Formerly McGrath Place, Burton Street runs north from Little Lonsdale to La Trobe streets between Spring and Exhibition streets. The lane previously connected Cummberland, McCormac, Merritt, and Sherwood Places, where, from the 1890s, Italian names appeared on the rates. Italian, British and Chinese immigrants resided in McGrath Place in the early twentieth century. Around this time, residents of McCormick Place, Cumberland Place, Exploration Lane and Casseldon Street signed a petition complaining about the lack of an outlet from this complex of laneways to La Trobe Street. The request was eventually granted, and McGrath Place was extended to La Trobe Street to become Burton Street. Burton Street did not last long as a throughway for traffic, however, as the surrounding buildings were soon acquired by developers.
Construction finished on the building now known as the Telstra Exhibition Exchange in 1978. Union, Sherwood, McCormac, Cumberland, Providence and Merritt Places were all demolished, and Burton Street is now a landscaped pedestrian access way.