Corktown, Toronto

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noun

Corktown

Corktown is an historic neighbourhood located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located just south of Regent Park and north of the Gardiner Expressway, between Berkeley Street to the west and the Don River to the east. The southern part of this area is next to, although not part of, the Distillery District and contains many vacated industrial buildings, some in use by production and movie studios. The proposed "West Donlands" urban re-development project is slated to be built over the next few years covers this section. The neighbourhood's name derives from its 19th century origins as an Irish ethnic enclave, particularly for Irish emigrants from County Cork.

In the early 1960s, a significant amount of Corktown was demolished to make way for several elevated roadways, including the Richmond Street off-ramp from the Don Valley Parkway and the re-routed Eastern Avenue overpass, which remain a blight to the neighbourhood.

Currently in the early stages of the same sort of regentrification that revitalized present-day Cabbagetown, examples of old-fashioned, intimate, quirky British-style row-housing can still be seen along Corktown thoroughfares such as Bright Street, Trinity Street and Gilead Place. Corktown was also the site of the first Roman Catholic church in Toronto: St. Paul's was originally built in 1822. The current St. Paul's (located at Queen St. East and Power Street) dates from 1887.

See also