The city of Torrance, California, is situated on the Pacific Ocean, approximately 11 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. Torrance is home to roughly 141,000 residents.
In general, median incomes and home values in Torrance are higher than the California average. At the same time, the cost of living in the city is regarded to be high. While densely populated, Torrance has continued to see steady growth in recent years, with the population growing by roughly 2.5 percent since 2000.
- Six airports and Amtrak trains provide service to Torrance residents.
- Torrance Transit operates bus lines serving the city of Torrance, as well as outlying areas like Los Angeles and Long Beach. The transit system also provides special services for the disabled and elderly.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Torrance has a population of more than 140,000 urban residents. The city has about 56,000 houses, of which nearly 45 percent are occupied by renters. The city is quite densely populated as over 2,700 houses are located per square mile.
The walkability of the city of Torrance is very good as almost all amenities are situated within a mile's distance from the center of the city.
Residential neighborhoods in Torrance include:
- Hollywood Riviera, known as "The Riviera" by Torrance residents, has a distinct feel that sets it apart from other Torrance neighborhoods. The original developer was entranced by the movie business and felt that the seaside properties would be a natural location for Hollywood sets. A few movies were made in the 1930s, but the Hollywood scene never materialized. Today, shops, restaurants, café bistros and galleries line the streets known as the "Riviera Village".
- Seaside Ranchos, also known as "Sleepy Hollow" and "the Christmas Light Section," is a quaint little neighborhood in South Torrance. Seaside Ranchos is known for its neighborly quality, especially during the holidays when the neighborhood has a mission to hang as many Christmas decorations as possible and attract visitors to the area.
- North Torrance
- Prospect Avenue
- South High
- South Redondo
- Victoria Knolls
- Village Palos Verdes
- Southwood Riviera
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Torrance is a business and industrial hub which provides numerous employment opportunities. The unemployment rate is just above 2 percent.
Toyota and Honda have their United States headquarters in Torrance. The city's oil is mainly refined in the northern portion of Torrance as one of the large refineries of Exxon-Mobil is also situated here.
The other sectors that the residents are engaged in are a number of light manufacturing industries including electronics, aluminum and plastics, healthcare, education, and a growing number of retail stores. The highest numbers of employees are in education, and health and social services, followed by manufacturing, professional, management, and administrative services.
Major employers include Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., Torrance Memorial Medical Center, PC Mall Inc., Honda Research and Development Americas Inc. and Torrance City Hall.
- Del Amo Fashion Center is one of the largest malls in America. This massive enclosed shopping complex houses hundreds of stores, food courts, and restaurants. An outdoor promenade features a deluxe movie theater.
- The South Bay Galleria rests on the border between Torrance and Redondo Beach. The Galleria is a three-level enclosed mall with stores and dining.
- The Madrona Marsh Preserve & Nature Center is the only remaining portion of an extensive wetlands system that was once a prominent feature of Los Angeles County. The area is a natural habitat for birds, small mammals, and reptiles. Built in 2001, the Nature Center serves as an interpretive and educational headquarters for the marsh. Proceeds from the Nature Gift Shop support the park.
- Nestled on a small stretch of the Pacific shoreline, Torrance Beach features swimming, diving, surfing, and a bike path. No pets or alcohol are allowed at the beach, and lifeguards are on duty during daylight hours.
- Charles H. Wilson Park is home to the city's Fourth of July fireworks display, as well as the Torrance Farmers Market. The park has picnic tables, a roller hockey rink, and a skate park.
- Columbia Park includes soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and community garden plots.
- The Western Museum of Flight, located at Louis Zamperini Field, is operated by the Southern California Historical Aviation Foundation. The museum displays artifacts of Southern California's history of aviation. Educational programs allow children a hands-on opportunity to explore the diverse aircraft on display.
- Shops and restaurants complement the early architecture of Old Town Torrance. A stroll or a bike ride through the area reveals the historic neighborhoods around Gramercy Avenue. El Prado connects the residential and commercial areas.
- Alpine Village is a restaurant and retail complex known for its Oktoberfest celebration, which it has hosted annually for decades. Beer brewed on the premises is served.
- The Torrance Historical Society & Museum hosts the biennial Fall Tour of Historic Homes and leads walking tours of Old Torrance. The museum exhibits documents, photos, and other material about the history of Torrance.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
- The Torrance Cultural Arts Center is a multi-use facility with a theater, meeting rooms, performing arts studios, and a Japanese garden. The center is home to the Torrance Theatre Company, as well as the Armstrong Theatre.
- The eighty-member Torrance Civic Chorale presents three formal concerts each year. The chorale performs at the annual Fourth of July celebration and presents informal concerts throughout the year.
- The Torrance Art Museum offers a variety of exhibits in three galleries. Local artists are displayed. Educational programming and lectures focus on contemporary California art.
- Rock Around the Block is held annually in downtown Torrance. The event features vintage car shows, fifties music, and food. Attendees compete in the chewing gum bubble blowing and hula hoop contests.
- Visitors enjoy music, dining, and a silent auction at the annual Summer Festival, held each August.
- Japanese culture is celebrated every year at the Mitsuwa Torrance Summer Festival. Dancing, games, and food are featured.
DID YOU KNOW?
Torrance is the birthplace of skater Michelle Kwan and director Quentin Tarantino. Karate expert and actor Chuck Norris opened his first dojo here.
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