Like so many other communities in South Bay, Torrance’s original residents were Tongva Native American people. Torrance was also part of Rancho San Pedro, which gives its name to San Pedro today. Torrance was incorporated in 1921 and is named after its initial developer, Jared Sidney Torrance. The city was always intended to have both industrial and residential uses, and is one of the earliest planned communities. Torrance was planned by Frederick Olmstead, Jr., who also planned Palos Verdes Estates.
Home buyers looking for single-family starter homes may find a number of choices in some of Torrance’s older neighborhoods, particularly in North Torrance. Old Torrance has a “small town America” vibe, in contrast with many other areas in South Bay. Home buyers will find some older Craftsman and Victorian homes in Central Torrance. Lawndale and Gardena border Torrance on the north and the Palos Verdes hills border it to the south. Torrance extends west all the way to the beach. RAT Beach (“Right After Torrance”) is the last beach before Malaga Cove on Palos Verdes Peninsula. Redondo Beach borders the other side of Torrance’s beach.
Torrance’s beach is a gateway to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The area is sometimes referred to as the Hollywood Riviera. Other parts of South Torrance have elegant view homes and beach-adjacent homes. Many major corporations have regional or national headquarters in Torrance, including American Honda. Torrance is also the home to South Bay’s largest shopping and retail destination centers, including Del Amo Fashion Center, the fifth-largest retail center in the United States. Torrance has many smaller shopping districts and is also home to many fine restaurants, including fine Japanese and Korean cuisine. The city is also a center of culture for the South Bay, including its Cultural Arts Center, which is comprised of a theater, conference center, Japanese garden, and art gallery. El Camino College is also located in the city.
Torrance is known for high-performing schools and parks, with 30 parks located throughout the city including Madrona Marsh, a natural wildlife preserve right next to the Del Amo Fashion Center. From beautiful view homes, executive homes, and luxury estates to “Brady Bunch”-style family residences on the famed “Candy Cane Lane” known for its holiday displays, Torrance is a vibrant city with beach homes and beach-adjacent living close to many major employers in the automotive, petroleum, aviation, and high-tech industries.