Corktown is a community on the move and one to watch. As one of Toronto’s oldest ‘hoods, it’s popular with young professionals for its affordability and being within reach of the city lights, while laying claim to shops and eateries along its very own Queen Street East. A short walk or a streetcar ride away is Yonge Street to the west, with more theatre and the Distillery District, to the south.
Corktown is a community on the move and one to watch. Corktown lays claim to the shops and eateries along King Street East, while also being within reach of the St. Lawrence Market. With warehouse conversions and loft living and working commonplace, Corktown residents now seek out King and Parliament as the go-to area to browse, shop or dine, and with close proximity to downtown, city nightlife is there whenever the heart desires.
Live-work studios are in vogue, breathing life into tired commercial buildings, long-closed factories and storefronts. Young residents and professionals are drawn to converted condo lofts and offices that have revitalized the entire neighbourhood and invited new business. Living and working at home create a buzz as the streets become the water cooler for chat among residents taking a break from the workday.
Singles and couples are drawn to loft living, cottages and rowhouses of Corktown. A neighbourhood in transition, you’ll find older, original property owners along with younger folks looking for a handyman-special to call their home. While educated, many are people just starting out so incomes are lower and ambition is high. Minorities are present, especially noticed as owner/managers of many of the eateries offering cultural fare.
Several campuses of George Brown College can be found in or near Corktown within walking distance. For the family-minded, the Sackville playground along King Street East has a tot park, basketball court and a wading pool. The St. Lawrence Community Centre on the Esplanade includes squash courts, a swimming pool, a gymnasium, and more. Residents will find even more at the John Innes Community Recreation Centre on Sherbourne with an indoor pool, gym, and running track.
Residents are just a stone’s throw from the Adelaide Street ramp to the Don Valley Parkway, and an equally short distance to the Gardiner Expressway and Lakeshore Boulevard. Public transit is just as easy as 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.
As with most cases of gentrification, property improvement, growth and change doesn’t always bode well for those of limited means. While Corktown is one of the city’s newest hot spots and still maintains relatively affordable housing prices, that won’t last as the tide turns and those of healthier means drive up prices.
Retail-wise there are lots of bargains and down-to-earth shops on Queen. Property is still within reach, but not for long. Things are starting to heat up, taking prices with them. While empty storefronts still litter Queen East and workers’ cottages and rowhouses in need of a redux are still available, once the word gets out, affordability will be a thing of the past.
A hand-picked selection of new home and condos for sale in Corktown. For those who love the thrill of anticipation of getting into a brand new home or condo.
What was once a one-room schoolhouse in 1848 is now Corktown’s most popular setting for a storybook wedding or special event for intimate gatherings of 100 or less.more info
If you’re looking for the real deal when it comes to Thai food, you can’t get more authentic than this restaurant, established by Bangkok natives who longed for tastes from home.more info
You’d never expect to find world-reknowned fare hidden in a café on a backstreet in Corktown but then you can always expect the unexpected from Jamie Kennedy and his kitchen.more info
This cluster of cubes has been a curious landmark at the city’s eastern gateway since 1996. A mystery to many they are occupied as an example of futuristic, affordable housing on a minimal footprint.more info
Great acoustics for orchestras and choirs, make one of Toronto’s oldest surviving churches a great performance venue as well as well as a place of worship.
Corktown’s dreary Adelaide Street underpass is now a vibrant outdoor gallery with bold, colourful murals depicting the community’s progress—The Past, The Future, The Worker and The Possibility.