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).
Torrance is a coastal community in southwestern Los Angeles County sharing the climate and geographical features common to the Greater Los Angeles area. Its boundaries are: Redondo Beach Boulevard and the cities of Lawndale and Gardena to the north; Western Avenue and the Harbor Gateway neighborhood of Los Angeles to the east; the Palos Verdes Hills with the cities of Lomita, Rolling Hills Estates and Palos Verdes Estates on the south; and the Pacific Ocean and city of Redondo Beach to the west.
It is about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Downtown Los Angeles.
Torrance Beach lies between Redondo Beach and Malaga Cove on Santa Monica Bay. The southernmost stretch of Torrance Beach, on a cove at the northern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, is known to locals as “Rat Beach“.
A rare urban wetlands, the Madrona Marsh, is a nature preserve, on land once set for oil production and saved from development, with restoration projects enhancing the vital habitat for birds, wildlife, and native plants. A Nature center provides activities, information, and classes for school children and visitors of all ages.
As of 2014 the City of Torrance has the second largest concentration of ethnic Japanese people of any U.S. city, after Honolulu. The city has headquarters of Japanese automakers and offices of other Japanese companies. Because of this many Japanese restaurants and other Japanese cultural offerings are in the city, and Willy Blackmore of L.A. Weekly wrote that Torrance was “essentially Japan’s 48th prefecture“. A Mitsuwa supermarket, Japanese schools, and Japanese banks serve the community.
In the pre-World War II period the South Bay region was one of the few areas that allowed non-U.S. citizens to acquire property, so a Japanese presence came. According to John Kaji, a Torrance resident quoted in Public Radio International who was the son of Toyota’s first American-based accountant, the Japanese corporate presence in Torrance, beginning with Toyota, attracted many ethnic Japanese. Toyota moved its operations to its Torrance campus in 1982 because of its proximity to the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles International Airport, and it was followed by many other Japanese companies. In 2014 Toyota announced it was moving its U.S. headquarters to Plano, Texas.