History of Corktown
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.