~ Cory's C'Town History News in Brief ~

Corktown Toronto – Where is it and how did it get its Name?

The Corktown Neighbourhood evolved from what use to be 380 acres of crown forest land identified in land surveys as the Government Park Reserve. The acreage extended from the original water’s edge, north to today’s Carlton Street, and east to west from Parliament Street to the Don River.[1]

Occupying a much smaller area within the former reserve, today’s Corktown Neighbourhood use to have three creeks that meandered across King Street East between Berkeley and Sumach Streets – all likely serving as waterways and fishing grounds for First Nations Peoples.[2]

Occasionally described as a village, historic Corktown stretches from Berkeley Street to the Don River, and from Shuter Street south to Eastern Avenue. The area acquired its name due to the high concentration of Irish men and women, many of whom arrived during the 1840s as a result of the Potato Famine.[3]

To its credit, Sumach Street named after the Sumac shrubs or trees that inhabited the area, is the oldest street name in Corktown; dating back to 1819 when the area was first surveyed.[4]

[1] Lemos, Coralina R. (2018). Corktown: The History of a Toronto Neighbourhood and the People Who Made It. Canada. p. 13, 25-26[2] Ibid., p.13-14

[3] Ibid., p. 146

[4] Ibid., p. 55


Scroll to top