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About Canberra, Sembawang
Situated in the Northern Shoreline, Sembawang was previously a swamp and acquired its name from Mesua Ferruginea, locally recognized as the Sembawang tree.
During the colonial days, the area was home to the Singapore Naval Force in the first half of the 20th century. This stimulated the town’s development as more people started to inhabit the area, mostly the British, at the end of World War I.
The town morphed from cultivating gamber and pepper in the 19th Century to rubber and pineapple growth in the early 20th century. In 1970, the Sembawang Park came to being and is now filled with docked ships in line for repair. It is also a habitat for many plants, animals, and birds. In 2005, the Urban Redevelopment Authority marked it for conservation.
The 1980s marked the drainage of the Sembawang River and the swamp’s clearing to paving the way for developing the new Sembawang town. In 2019, Canberra MRT Station and Canberra plaza were launched. Today, the area has managed to maintain the primordial landscape and historical aesthetics.
This design practice is seen by the roads and streets named after the British conquests. Moreover, despite the destruction of some nature works, the town is still drawn towards nature preservation. It is home to over 75,000 residents and has close to 27,000 flats.
The Bungalows mark the town’s rich British heritage, which numbers close to 50, and served as a residential area for the high-ranking British officers. They are now under the care of the Singapore Land Authority. The air-raid shelter beneath the Admiralty House and the one under Durban Road are some other notable structures.
The town has also preserved the machine-gun pillboxes, which are semi-buried structures on the ground acting as bunkers for the British. A sand playground paying homage to the British ancestry is still present, and the Bungalow called Beaulieu House is now a very prominent restaurant.
More recreational facilities include the swimming pool and fitness centre popular among the British soldiers and are functional to date. Sembawang also hosts nature’s marvels, such as the Sembawang Hot Springs, and it is one of the last places in Singapore with a natural beach.
In the near future, the town will see the development of more housing units to promote more settlement areas for the growing population. They will also be freeing up the Waterfront land to expand the business prospects and construction of more public housing at Bidadari, Tengah, and Tampines.
Canberra and the entire Sembawang area enjoy a laid back charm tucked away from the busy city. It is a nice place to make your home if you need a relaxed environment to raise your family. With good access to the city, residents have good access to both private and public transport. Besides, the future is bright for Canberra residents, with many developments underway according to URA’s Master Plan.