Johore Road was once a well-known road in S'pore until it got erased from our maps in the 1990s

It was a really happening place.

Tanya Ong | August 15, 2017, 05:01 PM

Johore Road is not to be confused with Johor, a state in Malaysia.

Despite what its name suggests, Johore Road used to be in Singapore. It ran parallel to Queen Street and Victoria Street but was expunged in the late 1990s.

This is a map from the 1970s-80s:

Photo from NAS

Here's where Johore Road would be if it still existed today:

Screenshot adapted from Google Maps.

Johore Road used to have rows of shophouses and back-alleys. It was once home to house temples, family businesses and a red light district. However, all traces of that have since vanished.

Here's a look at the hustle and bustle of the place before it disappeared:

Happening street-life

Johore Road used to be abuzz with the day-to-day activities of its inhabitants.

This is a photo of Johore Road from the 1980s when there were still hawkers and wholesalers along the street:

Photo from NAS

Photo from National Library Board

Some people may recall the famous Sungei Road Laksa. It cost only 20 cents per bowl when the business first started in the 1950s along Johore Road. The push-cart stall sold the laksa along Johore Road by day and then moved to the Sungei Road area by night.

Many hawkers eventually relocated when the government made roadside hawking illegal.

Photo of a temple from NAS

Temple scene during the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, from NAS

Johore Road was also a popular spot for some religious devotees. There would be a crowd during the 15th day of the Lunar New Year (chap goh mei).

Once a red light district

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bugis Street was famous for its cabaret performances and transgender prostitutes.

Photo courtesy of Peter Lee.

And similar to Bugis Street, Johore Road was a red light district also famous for its transgender prostitutes. While Bugis Street served largely as a tourist attraction catering to foreigners, Johore Road catered to the locals.

In the mid-1980s, the Bugis area underwent redevelopment and Bugis Street made way for Bugis MRT Station. The nightlife scene took a hit and the number of transgender prostitutes in the area (including Johore Road) dwindled.

Subsequently, the shophouses were also demolished, effectively putting an end to all the happenings along Johore Road.

Today, all that remains is an empty green field:

Screenshot from Google Maps.

No more Johore Road today.

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Top photo composite image from NAS and National Library Board.

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