Corktown was originally settled by working class immigrants in the early 1800’s. Many of these families came from the County of Cork in Ireland, which explains how this neighbourhood became known as Corktown. Most Corktown residents found employment at one of the local breweries or brickyards. These families were very poor and could not afford the lofty pew rents at nearby St. James Cathedral. This led to the building of their own “Little Trinity Church” in 1843. Little Trinity Church is still standing today at 417 King Street East. The Trinity Schoolhouse on Trinity Street, just south of Little Trinity Church was built in 1848. This was Toronto’s first ‘free school’. Its benefactor was Enoch Turner, a prominent Corktown brewer, and one of Toronto’s great philanthropists. A century and a half later children and adults are still being educated in the Trinity Schoolhouse, which is now run as a museum designed to replicate a mid-nineteenth century classroom.
Corktown is popular with young professionals, who value this downtown location for its convenience to Toronto’s business and entertainment districts. Many of Corktown’s commercial buildings have been converted into live-work studios, condominium lofts and professional offices, which has given this neighbourhood an added charm and vitality. Neighbourhood landmarks include the historic Little Trinity Church and the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. Corktown Common and Underpass Park are newer parks that have won awards for their design. Underpass Park hosts a popular Farmers’ Market.
There is an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants within this neighbourhood along King Street, Queen Street and Parliament Street. Corktown residents also enjoy the luxury of being within walking distance of the St. Lawrence Market, an old world market brimming with food sourced locally and from around the world.
Corktown contains some of the oldest Victorian row-houses in Toronto. Some of these houses date back to the 1850’s and 1860’s. These former workers’ cottages can be found on the quaint narrow laneways that are discreetly tucked away off Corktown’s main streets. Corktown has also recently experienced a number of retrofit projects on its commercial and industrial buildings. Many of these buildings are currently being recycled as live/work studio lofts that incorporate all of today’s modern conveniences. There are also new condominium buildings within this neighbourhood.
The Sackville playground located along King Street East, has a tot park, a basketball court, and a wading pool. The St. Lawrence Community Centre on the Esplanade, includes squash courts, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, a piano room, a weight room, and a games room.The John Innes Community Recreation Centre on Sherbourne Street, has an indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium, a running track, a weight room, a cardio training room, a games room, a woodworking shop and a craft room. Next door to the community centre is the Moss Park indoor hockey arena. Corktown Common Park and Underpass Park are two award winning newer parks in this neighbourhood.
The Queen and King streetcars connect to stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line, while the Parliament streetcar connects passengers to the Castle Frank station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line. Motorists are only a few minutes from the Adelaide Street on ramp to the Don Valley Parkway, and an equally short distance to the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Legend: Low, Medium, High
* All commuting times provided are approximate times only. Commute times may increase or decrease depending on where you live within the neighbourhood and the time of day i.e rush hour versus off hour commutes. Time estimates to public transit are based on walking distance or bus line connection whichever is quicker. All other commute times on the chart above are based on drive times.
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Editor’s Note. BEFORE MOVING INTO, BUYING OR RENTING A HOME, PLEASE CONTACT THE SCHOOL YOU ARE CONSIDERING BY PHONE to ensure your home is within the designated boundaries and that your child is age appropriate. WE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MISINFORMATION REGARDING SCHOOL ENROLLMENT SO DO NOT ASSUME that your child can automatically attend a specific school or specialized program until you have official confirmation from that school. Please visit the school board web sites for more information.