HistoryThe upscale shops, pubs and theatres that now make up this district reside within refurbished buildings that were once part of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery complex. Founded in 1832, it became the biggest distillery in the British Empire producing millions of gallons of whiskey and spirits. Production began to slow in the late 20 th century and by 1990 the distilling operations completely shut down. Once the industrial center of Toronto, the site became deserted and was closed to the public. After a decade of failed attempts, revitalization of the area began when Cityscape Development purchased the site in 2001. The Distillery reopened in 2003 as a pedestrian-only arts and entertainment area. Toronto’s only heritage district, The Distillery is now boasts North America’s biggest collection of Victorian era industrial architecture. The industrial spaces lend themselves well to movie making, and several film and television productions have been shot in the area.
Galleries and TheatresThe Distillery prides itself on being a hub of arts and culture. It houses a collection of acclaimed art galleries featuring local and international artists, as well as performing art theatres. Art lovers will enjoy some of the most creative contemporary art on display in over 15 galleries, including the Arta Gallery (Building 9) and the Blue Dot Gallery (Building 47.) Pikto's Gallery (Building 59) showcases works by renowned and up and coming photographers. Creations by some of Toronto’s most talented painters can be found in the RedEye Studio Gallery (Building 74) in watercolours, oil, and mixed media. And the Thompson Landry Gallery (Building 5) specializes in Quebec artists. Click to book your Toronto Distillery District Walking Tour. The Young Centre for the Performing Arts (Building 49) is home to the Soulpepper Theatre Company, renowned for its classical theatrical performances by playwrights including Tom Stoppard and Samuel Beckett. The 50,000 square foot venue is noteworthy itself and has received many architectural awards. Other theatre companies in the Distillery include Canada's oldest professional aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts (Building 74). You will also find experimental theatre, classical opera, and contemporary dance groups. The Distillery also features many events in the summer months including music and art festivals, farmers markets, and beer and wine tastings.
Shopping and DiningFrom jewellery to furniture to ceramics, upscale merchandise by a variety of artisans and retailers awaits you in the Distillery. Some notable boutiques include Lileo (Building 35) which offers trendy fashions as well as books and accessories, and designers Marie Josette (Building 74) who create limited edition wearable art such as jackets and scarves. When it’s time to stop for a bite or a pint, there are some delicious choices. The Mill Street Brewery’s Brew Pub ( Building 63) is located in the original Gooderham & Worts Tankhouse. Taste some of the handcrafted beers and ales that have made this brewery the recipient of many awards. Craving something sweet? SOMA Chocolatemaker (Building 48) features superior creations such as an 8 year old Balsamic Vinegar Truffle and its famous Mayan hot chocolate, an intense elixir of rich dark Venezuelan chocolate infused with cinnamon, Madagascar vanilla and chilli peppers. Other great dining spots include the Boiler House (Building 46) an acclaimed chophouse which takes advantage of its massive industrial space with a soaring 22 foot wine rack, and the popular Pure Spirits Oyster House (Building 62 A). Click to book your Toronto Distillery District Walking Tour.
Visiting The Distillery Historic DistrictLocated at 55 Mill Street east of Toronto’s downtown core, the The Distillery Historic District is one block south of Front Street between Parliament and Cherry Streets. It is accessible by car or public transit. Detailed directions can be found on the official website.
Location: 55 Mill Street, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaClick here to visit The Distillery Historic District official website. Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.