Totowa (pronounced "TO-tuh-wuh" ) is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 10,844, reflecting an increase of 912 (+9.2%) from the 9,892 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 285 (-2.8%) from the 10,177 counted in the 1990 Census.
Totowa was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 15, 1898, from portions of Wayne Township and the now-defunct Manchester Township.
The name of Totowa comes from the Native American name for the Great Falls of the Passaic River in nearby Paterson, and literally means "sinking or falling water", or "between mountains and water".
In 1696, George Willocks, a Scottish land speculator, purchased a tract of land known as Willock's Patent, which included most of modern-day Totowa, Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson) and Little Falls. Located in the western part of Manchester Township, Willock's Patent was resold to Anthony Brockholls and the Van Houten family. The land was retitled the "Totowa Patent", and divided into three parcels, and more land was acquired through the "Garret Mountain Purchase".
In 1895, residents of the southern section of Manchester Township began to become disenchanted with governing officials, and following the election of 1896, many independent municipalities were formed. The formation of the Borough of Totowa was discussed at the Willard Park Hotel on Totowa Avenue, and headed by brothers Joseph and Robert Boyle. On March 15, 1898, the Borough of Totowa was officially incorporated under Chapter 56 of the Laws of New Jersey, signed by Governor John Griggs. On April 12, 1898, the first election of the Borough of Totowa was held at the Willard Park Hotel, which would become the unofficial town hall until the municipal building was completed in 1910.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 4.065 square miles (10.528 km2), including 3.994 square miles (10.345 km2) of land and 0.071 square mile (0.183 km2) of water (1.74%).
The borough borders the Passaic County communities of Haledon, Little Falls, Paterson, Wayne and Woodland Park.
The 2010 United States Census counted 10,804 people, 3,783 households, and 2,825.901 families in the borough. The population density was 2,704.9 per square mile (1,044.4/km2). There were 3,918 housing units at an average density of 980.9 per square mile (378.7/km2). The racial makeup was 85.44% (9,231) White, 2.30% (248) Black or African American, 0.10% (11) Native American, 5.92% (640) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 4.22% (456) from other races, and 2.02% (218) from two or more races.