Distillery District, Downtown, Toronto, Canada

The historic Distillery district, Downtown Toronto

The historic Distillery district, Downtown Toronto

What do you do on a day off if you are living in or around the Toronto area?

Well, in winter there are few options for those wanting a  full day out. The weather conditions are harsh for most of us. And more “extreme cold warnings” are announced every day in media even though some of us can feel the spring around the corner.
But we had a day off and would not let that stop us so we headed for a day out in Downtown, Toronto.

As food lovers/enthusiasts and travelers we always tend to look for places with interesting history, location, original restaurants, settings and different and unique things on offer.
And it didn’t take long until we found the Distillery district.

The Distillery District is in the privileged group of “oldest sights and buildings” in Toronto not far from Young Street and the St. Lawrence market. Originally built for a Mill called Wort’s Mill. In 1831 a man immigrated from England to Toronto and decided to invest 3000 USD (a lot of money in those days) and it became the Gooderham and Wort’s Distillery in 1837.

The years to come would be both profitable but tough for the Distillery.  War and alcohol prohibition rammed the Distillery during its era but it did not stop the it from being in production, producing anything from whiskey to Aceton even during the war.

The Distillery hung in there and it wasn’t until 1990 they closed its Distillery operations for the last time.

The District is now known as one of the best sights for Victorian industrial architecture in Canada and probably North America.
No wonder that in between 2001 and 2003 the Distillery District was renovated and brought back to life,  reopening as an urban area with hip restaurants, unique boutiques making it one of Torontos top tourist attractions.

The group that brought back the Distillery District to life wanted to create an historic sight with the sophisticated feeling of Soho in New York with trendy and unique spots for both locals and tourists.
There are now shops like SOMA that produces high end chocolate, Jacob & Sebastian and many authentic and urban eateries and restaurants.

In the summer, most eateries folds out their outdoor areas and the Distillery comes to life.
Christmas markets are held in winter.

Even just a stroll around the Distillery District is worth a visit. We walked around in minus 10 degrees Celsius, going to SOMA for a delicious hot chocolate taking in the atmosphere.

It truly is a place worth visiting despite the weather.


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