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The Local 455

Topanga Surf Company?
No, we don't sell surfboards. . . Surfing the internet, get it? If you would like to check out the GREAT break a Topanga State Beach, click here for a live webcam

Why 455?
That's our local telephone prefix in case you didn't know.

What does the name "Topanga" mean?
According to John P. Harrington, a linguist on the staff of the Bureau of America Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution the name "name 'Topanga' evidently means 'above' with reference to the village site being above the high water of Topanga Creek. The 'nga' with which the name ends means 'place' and the entire name apparently means 'above place' or, as we would say in current English, merely 'above'. The name is an old Shoshonean word and can also be used in reference to sky or heaven."
Taken from The Topanga Story, published by the Topanga Historical Society.

Evidently another interpretation comes from the Tongva/Gabrieliño language. In that language "Topanga" means "the place of green water".

Area - 18.2 sq. miles or 12,748 acres,11,082 (Over 80%) of which are undeveloped or owned by State or Federal park agencies as part of the Santa Monica Mountians National Recreation Area. Topanga is also home to lots of parkland including Topanga State Park and several areas run by The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Topanga has an average elevation of 744 feet above sea level.

Climate - A warm, dry Mediterranean climate prevails over Topanga - inland it is hot in the summer, mild in the winter. Coastal areas have a more moderate climate with frequent fog in the summer. Most of the precipitation comes as rain during the winter months, with rainfall averaging 24.6 inches per year, according to (1997-1998 season saw an over 58 inches). Characterized by oak woodland and chaparral vegetation.

Government - Unincorporated area located in the Santa Monica Mountains. Highway 27 runs through Topanga. The center of town is 8 miles from the Ventura Freeway (Highway 101), 5 miles from the Pacific Coast Highway and under the jurisdiction of the County of Los Angeles. (9.5 miles from Pacific Palisades via the Backbone Trail through Topanga State Park).

Topanga's population has grown drastically over the past decades, jumping from fewer than 3,000 people in 1960 to about 6,000 in 1980 to 12,000 in 1995. The developed areas of Topanga hold about 4,500 homes, including those in two commercial areas. 2,865 of these houses were built between 1950 and 1985, although nearly 1,000 homes can be dated before 1949.

Business - Restaurants, Art Galleries, Clothing Stores, Realtors, as well as a variety of services can be found in Topanga's flourishing business community, located mainly along Topanga Canyon Blvd, in the center of town.

Schools - Topanga is part of the Los Angeles City School District. Topanga Elementary School is located in the Canyon with Middle School and High Schools in the nearby communities of Woodland Hills and Pacific Palisades.

Artistic Community
Topanga is home to a well-established artistic community. The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, a local Equity theater, features summer production of modern theatrical pieces and Shakespeare's finest works, as well as year-round theater workshops for children and adults. Canyon galleries are filled with the works of local painters, photographers, and sculptors. Live music, including the Topanga Philharmonic, which incorporates members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and local musicians, live shows at local restaurants and concerts at the Theatricum and other venues. Topanga is home to many classes including drawing, ceramics, writing, dance, yoga, karate, and music