The Distillery Historic District

Location:  9 Trinity Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5A 3R6, Canada

Phone: +1-416-364-1177

Neighborhood: Downtown

Workers back in the 1800’s couldn’t possibly have imagined what their workplaces would become in the 21st century…. the world’s largest alcohol distillery, the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, has transformed to now be an important cultural center just east of downtown Toronto.

Toronto’s historic Distillery District boasts the best preserved examples of Industrial Victorian architecture in all of North America: these buildings are so well preserved that they, today, function as boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and performing arts spaces.

When the district’s production of alcohol ceased in 1990, the distillery district was at risk of becoming a forgotten land full of vacant, abandoned buildings. Filmmakers, however, had other plans and the distillery district soon became Canada’s number one filming location (over 1700 films have been shot in the district over the years).

The area was later purchased by developers in 2001 and just two years later was unveiled as an artsy pedestrian-only multi-purpose space featuring shops, dining and innovative spaces for all kinds of art.

The Distillery Historic District

Today, the historic distillery district is an off-the-beaten path must-see for all tourists to the Toronto area.  Whether you feel like shopping the afternoon away, taking in a theatrical performance, snapping photos of the unique Victorian architecture or simply enjoying a finely crafted micro-brew (or two), the Distillery District is for you.

Dining options abound here: you can visit a mini-chocolate factory fronted by an actual chocolate café, dine on the latest creations of gastronomy or enjoy some low-key pub-fare. The shopping opportunities in the district are limitless: this is the place to go for a unique souvenir or gift.

Fans of the theatre will find no shortage of current productions to attend and can even, depending upon the length of their Toronto stay, enroll in a class at the George Brown’s Theatre School.

The Distillery Historic District

Families visiting the district may stumble upon one of the many festivals held here annually: jazz, fashion, literature, photography and magic festivals breathe life into the district’s busy thoroughfares. This historic district transforms into a festive winter scene that recalls times gone past during the annual Toronto Christmas Market: kids of all ages enjoy the beautiful lights, seasonal decor, the carolers, musicians and children’s choirs that spread holiday cheer to all who visit here.

The giant Christmas Tree that towers over the former whiskey and spirit distillery-turned-Christmas wonderland is a local favorite. The Toronto Christmas Market is sure to raise your holiday…spirits!

If you’re in the market for real estate and you’re particularly taken by the Distillery District, you may want to check with a local realtor as the area is home to some of the city’s most stunning condos and lofts. Have you visited the Distillery Historic District yet? What time of year did you visit? What restaurants, shops and galleries do you recommend?

If you haven’t yet visited, please be sure to check back and share your favorite spots with us!

Regular Admission Fees:

Free of charge

Photo by Jamie McCaffrey,  Peter KudlaczLima Pix

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