When Toronto celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with the annual parade on Sunday, it will celebrate a major piece of the city’s colourful history.
Historian Jared Ross says in the mid 1800s the Potato Famine in Ireland resulted in some 40,000 Irish immigrants arriving in a city whose population at the time was 20,000.
The Irish immigrants settled in the newly created areas of Corktown and Cabbagetown and filled those neighbourhoods with Irish Churchs, news papers, houses and tenements .
And on St. Patrick’s day 1858, an Irish Catholic man was killed in a massive brawl that broke out at King and Jarvis when a procession to St. Michael’s Cathedral was interrupted by a member of the Irish Protestant Orange Order.
This year’s parade begins Sunday at noon at Bloor and St. George. It then heads east on Bloor, south on Yonge, west on Queen and wraps up at Nathan Phillips Square.