East York was originally populated by working class English people who valued the opportunity to own small homes of their own, with front lawns and back gardens. Many had immigrated from Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Interestingly with its working class history, East York was a dry borough (no alcohol sales allowed) until the 1970s.
Since the 1970s East York has become a major arrival point for immigrants. Almost half of the population is now foreign-born. These groups include Bengalis, Jamaicans, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Indians and Sri Lankans with a well developed Greek Population.