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Built on the grounds of the Victorian-era Gooderham & Worts distillery, not far from downtown, the Distillery District is in the process of becoming revitalized. 2003 was really the first year that it became a public draw. The host a lot of events down here, and in the summer you can be sure that something is going on each weekend. These include art shows, farmer’s markets, a Jazz festival, a world music festival, a dog weekend and other themes.
The architecture is of great interest – the structure of a Victorian factory was quite different than those of today. All the various buildings in the complex served a function in the distillery and it’s interesting to see how it’s all been transformed. The brickwork also adds a lot of atmosphere to the area, and combined with the gates marks quite specifically what is and what isn’t part of the district. That sense of clearly-definable area gives you an immediate sense of being in a distinct neighbourhood.
The weekends are bustling, especially in the summer. There’s a couple of restaurants on-site, a wonderful chocolate shop (Soma Chocolates) where luxurious chocolates of the highest calibre are hand-crafted. The only beer you’ll find on tap is from the on-site Mill Street Brewery – the Tankhouse Ale and Denison’s Weissbier are two of Canada’s finest beers. Too bad about the plastic cups and fenced in drinking areas.
Sunny weekends it’s well worth it to go down there – very happening place.
The Distillery District
This is a relatively new area that was opened to much press in the spring of 2003.
The DISTILLERY DISTRICT is a small enclave of buildings that used to house the Gooderham and Worts Distilleries.
Erected in 1859 this qualifies as a very historic area (for Toronto anyways). The buildings were empty for many years until an enterprising tream of developers came in to clean up the area and the buildings house a motley crew of gallerys, shops and restaurants.
This is a great area to explore on a weekend or perhaps a weekday evening when it is less crowded and the cobblestone streets lend a slightly romantic ambience.
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