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Torrance, CA (Population: 142,384)

Torrance is a city with a population of 142,384 that is located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. Torrance is a major oil-producing region that was once dotted with oil wells and derricks. Though these wells aren't as common as they used to be, the ExxonMobil Refinery in the north end of the city produces much of Southern California's gasoline supply. In regards to commerce and industry, the city is also home to the U.S. Headquarters of two of the three major Japanese automobile manufacturers, Toyota Motor Sales and American Honda Motor Company. Furthermore, California's aerospace industry got its start in Torrance and the city's surrounding communities.

Torrance is considered to be one of the most desirable places to live in Los Angeles County. Property values are consistently on the increase due to the city's proximity to several beach communities, some of which are rather upscale. The benefits of living in Torrance are also reflected in its approach to the ideal balance between industrial, commercial, and residential zones. Torrance also boasts a great public school system, a top-notch library system, and an English as a Second Language school. Many professionals and physicians choose to live in Torrance, due in part to its respected hospitals and medical facilities.

Torrance is home to one of the largest malls in the U.S., the Del Amo Fashion Center. This 2.5 million square foot shopping facility is estimated to be between the second and the fourth largest, depending on how it is measured. Torrance is also home to one of the country's few urban wetlands, Madrona Marsh. The wetlands are situated in an undeveloped area once set aside for oil production. Torrance is also well-known for its annual Armed Forces Day Parade that takes place on Torrance Boulevard in mid-May. Military vehicles storm down the boulevard during this exciting parade. Another famed Torrance celebration are the Oktoberfest parties featured every weekend during September and October. These celebrations, which have been going on for 35 years, take place at Alpine Village, a European restaurant, market, and shopping complex.