Named after Tokai, a range of hills in Hungary, Tokai, was another property belonging to van der Stel, on which a typical Cape Dutch homestead was built, which still stands today. The Manor house, allegedly haunted, built in 1796 by Thibault, has significance in that it has many fine features notwithstanding the curved steps leading up to the house. After a succession of owners the property was purchased by the government in 1883, to house the forestry chief. Parts of the property was used as a reformatory and convict station, the house and out buildings which by now had become a Heritage site fell into disrepair and was in danger of being lost, due to neglect by the owners. Due to pressure from the Simon van der Stel foundation, and with guidance from Jan Corewijn, a specialist heritage architect and sculptor, who oversaw the specialist repairs, extensive work was carried out in 2009 which has saved the building. The Manor House ground, are now leased and is the headquarters of Table Mountain Park. In 1888 the reformatory was moved from Valkenburg to Tokai, it housed young offenders until the 1950's, where farming was part of the therapeutic rehabilitation.
The forest, very much part of Tokai, was established in 1694 by van der Stel when he had 4000 oaks planted, the replanting with pines began in 1883. Work is presently under way to protect the last remnants of 'Cape Flats Sand Fynbos'. This is the only place in the Cape where this endangered vegetation survives in a sustainably large area. Some fine examples, of indigenous and exotic trees are to be seen at the arboretum in the forest. As the roads are becoming too congested for cycling the forest has become a popular mountain biking venue where some tracks are clearly not for the faint hearted. On the weekends, 'Paintball' warfare, a popular pastime with boys, and a few girls, can be observed in the forest between the trees and the derelict buildings once part of the Porter Estate, which also is home to Saturday Organic market.
A little known fact is that three International Grand Prix Races were held in Tokai between 1936 and 1939, on a racing track, that now is Pollsmoor. From 1984 to 1988 Pollsmoor was home to former president Nelson Mandela.
In the 1940's there was urgent need for housing by the soldiers returning from the war, which led to the farms being cut up and the suburb laid out. Unique to Tokai, some roads are paved with red brick. Streams, green belts, for recreation, including, cycling and dog walking were carefully planned when the properties were cut up.
Tokai the neighbor to the popular family suburb of Bergvliet, is considered to be the ?next step up' the property ladder by home owners in Cape Town. Homes in the area are larger, set in established gardens and tree-lined streets. The exclusive gated, golfing estate Steenberg, is located beneath the slopes of the mountain amidst the vineyards of Steenberg farm, one of the oldest in the valley. The estate comprises a championship 18 hole golf course, hotel and spa. The sophisticated Catharina's restaurant and Bistro 1682 are located on the estate.
'Nieuwe Steenberg' a new 22 luxury home development, has recently been launched alongside the Steenberg estate.
Silvertree, a compact housing estate of around 200 properties, also lies in the Tokai area and is very popular with families who have children attending Reddam House private School. There is even a gate from the estate directly onto the school premises. The school has facilities from nursery school classes to grade 12. It is an independent co-ed school.
Below Ou Kaapseweg and adjacent to Westlake golf course, is Stonehurst Mountain Estate, an estate which offers, townhouses in Stonehurst Village and Stonehurst Close. Individually designed houses cover the remainder of the estate with architectural guidelines in keeping with the natural colours of the mountain. Gardens are planted to water wise flora of the Cape. The Estate also boasts a fully equipped central leisure centre.
There are two shopping hubs in Tokai, one being the Blue Route Mall, which is presently, is undergoing, a multi million rand revamp and Secondly Steenberg shopping centre with a number of speciality stores and popular restaurants.
The American Embassy has its premises in Tokai and the American International School is on the border of Tokai and Constantia Hills. Steenberg Office Park and Westlake Square including a new state of the art Virgin Active Gym house the commercial activities of the area in the multiuse facilities.
Tokai offers a wonderful comfortable feeling, possibly due to the fact that the suburb's neighbours are the mountain, the forest, the vineyards of Uitsig and Steenberg, the close proximity to the beaches of the Indian Ocean.