Corktown is considered one of the oldest communities in Toronto. It began its development in the early 1800’s as a place for working immigrants to reside. A large number of these individuals came from the town of Cork in Ireland, hence its name. Many of these residents worked at the surrounding brickyards and breweries at that time. To offer a place of worship to the community, the residents built the little Trinity Church in 1843. Shortly after the Trinity School house was built, becoming one of Toronto’s first free schools. Both of these architectural wonders are a cultural backbone of what Corktown has become.
Coined as one of the few towns within a city, Corktown offers many historical Victorian town-homes, some dating back to the 1850’s, as well as a unique variety of ‘alternative living’ spaces. The neighbourhood has undergone revitalization projects while still holding the historical integrity of the community. Many of the older commercial and industrial buildings have been reinvigorated to support the trend of alternative work/living environments. The result is very creative lofts and condos, as well as many work-in residences.
The area within the intersections of Jarvis St., Queen St., Front St. and into the east end of Eastern Ave. offers many incentives to its residents. It is popular with many young professionals. Its’ convenient downtown access as well as its investment return are key to these incentives. The Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner expressway is mere minutes away offering quick access in and out of the city.
The area is also popular with many young families. Recreational spaces are scattered throughout the neighbourhood. The Sackville playground offers activities for children of all activities, such as a tot playground, wading pool and basketball courts. St. Lawrence Community Centre and the John Innes Community Centre offers an assortment of resources including a full gym, swimming pool, running track as well as a piano room. Winter sports can be played at the Moss Park Hockey Arena, offering year-round activities.
Student walking the streets in full cooking gear is not uncommon for parts of this neighbourhood, as George Brown College has a variety of campuses within this neighbourhood. For younger children appeal to the area are some of the reputable schools offered by both the Public system and the Catholic system.
Retail can be found in pockets of this largely residential neighbourhood, but not beyond walking distance to the standard resident. Coffee shops, wellness and retail boutiques can be found throughout many of the street levels of the new low-rise condominiums. A short walk can produce niche retail that appeals to all demographics.