18 Eastern Avenue is a three-storey brick, commercial / residential, building with an established history dating back to 1915. Prior to this date the original structure was a two-storey wood frame building. Its exterior is in excellent condition and its Edwardian style is the only edifice left of its kind between Trinity and Sackville Streets. Located on the eastside of Gilead Place, #18 Eastern Avenue, is a heritage bookend structure to ‘listed’ row houses located at the north end of Gilead Place, numbers 457-461 King Street East (part of Wilkins Row).
The history of Eastern Avenue, especially that of the area east of Trinity Street, is associated with the Macedonians, and people of Balkan origin, whose history in Corktown during the early 1900s is documented. By 1905, approximately 500 Macedonians, Bulgarians and other people of Balkan origin were living in Corktown, and by 1910, the number of such settlers to Toronto had doubled. Many of these people worked in nearby factories while others operated businesses throughout the neighbourhood including mom-and-pop storefronts along Eastern Avenue. Deeply committed to their religion and culture, Corktown’s Macedonian community raised money to establish a church at Trinity and Eastern Avenue in 1910.
Mr. Haji D.Peroff, founding member and owner of 18 Eastern Avenue, played a key role in the purchase of the church property. Hence, to demolish #18 Eastern Avenue, at the north-east corner Eastern Avenue and Gilead Place (former “ H.D. Peroff ” grocery store), will erase a significant part of Corktown’s built and cultural history.
Lillian Petroff, Sojourners and Settlers: The Macedonian Community in Toronto to 1940 (Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1995), 19-23.
Coralina R. Lemos, Corktown History, researcher and historian.
Lillian Petroff, Sojourners and Settlers: The Macedonian Community in Toronto to 1940 (Toronto: Multicultural History Society of Ontario, 1995), 91-108.