Totowa (pronounced TOE-tuh-wuh) is a Native American word that means between mountains and water or literally falling water. Totowa, NJ, gets its name because of its close proximity to Passaic Falls, a large waterfall in the area.
Totowa may be more than 100 years old -- founded in 1898 -- and it's still looking great! Totowa is a borough that takes up about four square miles in Passaic County, New Jersey. According to the 2010 Census the current population is around 10,844 people. Totowa has a bit of an odd combination of residential areas; on the one hand, it is smack dab in the middle of Passaic County and there are parts of it that are pretty urban. But because it is fairly spread out, there are large sections of residential areas uncharacteristic of an urban center -- so it has both an urban and a suburban feel, depending upon where you're at.
Moving to Totowa
Most of the errands and things you'll need to get done will require a car, so get your driver's licence if you don't have one, or you may be up for some long walks. If you're set on relying on mass transit, be sure to find apartment complexes that are a close walk to the local bus lines. The bus lines available are mostly to pick up commuters to take them to other areas like Paterson, Newark, and New York City, so if you have a job in any of those areas you could definitely commute on mass transit.
The demand for real estate in Totowa is very high, and as a result rentals in this area are scarce. Most of the residents own rather than rent, which makes finding an apartment rental a bit of a challenge. Consider looking for a house to rent if your particular neighborhood of choice does not have any available serviced apartments.
Neighborhoods In Totowa
The total of Totowa can be broken down into three major neighborhoods:
Borough Center: The municipal buildings are in this area, as well as three major cemeteries that take up most of the space in this neighborhood. The major roads you'll travel in this neighborhood are Totowa Road and Riverview Drive. Riverview drive also runs into the U.S. 46/Union Boulevard area, which is a major artery for residents to other parts of the borough.
U.S. 46/Union Boulevard: This is the largest area of Totowa. It encompasses the majority of the residential and commercial areas, and is mainly comprised of single-family owned homes, but occasionally you'll find a small apartment building or home for rent here. Union Boulevard is a major road that has a number of businesses and restaurants, so most of your shopping, eateries, and entertainment are concentrated in this area. U.S. 46 is a major highway that can easily connect you to a number of other stores, malls, and eateries, so if you're feeling like getting out and about, this is where you want to be!
Hydeway Drive/Hydeway Drive East: The Hydeway Drive area of Totowa is a small neighborhood in the middle of the larger U.S. 46 and Union Boulevard neighborhood. It is one of the less expensive areas in which to live, so check out this area if you want to be extra nice to your wallet. There are a number of small apartment buildings here, and U.S. 46 is near for the times when you want to get out of dodge.
Living In Totowa
The local government in Totowa is very active and committed to providing residents with helpful and fun events. If you want to swim and feel bad leaving your pooch at home, check out the pet-friendly public pool. Totowa also holds an annual rabies clinic each year to help keep your canine or feline healthy and safe. You can also dive right into your new community with one of the volunteer opportunities available.
Local Historical Sites
If you want to soak up some local history, check out Dey Mansion. This colonial house is where President (at the time General) George Washington took residence during the Revolutionary War. You can tour the house and check out all the cool artifacts, and there is a blacksmith still in residence who will make clothes hooks and horseshoes for visitors.
Shopping and Activities
There are a number of shops and restaurants in Totowa, and a farmers market there where you can get great local produce. Totowa also has some great restaurants, ranging from pizzerias to dessert boutiques and frozen yogurt bars if your sweet tooth starts tingling. Shopping in Totowa is a bit limited above and beyond the essentials, but if you don't find what you're looking for here, Garden State Plaza Mall (a gigantic shopping hub) will probably have what you're looking for, and it's only about a 15 minute drive away.