CHAGUANAS, THE LARGEST CITY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

The Borough of Chaguanas is the largest City (81,410) 2010 census) and fastest-growing town in Trinidad and Tobago. Located in Central Trinidad about 18 km (11 miles) south of Port of Spain. It grew in size due to its proximity to the Woodford Lodge sugar refinery. It remained a minor town until the 1980s when it began to grow rapidly. Although it originally drew people for bargain shopping and moderately-priced housing, the growth of the town has seen property values increase dramatically.

Chaguanas became a borough in 1990; prior to that it was part of the County of Caroni. The current mayor is His Worship Mr. Orlando Nagessar and the Borough Council is dominated by the United National Congress.

History
Chaguanas was named for the Chaguanes Amerindian tribe. The area was settled by the time of the British conquest of Trinidad in 1797 (see History of Trinidad and Tobago). The town originated on what was then H.E. Robinson's sugar estate adjacent to the Woodford Lodge sugar refinery and the De Verteuil coconut and cocoa estate to the north and east. Construction of the Trinidad Government Railway helped the town grow.

The Princess Margaret Highway, built by the US military during World War II, joined the Southern Main Road at Chaguanas. Construction of the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway extended the highway south to San Fernando.

In the later 20th century Chaguanas grew rapidly as a bazaar town. Construction of Lange Park in the early 1980s attracted a middle-class community moving south from Port of Spain and the East-West Corridor and north from San Fernando. Its central location made it attractive to southerners working in north Trinidad and northerners looking for more affordable homes. Edinburgh Gardens and Edinburgh 500 was built by the National Housing Authority. Like many such government-built housing developments, these neighbourhoods added a new Afro-Trinidadian element to Chaguanas' mostly Indo-Trinidadian population. Orchard Gardens was constructed as an upper middle class community. Lange Park gentrified, becoming an increasingly upscale neighbourhood.

In October 1990 Chaguanas was elevated to the status of borough under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act No. 21 of 1990.