Deep in the annals of Singapore’s history, Kallang Riverside can be seen recorded in the Cho Clan Archives as being original landing site of Sir Stamford Raffles, following the route of his ship’s carpenter, Cho Ah Chi.
Today, Kallang Riverside Park is a popular location for watersports, frequented by dragon boaters and canoeists for its exclusive restricted waters. It is also a haven for nature enthusiasts with its small butterfly garden and seasonal migratory birds. Located on both sides of the Kallang River, it can be accessed via a comprehensive park connector system from as far as Bishan Park.
The landscaping we see today was the result of a river clean-up effort launched in 1977 where boatyards, farms and villages were cleared, and sandy beaches with recreational facilities implemented.
An octagonal structure stands near the entrance to the park, a tribute to the gasholders from the area’s landmark from yesteryear, Kallang Gas Works. Built in 1861, the facility that supplied the first piped gas in Singapore was located next to today’s park, by the river, allowing easy boat delivery of coal from neighbouring countries. Closed in 1998, portions of the high fencing, the entry gate, together with remnants of gasholder no.3 still remain on the unoccupied site. Although the land was believed to be toxic, it will join the park and adjacent tracts of land under URA’s Masterplan 2008, forming the new Kallang Riverside, “a new lifestyle precinct by the edge of the city”.