Charming rowhouses in downtown that are still affordable (for now)

For years, so-called experts have pegged affordable Corktown as Toronto's up-and-coming neighbourhood, slated for a sweeping gentrification movement that will transform the area into the new Cabbagetown. Others swear Corktown is a run-down old slum with few businesses to attract hip, young residents. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle – Corktown streets are lined with charming older rowhouses and the new Corktown Common Park offers residents and visitors a venue for a flurry of summer-inspired activities. Located east of Old Town Toronto and just north of the Distillery District and the West Don Lands project due to open someday soon, Corktown remains a refuge for rents lower than most of what downtown can offer, plus amenities and services for families, and is beginning to attract a crowd of young professionals who are keen on the central location and somewhat affordable living. In Corktown, old industrial buildings have been renovated to form studio lofts, apartment-style condominiums and professional offices. It must be said, though, that the commercial aspect of the neighbourhood isn't up to par with, say, the Distillery District or Cabbagetown for that matter, and several abandoned storefronts have left parts of the community in dire need of revitalization.

Who Lives Here

Families and seniors with slightly higher than average incomes, although this varies a bit around the neighbourhood. There's a newish influx of hip, creative types, but families remain the majority.

Perfect for…

Young families and couples starting out who want affordable rents, enough space to grow and a unique neighbourhood that fits with their own style.

Not-so-perfect for…

People who like a life of luxury won't find uber-chic lofts in Corktown, nor high-rise penthouses, nor streets upon streets of fine dining and lounges that serve cocktails in chilled crystal.

Life and Style

With little in the way of shopping and entertainment, Corktown itself can tend to be on the quiet side. That said, residents are super close to the St. Lawrence neighbourhood and the famous St. Lawrence Market, which was voted one of the best in the world a few years back. Pet owners can take the dog out for a run at Orphan's Green dog park, and families head to Sackville Park, right in the middle of the neighbourhood. Because of the lack of commercial (most of it is around Queen East), the streets of Corktown aren't busy, with residents heading to greener pastures for their entertainment needs.

Housing Market

Living in Corktown is still relatively inexpensive, especially while the commercial aspect of the community catches up with the slow gentrification of the residential portion. That said, there are places available for renters in almost any price range, including more expensive detached homes and trendy lofts, or the cheaper side which includes basement suites and small rowhouses. Renters should take note that there are almost no three-bedroom units available on the market in Corktown, but lots of two-bedroom places.

Avg. rent by housing type and size

Studio/Bachelor: $1,110
1-bedroom: $1,510
2-bedroom: $1,780
Avg. rent compared to other Toronto neighbourhoods
Corktown is 4% lower than TO average

Typical housing type

Rowhouses, townhouses and duplexes


Corktown restaurants and bars are mostly on Queen East, closer to Parliament. Check out the Black Irish Oyster Bar and Saloon, No Bull Burgers or the White Elephant for Thai. Inglenook Community High School is right within Corktown and gets awesome reviews for its friendly, family-like atmosphere for Grade 11 and 12 courses. St. Paul's Elementary Catholic School is in town too.