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Torrance is a coastal city in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The city has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beaches on the Pacific Ocean and a moderate year-round climate, with warm temperatures, daily sea breezes, low humidity, and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year. It is bordered by Lomita to the east, Gardena and Lawndale to the north, Redondo Beach, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes Estates to the south.

Since its incorporation in 1921, Torrance has grown to a population at the 2010 census of 145,438. This residential and light high-tech industries city has 90,000 street trees and 30 city parks. Known for its low crime rates, the city consistently ranks among the safest cities in Los Angeles County. Torrance is the birthplace of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). In addition, it has the second-highest percentage of residents of Japanese ancestry in California (8.9%) after Gardena.

For thousands of years, the area where Torrance is located was part of the Tongva Native American homeland.

In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded Rancho San Pedro (including today’s Torrance), a tract of over 75,000 acres (300 km2) in the Province of Las Californias of New Spain, to soldier Juan José Domínguez. It was later divided in 1846, with Governor Pío Pico granting Rancho de los Palos Verdes to José Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepulveda in the Alta California territory of independent Mexico.

In the early 1900s, real estate developer Jared Sidney Torrance and other investors saw the value of creating a mixed industrial-residential community south of Los Angeles. They purchased part of an old Spanish land grant and hired landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. to design a planned community. The resulting town was founded in October 1912 and named after Mr. Torrance. The city of Torrance was formally incorporated in May 1921, the townsite initially being bounded by Western Avenue on the east, Del Amo Boulevard on the north, Crenshaw Boulevard on the west, and on the south by Plaza Del Amo east of where it meets Carson Street, and by Carson Street west of where it meets Plaza Del Amo. The first residential avenue created in Torrance was Gramercy and the second avenue was Andreo. Many of the houses on these avenues turned 100 years of age in 2012. Both avenues are located in the area referred to as Old Town Torrance. This section of Torrance is under review to be classified as a historical district. Some of the early civic and residential buildings were designed by the renowned and innovative Southern California architect Irving Gill, in his distinctive combining of Mission Revival and early Modernist architecture.

One of the nation’s largest shopping centers grew in Torrance – Del Amo Fashion Center, and during the 1970s the Old Towne Mall combined themed amusement and nostalgia with shopping.

Torrance is home to the U.S. headquarters of Japanese automaker American Honda Motor Company. Robinson Helicopters are designed and built in Torrance as are Honeywell’s Garrett turbochargers, used on automobile engines worldwide. Alcoa Fastening Systems (now known as Arconic) is headquartered in Torrance, producing aerospace fasteners. Pacific Sales, Pelican Products, Virco, and Rapiscan Systems are among the other companies based in Torrance.

The Del Amo Fashion Center, at 2.5 million square feet (232,000 m2), is one of the five largest malls in the United States by gross leasable area. The current mall was created when Del Amo Center, built in 1958, merged with Del Amo Fashion Square, built in 1972. Once located on opposite sides of Carson Street, a gigantic expansion of the mall spanning Carson Street joined the two centers by 1982, making it the largest mall in the world at the time. In 2005, the east end of the original mall north of Carson Street was demolished to make way for a new open-air shopping center, opened in mid-September, 2006. This was followed in 2015 by the opening of an expanded northern Fashion Wing, with Nordstrom as the mall anchor and supplemented by luxury retailers such as Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, Uniqlo, Michael Kors, and Ben Bridge. The Old Towne Mall was an entertainment-themed mall operating in the 1970s.

As a major oil-producing region, Torrance was once dotted with thousands of oil wells and oil derricks. Though the oil wells are not as common as they once were, the Torrance Refinery Oil refinery owned by PBF Energy in the north end of the city is responsible for much of Southern California’s gasoline supply. Torrance was also an important hub and shop site of the Pacific Electric Railway.

Torrance has a general aviation airport, originally named simply “Torrance Airport” and since renamed Zamperini Field after local track star, World War II hero and Torrance High graduate Louis Zamperini. The airport handles approximately 175,000 annual take-offs and landings (473 per day), down from the 1974 record of 428,000 operations. Airport noise abatement is a major local issue. In 2007 the Western Museum of Flight moved to Zamperini Field.

Torrance is also home to the main bakery facility for King’s Hawaiian, the dominant brand of Hawaiian bread in North America. Younger Optics, Torrance’s 10th-largest employer, created the first seamless or “invisible” bifocal.

The headquarters of Mitsuwa Marketplace and Nijiya Market are located in Torrance.

Operations of foreign companies
All Nippon Airways operates its United States headquarters, a customer relations and services office, in Torrance.

The Toyota Motor Company of Japan established a U.S. headquarters on October 31, 1957, at a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood. Toyota sold 287 Toyopet Crowns and one Land Cruiser during the company’s first year of U.S. operation. It moved Toyota Motor Sales USA operations to Torrance in 1982, because of easy access to port facilities and the LAX airport. In 2013, it sold 2.2 million vehicles in the U.S. In 2014, it announced it would move 3,000 of its white-collar employees to Plano, Texas, near Dallas, to be closer to its American factories. Numerous other Japanese firms followed Toyota to Los Angeles, because of its location and its reputation as the national trend-setter.

The Los Angeles South Bay area, as of 2014, has the largest concentration of Japanese companies in the United States.

The Armed Forces Day Parade in Torrance, which was first produced in 1960, is the longest-running military parade sponsored by a city. It is held annually on Armed Forces Day, and runs down Torrance Boulevard. The parade features military vehicles, school bands, and prominent community members.

The Torrance Cultural Arts Center hosts cultural events year-round. In partnership with the City of Torrance, the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation (TOCA) provides diverse cultural, educational and entertainment experiences. Additional performances are provided by the Torrance Performing Arts Consortium, including The Aerospace Players, Torrance Art Museum, Los Cancioneros Master Chorale, South Bay Ballet, South Bay Conservatory, and The Torrance Symphony.

In the 2010 Rose Parade, City of Torrance’s entry won the top Lathrop K. Leishman trophy for its Garden of Dreams float, judged as the “Most Beautiful Non-Commercial” float. In 2011, Torrance won the Tournament Volunteers’ Trophy for best floral design of parade theme under 35 feet in length. In 2012, the city’s entry won the Governor’s Trophy for best depiction of life in California. In 2015, an entry honoring Rose Parade Grand Marshal Louis Zamperini won the Theme trophy for excellence in presenting parade theme. In 2016, the City of Torrance float won the Princess trophy for most beautiful float 35 feet and under.

Historic landmarks
These Torrance landmarks are on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Main Building (Torrance High School) – Mediterranean Revival architecture, 1917 and 1921
  • Original Science Building – Current Home Economics Building (Torrance High School)
  • Auditorium (Torrance High School) – Streamline Moderne, 1938
  • Torrance Elementary School – Current High School Annex – Mediterranean Revival
  • Pacific Electric Railroad Bridge – designed by Irving Gill, 1913

The Torrance City Parks Department directs and maintains the thirty Torrance City Parks. They include:

  • Wilson Park – the 44 acres (0.18 km2) park has picnic and sports facilities, including a gymnasium, skatepark, and roller-hockey rink. Wilson Park also hosts the Torrance Farmers Market.
    • The Southern California Live Steamers Miniature Railroad is located at the Southeast corner of Charles H. Wilson Park. Free train rides on actual miniature live steam trains are given on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month and the 4th of July. SCLS was one of the first live steam clubs in California started in 1946 with original members like Walt Disney, Olie Johnston and Ward Kimball all of Disney fame. The club moved to Torrance in 1986 after leaving the Lomita Railway Museum property.
  • Madrona Marsh Wildlife Preserve & Nature Center – a rare Southern California wetlands habitat with higher Coastal sage community native plants areas, wildlife and birdwatching, and a Nature center with natural gardens classes.
  • Columbia Park – the large recreational urban regional park has picnic areas, field sports facilities, walking paths, jogging trails, and a competitive cross country running racecourse. The cherry blossom tree grove, part of Living Tree Dedication program, is in Columbia Park.
  • Torrance Smart Gardening Center – Columbia Park features a Community Garden providing planting beds and “community” for residents. It is one of twelve county-operated Smart Gardening Centers around the region. Columbia Park additionally serves as home to the Home Garden Learning Center, and is a backyard composting demonstration center provided by Los Angeles County.
  • Living Tribute Trees park program – The Torrance Parks Living Dedication Tree Program is coordinated and by the city, so that families, individuals, and groups can sponsor the planting of a new tree in the park to honor a person or commemorate an event with a living tribute Tree Dedication.
  • Torrance Beach Park, and the beach along the Pacific Coast of Torrance, known as “RAT Beach”.
  • Marvin Braude Bike Trail (The Strand), a paved bicycle path that runs mostly along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Los Angeles County, ends there.

Postal service
The United States Postal Service operates the Torrance Post Office at 2510 Monterey Street, the Marcelina Post Office at 1433 Marcelina Avenue, the Walteria Post Office at 4216 Pacific Coast Highway, the North Torrance Post Office at 18080 Crenshaw Boulevard, and the Del Amo Post Office at 291 Del Amo Fashion Square. Zip codes 90277, 90501, 90503, 90504, 90505.

There are two major hospitals in Torrance: Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Little Company of Mary Hospital. A third hospital, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, lies just outside the city limits (in unincorporated West Carson).

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Torrance Health Center in Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles.

Emergency services

Torrance Fire Department staffs seven Engine Companies, five Paramedic Rescue Squads, and two Truck Companies. The department operates out of six Fire Stations providing Fire and EMS coverage for the City and Mutual Aid to the surrounding communities. Torrance Memorial Medical Center, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Kaiser Hospital-South Bay, and Memorial Hospital of Gardena are receiving hospitals for residents in Torrance who call 911 for medical assistance. The department is a Class 1 rated Fire Department, the Fire Chief is Martin Serna. Ambulance transportation is provided through McCormick Ambulance.

Torrance Police Department provides 24-hour law enforcement coverage to the city. The department is broken down into four major divisions, each with its own subdivisions. The department has one main station located at the Civic Center near City Hall. It houses the administrative offices, the city jail, and the public safety dispatch center. The department works closely with other local law enforcement agencies for training and SWAT operations. The police chief is Eve R. Irvine.
Torrance operates its own 911 dispatch center located at the police station, and is responsible for all 911 calls originating in Torrance. The communications center answers emergency and non-emergency calls and requests for assistance in addition to dispatching for both the Fire and Police Departments.

Public library
The City of Torrance operates a main library facility (named after former mayor Katy Geissert) in the city Civic Center, plus five branches at locations throughout the city.

Highways and freeways in the region include I-110, I-405, SR 91, SR 107, and SR 1. The city is served by Torrance Transit, LACMTA Metro bus, and LADOT services.

Zamperini Field (IATA: TOA ICAO: KTOA) is a general aviation airport. Commercial airlines service is within 15 minutes at Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach Airport.

Torrance is served by BNSF and Union Pacific.

BNSF operates on the former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Harbor Subdivision line originally built in the 1920s. AT&SF was merged with Burlington Northern in 1996 to form BNSF.

Union Pacific currently operates what is left of the Pacific Electric’s San Pedro via Gardena Line and Torrance Loop Line both built in 1911 (passenger service was provided until 1940, afterwards only the Torrance shop train was operated for employees). The Pacific Electric Torrance Shops were completed in 1918 and closed in 1955 two years after all passenger service was taken over by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority. Freight operations were taken over by PE’s parent company, Southern Pacific, in 1965. SP was merged into UP in 1996.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools
Torrance Unified School District (TUSD) was established in 1947 and unified in 1948. The district comprises the City of Torrance, bordered by the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the south, the cities of Redondo Beach and Gardena on the north, the City of Los Angeles (Harbor Gateway) on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The district’s jurisdiction includes approximately 21 square miles (54 km2), and it operates 17 elementary schools, eight middle schools, five high schools (one of which is a continuation school), three adult education centers, and a child development center.

The Torrance Unified School District’s five high schools are:

  • Torrance High School
  • North High School
  • South High School
  • West High School
  • Kurt Shery High School (continuation)

The Torrance Unified School District’s eight middle schools are:

  • Calle Mayor Middle School
  • Casimir Middle School
  • Bert Lynn Middle School
  • J.H. Hull Middle School
  • Jefferson Middle School
  • Madrona Middle School
  • Philip Magruder Middle School
  • Richardson Middle School

The Torrance Unified School District’s 17 elementary schools are:

  • Hickory Elementary School
  • John Adams Elementary School
  • Torrance Elementary School
  • Howard Wood Elementary School
  • Anza Elementary School
  • Arlington Elementary School
  • Arnold Elementary School
  • Carr Elementary School
  • Yukon Elementary School
  • Walteria Elementary School
  • Riviera Elementary School
  • Towers Elementary School
  • Fern Elementary School
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Seaside Elementary School
  • Victor Elementary School

Area districts have created the Southern California Regional Occupational Center (SCROC) to teach technical classes to their students and to local adults. TUSD is a participant feeder district of the California Academy of Mathematics and Science or CAMS, a mathematics and science magnet high school, administered by the Long Beach Unified School District.

Private schools
Torrance also has several private schools. Catholic schools under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles include Bishop Montgomery High School, Nativity Catholic School, St James Catholic School and St Catherine Laboure Catholic School. Protestant private schools include Ascension Lutheran School and First Lutheran School. Pacific Lutheran High School is in Gardena. Other area schools include: Riviera Hall Lutheran School, Riviera Methodist School, and South Bay Junior Academy.

In 1980 the Lycée Français de Los Angeles bought the 6.2-acre (2.5 ha) former Parkway School property, located in the Hollywood Riviera section of Torrance, from TUSD. This property became the Lycee’s Torrance campus, and as of February 1990 the campus had 100 students. In November 1989 the Lycee sold the property for $2.65 million to Manhattan Holding Co. and scheduled to transfer the students to its West Los Angeles campuses. As of February 1990 neighbors of the campus site were asking the City of Torrance to not modify the zoning of this property. The Lycee stated that the campus closed due to low enrollment.

At one time, Coast Christian Schools (now Valor Christian Academy) maintained a high school campus in Torrance.

Colleges and universities
Torrance is in the El Camino Community College District, although the campus of El Camino College is just outside the city limits in unincorporated El Camino Village. El Camino College was founded in 1947, and the campus covers 126 acres. As of 2011, the college enrolls over 25,000 students each semester.

Miscellaneous education
In 1980, Asahi Gakuen, a weekend Japanese-language education institution, began renting space in South Torrance High School. The school continues to use the school for its Torrance Campus (トーランス校 Tōransu-kō).

The Los Angeles Times is the metropolitan area’s newspaper.

The Daily Breeze, a 70,000-circulation daily newspaper, is published in Torrance. It serves the South Bay cities of Los Angeles County. Its slogan is “LAX to LA Harbor”. Herald Publications, media group started the Torrance Tribune, a community newspaper, which was started November 2010, it has a distribution of 15,000 newspapers to single-family homes and businesses in the City of Torrance.

Torrance CitiCABLE, shown on KNET 25.2, Spectrum 3, Frontier FiOS 31 is the government access channel. Programming includes news, sports, entertainment, information, public affairs, and city council meetings.

Content courtesy of Wikipedia.org

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Local Businesses

Lunasia Dim Sum House 3.5 star rating 126 reviews
2575 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505

(323) 372-0828

Local Kitchen 4.5 star rating 1072 reviews
1321 Sartori Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

(424) 337-1321

North Italia Del Amo 4.5 star rating 22 reviews
21532 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 214-0235

Fatto a Mano, The Pasta Shop 5.0 star rating 941 reviews
610 Torrance Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 316-5111

Full House Plus 4.5 star rating 79 reviews
21209 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 357-5275

King's Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant 4.0 star rating 3884 reviews
2808 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 530-0050

Aunty Maile’s Hawaiian Restaurant 4.5 star rating 704 reviews
19106 Normandie Ave
Ste 2
Torrance, CA 90502

(310) 819-8314

Red Rock-Torrance 4.5 star rating 514 reviews
2141 W 182nd St
Torrance, CA 90504

(424) 329-3363

The End 4.5 star rating 82 reviews
4525 Calle Mayor
Torrance, CA 90505

(424) 237-2037

Southland Bar 4.0 star rating 314 reviews
23900 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 326-1400

Georgia's Cocktail Lounge 4.5 star rating 167 reviews
1500 Aviation Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

(424) 398-0436

Torrance Tavern 4.5 star rating 649 reviews
22735 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 375-9158

Branch Office 4.0 star rating 63 reviews
2320 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA 90501

(310) 320-1440

Flora Rooftop Bar 4.0 star rating 91 reviews
2130 E Maple Ave
El Segundo, CA 90245

(310) 322-3333

Madre 4.0 star rating 1409 reviews
1261 Cabrillo Ave
Ste 100
Torrance, CA 90501

(310) 974-8005

Hale Hawaii Lounge 3.5 star rating 25 reviews
3144 Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 539-3480

Ralphs 3.0 star rating 102 reviews
3455 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 542-1639

Mitsuwa Marketplace 4.5 star rating 1110 reviews
3525 W Carson St
Ste 164
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 782-0335

Ralphs 3.0 star rating 159 reviews
1770 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501

(310) 787-8786

Vons 2.5 star rating 175 reviews
24325 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 784-1020

Whole Foods Market 3.0 star rating 234 reviews
405 N Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 376-6931

Vons 2.5 star rating 63 reviews
245 Palos Verdes Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 378-7434

Food 4 Less 3.0 star rating 53 reviews
851 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90502

(310) 549-4870

Vons 2.5 star rating 110 reviews
4705 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 371-1172

Offset Coffee 4.5 star rating 455 reviews
24416 Crenshaw Blvd
Unit 1
Torrance, CA 90505

Copa Vida 5.0 star rating 11 reviews
21250 Hawthorne Blvd
Ste 100
Torrance, CA 90503

Newberry Coffee and Tea Company 4.5 star rating 259 reviews
18236 Prairie Ave
Torrance, CA 90504

(424) 257-8889

MESH space 5.0 star rating 84 reviews
1918 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 683-0803

Corridor Flow 4.5 star rating 283 reviews
24614 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717

(424) 378-1236

Clutch and Coffee 4.5 star rating 882 reviews
1321 El Prado Ave
Torrance, CA 90501

(424) 532-5444

Caffe Tre Venezie 5.0 star rating 301 reviews
3525 Pacific Coast Hwy
Unit B
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 953-3377

Klatch Coffee 4.0 star rating 307 reviews
306 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 316-6203

Planet Fitness 3.5 star rating 290 reviews
20040 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 371-7773

Iron Works Fitness Studio 5.0 star rating 25 reviews
4435 Calle Mayor
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 486-6898

Orangetheory Fitness Torrance 4.5 star rating 264 reviews
3730 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste 101
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 948-3845

Anytime Fitness 4.5 star rating 75 reviews
300 Pacific Coast Hwy
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 303-3334

24 Hour Fitness - Torrance 3.0 star rating 172 reviews
21501 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

(424) 206-4207

Dave Fisher's Powerhouse Gym Torrance 4.0 star rating 127 reviews
22715 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(424) 206-1596

UFC GYM Torrance 4.0 star rating 509 reviews
19800 Hawthorne
Ste 420
Torrance, CA 90503

(310) 697-8090

Southbay Woman Gym and Day Spa 5.0 star rating 5 reviews
2755 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste E
Torrance Towne Center
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 956-1256

PetSmart 3.0 star rating 270 reviews
3855-59 Sepulveda Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 316-9047

Pets Plus 4.0 star rating 47 reviews
17440 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504

(310) 719-7088

PetSmart 3.0 star rating 58 reviews
2730 Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 602-7898

Petco 3.0 star rating 184 reviews
24413 Crenshaw Blvd
Ste 8
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 530-5945

Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies 4.0 star rating 83 reviews
22840 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 373-4437

PAWramount 5.0 star rating 13 reviews
3525 Pacific Coast Hwy
Unit Q
Torrance, CA 90505

(310) 947-4595

Pet Food Express 5.0 star rating 95 reviews
27341 Hawthorne Blvd
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

(310) 541-4444

Seashore Fur Babies 5.0 star rating 4 reviews
229 Ave I
Ste 101
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(424) 409-7820