after landmarks, places, people, and communities. Additionally, some streets are also grouped according to themes such as fruits, zodiac signs, royalties, and gemstones, among others.
Others contain numbers, such as Tampines Street 21, Hougang Avenue 8, and Woodlands Drive 16. Though street names with numbers were common in the 1970s up till the early 1990s (40% of new, renamed, and rebuilt streets had numbers), since 2007, only 11% of new streets have numbers.
Below are some examples:
Street themes
Examples
Fruits
Lorong Lew Lian, Lorong Ong Lye, Rambutan Road, Lorong Nangka, Jalan Durian
Commonwealth nations
Canberra Road, Ottawa Road, Wellington Circle, Auckland Road, Montreal Drive, Canada Road, Kenya Crescent Road
Zodiac signs
Capricorn Drive, Leo Drive, Libra Drive
Royalties
Prince Charles Crescent, Queen Street, Queensway, King Albert Park Road
Places
Bristol Road, Kent Road, Oxley Road, Kent Road, Nankin Street, Malacca Street,
People
Boon Lay Drive, Tagore Avenue, Yishun Street, Choa Chu Kang Way, Cluny Road
Days
Jalan Isnin, Jalan Rabu, Jalan Khamis, Jalan Minggu
Understandably, as a former British colony, most of the places and roads in Singapore had British names, such as Bristol Road, Queen Street, Victoria Street, and Elizabeth Drive. In addition, the British also named and designated areas such as Little India and Chinatown according to their respective communities.
However, unlike most former colonial countries/cities, Singapore made very little attempt to rename its streets and roads as a means to preserve its colonial past. Additionally, massive renaming of street names would have caused inconvenience and confusion, especially to taxi drivers or emergency services who need to locate buildings efficiently and quickly.
For a short period in the sixties, the Government attempted to localise street names, mostly with Malay words, as a sign of allegiance to the Malayan Federation. This resulted in road names beginning with Jalans, Lorongs, Tanjongs, etc.
After obtaining independence in 1965, however, streets were instead renamed to reflect Singapore’s multi-racial society. For instance, when the Jurong Industrial Estate was opened in 1968, the roads were renamed/translated into Malay, Chinese, and Tamil words, such as Neythal Road, Fan Yoong Road, and Jalan Tukang.
Today, Singapore still follows British naming conventions for street suffixes; streets and roads refer to main roads between two places; ways for major roads; avenues, lanes, drives, and walks for residential roads; and promenade, esplanade, and walk for public walkways.

Who Renames Streets in Singapore?

Shortly after gaining independence, The Advisory Committee on the Naming of Roads was set up in 1967 and tasked with renaming Singapore’s streets, buildings, and estates.
Years later, in 2003, the Committee was then renamed to the Street and Building Names Board (SBNB). Since 2010, the URA has taken over the secretariat role from the SBNB and now holds the responsibility of providing and approving streets with appropriate names according to attributes such as location, and physical attributes of the buildings and streets.

Interesting Street Names That You Probably Didn’t Know Existed in Singapore

Kay Poh Road

Kay Poh Road is located close to Orchard and off River Valley Road. Contrary to what the name suggests (a busybody in Hokkien), the street is actually named after Wee Kay Poh, who was a former apprentice at A.L. Johnston & Company, the first merchant firm in Singapore (established in 1820). Kay Poh later went on to establish his own business and became a managing partner of an opium and liquor farm.
Ironically, Kay Poh Road is a cul-de-sac road that’s actually perfect for you if you want privacy. Furthermore, it’s also close to Robertson Quay, Orchard as well as Great World Shopping Mall. Properties along the road are Kasturina Lodge and The Aston, while The Montana, Mutiara Crescent, and RV Suites are around the area.

Pending Road

Those living along Pending Road in Bukit Panjang are probably used to receiving jokes about things that are…pending.
Fortunately, the area is well developed with a good number of HDB blocks and amenities, including places to eat. Furthermore, Pending LRT station and Bukit Panjang Community Club are located along the road.
Pending in Malay means ‘waist buckle’, which is how the road got its name.

Cheow Keng Road

Named after Wong Cheow Keng, a Hainanese businessman, Cheow Keng Road sounds very similar to ‘Chow Keng’, a Hokkien term commonly used to describe a malinger, i.e. someone who feigns illness or injury to avoid duty/responsibility, typically in the army and at the workplace.
Cheow Keng Road is located off East Coast Road in the Katong area, with several landed properties located along the road.

Jalan Sedap

Jalan Sedap is translated as ‘tasty’ or ‘delicious’ in Malay, although there’s nothing quite tasty about the road, as it’s a tranquil landed housing enclave. However, it’s located in the Katong area, a popular place known for good food and Peranakan cuisines. Moreover, it’s also close to East Coast Park.

Lorong Sesuai

Lorong Sesuai is located at the corner of Bukit Batok Nature Park, which was once a quarry site until 1988. At the highest point of the road is the Bukit Batok War Memorial, a site dedicated to fallen Japanese and British soldiers in World War 2.
‘Sesuai’ in Malay means ‘suitable’ or ‘appropriate’ in English, which is befitting, considering the road’s steep slopes make it a popular training trail among hikers and cyclists.
Hume Heights, a landed residential development, is also located along the road, and there are several condo developments nearby such as The Hillside, Hume Park 1, and Hume Park 2.

Ho Ching Road

Yes, you read that right, there’s a Ho Ching Road in Taman Jurong; but it’s not named after the PM’s wife. The story goes that when Taman Jurong was first developed, the streets were named with numbers, from Taman Jurong 1 to 12 (11 was exempted for some unexplained reason).
The Advisory Committee on the Naming of Roads then renamed the Taman Jurong streets sometime between the late 60s to the 70s, including Taman Jurong 8, which was renamed to Ho Ching Road. Ho Ching or ‘Hé jǐng’ in Chinese translates to ‘river scenery’, which could be because of the road’s proximity to the Jurong Lake Gardens.

Short Street

Students of LASALLE College of the Arts or patrons of Rochor Original Beancurd in Bugis would be familiar with this street in the Rochor area. The road begins at the junction of Selegie Road, Wilkie Road, and Middle Road, and connects to Rochor Canal Road.
The origin of its name is shrouded in mystery, and there are two different accounts of the road’s name. One source says that the road is named after Septimus Short, who spoke on issues related to railways and docks, while according to another source, the street is named as such because the road was simply short.

Other FAQs on Street Names in Singapore

How are Streets Named in Singapore?

According to the Street and Building Names Board (SBNB), all public streets, including buildings, underpasses, and private roads, will need to get approval from SBNB. SBNB will look at several attributes for the naming of the street, such as location, heritage, physical attributes, spelling, and developments in the area.

What Is the Original Name for Veerasamy Road?

Inche Lane was renamed twice; first in 1910 when it was renamed to Jalan Tambah and again in 1927 to Veerasamy Road. The road is named after Dr N. Veerasamy Naidu, one of Singapore’s first Indian doctors.

What Is The Shortest Expressway in Singapore?

Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) is the shortest expressway in Singapore, at 10km.
This article was written by Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru. When he’s not busy churning out engaging property content* or newsletter copies, he’s busy being a lover of all geeky things. Say hi at: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg
*I mean, I’ll try