Torrance is a city in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Torrance has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Torrance has a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year.
Since its incorporation in 1921, Torrance has grown rapidly. Its estimated 2013 population was 147,478. 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, the city of Torrance has the second-highest percentage of residents of Japanese ancestry in California (8.9%).
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Primary and secondary 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.
Torrance High School is one of the oldest high schools in California, having opened in 1917. The school is a popular filming location.
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
Hull Middle School
Jefferson Middle School
Madrona Middle School
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.
Three private high schools are also located in Torrance:
Ambassador High School
Bishop Montgomery High School (administered by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles)
Pacific Lutheran High School
Eight private elementary/middle schools are in Torrance: Ascension Lutheran School, Riviera Hall Lutheran School, Riviera Methodist School, South Bay Junior Academy, Nativity Catholic School, First Lutheran School, St James Catholic School and St Catherine Laboure Catholic School.
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.
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 City of Torrance is a charter city. The original city charter was voted on and ratified by the qualified electors at an election held August 20, 1946, and filed with the Secretary of State January 7, 1947. The elective officers of the city are the mayor, six members of the City Council, five members of the Board of Education, the City Clerk and the City Treasurer.
Using the council-manager form of government, the City Council, as the elected body, adopts legislation, sets policy, adjudicates issues, and establishes the budget of the city. The City Council appoints the City Manager and the City Attorney. The city has 13 appointed boards and commissions which advise the council on matters of concern to local residents, such as the city airport, arts, parks, and libraries.
The municipality is supported by a general fund budget of about $160 million. According to the city’s 2007-8 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $192.7 million in Revenues, $167.3 million in expenditures, $179.1 million in total assets, $56.1 million in total liabilities, and $140.2 million in cash in investments.
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..
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 Mark Matsuda.
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.
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. Rail transport includes the which carries Union Pacific and BNSF along the Harbor Subdivision line.
State and federal representation
In the California State Senate, Torrance is split between the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Allen, and the 35th Senate District, represented by Democrat Steven Bradford. In the California State Assembly, it is in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi.
In the United States House of Representatives, Torrance is split between California’s 33rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu, and California’s 43rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Maxine Waters.
Adán Sánchez – Mexican-American corrido singer
Alyson & Amanda Michalka (Aly & AJ) – singers and actresses
Amy Okuda – actress
Anderson Silva – Mixed martial arts practitioner and UFC fighter
Antonio Margarito – Mexican-American professional boxer
Ashley Purdy – musician, bassist of Black Veil Brides; resident
Bart Johnson (baseball) – retired MLB pitcher
Ben Going – YouTube celebrity
Billy Traber – Major League Baseball pitcher
Bo Derek – actress
Bobby East – NASCAR driver
Brandon Manumaleuna – NFL tight end for Chicago Bears
Brian Bonsall – Lead actor in Blank Check (1994 Disney film)
Bud Smith – retired MLB player; threw no-hitter in his rookie season (2001)
Carla Esparza – mixed martial artist; former Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight champion
Chad Morton – NFL player
Chauncey Washington – former NFL running back
Chris Demaria – former MLB pitcher for Royals and Brewers
Chuck Norris – karate expert and actor; raised in Torrance; opened his first Dojo in Torrance
Daryl Sabara & Evan Sabara – actors (Spy Kids and Keeping Up with the Steins)
Dave Kerman – drummer
Dave LaRoche – former MLB pitcher; father of MLB players Adam LaRoche and Andy LaRoche
David Wells – former MLB pitcher
Denzel Whitaker – actor
Deon Thompson – North Carolina Tar Heels basketball player
Don Newcombe – former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher; only winner of Rookie of the Year, MVP, and Cy Young awards
Emanuel Newton – MMA fighter, interim Bellator light heavyweight champion
Ethan Moreau – former Los Angeles Kings hockey player
Francisco Mendoza – MLS player
Fred Kendall – former MLB catcher and manager
George Nakano – California politician
Gina Hiraizumi – actress, recording artist
Glen Walker – NFL player
Guillermo “Memo” Arzate – former professional soccer player
Jack Stewart – soccer player, Carolina RailHawks in USL-1
J. Warner Wallace – homicide detective and Christian apologist
Janeene Vickers – 1992 Barcelona Olympics medalist
Jason Kendall – former MLB catcher
Jason “Wee-Man” Acuña – TV host and actor
Jennifer Kita – Angel/Lil Angel of The Harajuku Girls
Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA) – electronic music producer and DJ
Jeremy Lin – professional basketball player
Joe Stevenson – Mixed martial arts practitioner and UFC fighter
John Butler – leader of the John Butler Trio
John Chiang – California State Controller
Johnnie Morton – former NFL player
John White — CFL player
Jolene Purdy – actress, best known for role in the Under the Dome as Dodee
Jonathan Bornstein – soccer left back/midfielder (UANL and national team)
Justin Miller – MLB pitcher
Justin Shenkarow – actor
Kevin Kim – professional tennis player
Kikuo “KeyKool” Nishi – rapper, producer in group Visionaries, co-founder of Up Above Records
Kraig Chiles – professional soccer player for San Diego Sockers
Larry Carlton – guitarist
Lisa Moretti – WWE’s “Ivory”
Louis Zamperini – 1936 Olympic track star, World War II veteran, author, speaker; subject of Unbroken
Michael Dudikoff – actor
Michelle Kwan – 5-time world figure skating champion and Olympian
Parnelli Jones – USAC driver and his son, P. J. Jones, IRL driver
Paul Moyer – television news broadcaster
Paul Westphal – NBA player and former head coach
Peter Daut – news anchor, KCBS-TV
Quentin Tarantino – filmmaker
Roger Clinton – half-brother of President Bill Clinton
Ron Taylor, film and television actor, pro basketball player (ABA and Austrian League)
Rorion Gracie & Royce Gracie – Mixed martial arts practitioners and UFC fighters
Royle Stillman – MLB outfielder
Ryan Wheeler – MLB third baseman
Scott Kolden – actor
Skip Schumaker – MLB outfielder
Snoop Dogg – rapper, actor; owns mansion in Hollywood Riviera neighborhood
Spike Jonze – director, producer, screenwriter and actor; part owner of skateboard company Girl Skateboards
Steve Nguyen – director, producer, and screenwriter
Steve Sarkisian – former USC football head coach
Steven Wright – starting pitcher for Boston Red Sox
Ted Lieu – Democratic Party, U.S. Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district
Ted Lilly – retired MLB starting pitcher
Tiffany van Soest – kickboxer
Tony Gonzalez – retired tight end for the Atlanta Falcons; 11-time Pro Bowl selection
Tyrone Taylor – center fielder for Milwaukee Brewers
Whitney Engen, player for United States women’s national soccer team