In 2005, The New York Times proclaimed Queen East “the new Queen West.” And, if rumours and predictions are sound, this small area may well be the city’s next “design district.” The area centres on Corktown—once the “Old Town of York,” which constituted the original 10 blocks of Toronto. (“Corktown” is named for one of two reasons: the arrival of Irish from the homeland’s County Cork in the early 1800s, or the presence of distilleries, breweries and cork-stop manufacturers, where many found employment.) Residentially, the area is hospitable, unpretentious and cozy. Its intimate streets contain quirky, British-style row houses. Surrounding the area are several theatres, restaurants of every style, and plenty of shopping. Proportionately, it’s got more design and furniture stores than anywhere in the city.