Canoga Park: A History

The town of Owensmouth was founded in the South West corner of the San Fernando Valley on March 30, 1912. It was an agricultural community producing wheat, sugar, beets and eventually citrus, walnuts, chickens and eggs. In 1931 the name was changed to Canoga Park. It continued to be a small community until Pierce College was founded in the late ’40s and the large aerospace firms (Rocketdyne, Litton Hughes Aircraft) arrive in the 1950s. In the 1960s the 101 Freeway connected the West Valley to the city making Canoga Park and West Hills suburbs of Los Angeles.

The Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce, one of the oldest in Los Angeles, was established in 1912 with the mission of improving water access, agricultural needs and transportation. In 1994 the Chamber merged with the West Hills Chamber. The growth, diversity and development of Canoga Park led to it being designated an All American City in 2005, the first time a community in Los Angeles, and not an incorporated city, won this honor. Through the years the Chamber has championed these and other ideals to enhance the quality of life for our business community and residents.

Today, Sherman Way in historic downtown Canoga Park is the “main street” of our community.  This is a vibrant business, social and cultural mecca. There are antique shops, live entrainment, music clubs and restaurants.  This street is also home to the Walk of Hearts® where bronze plaques are embedded in the sidewalk to recognize distinguished teachers.

Canoga Park and West Hills are further enhanced with two regional malls, the Westfield Topanga which includes over 200 fashion forward shops and boutiques, extensive dining options and cutting edge am entities including an expanded Nordstrom’s and Target and Neiman Marcus opening in 2008.  The Fallbrook Center is a one million square foot open-air with such stores as Kohl’s, DSW, Mervyns and Burlington Coat Factory.