Great Places Nearby: The Distillery District


The Distillery District is tucked away not far from where we are. It’s a treasure trove of things to discover, food to enjoy, art to see, amongst the brick streets and historic buildings. The existing buildings were originally constructed between 1859 and 1927 and have since be converted into shops, galleries, studio spaces, restaurants, and more.

The Gooderham and Worts Distillery operated in the area for 153 years and was an important part of shaping the Toronto we know and love today. It has helped give the area a colourful history that lasted through war and the days of prohibition. Since it ceased operation, the area became a hot spot for filming in Canada and quickly became the second largest film location outside of Hollywood, with over 1700 films that have used the site. In 1988, the area was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada and is the best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture within North America.

In 2001, the area began its transformation into what we see today – a great place for arts and culture. No matter what the season is, there’s always something on. From various festivals and markets to catching some culture at the Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts, there’s so much to do in this area and get ready to snap lots of photos – there’s so much worth photographing!

Here’s a taste of what you can expect when you visit:

If you know someone visiting from out of town, this is the perfect place to bring someone souvenir shopping. You can find some amazing one-of-a-kind gifts too! Distill Gallery has some great picks or if you’re looking to add some special to your wardrobe, try picking up some new shoes over at Heel Boy.

The Distillery contains many great galleries, it’s hard to know where to start! Arta Gallery and Thompson Landry Gallery are two of the most popular to see what’s on display. There’s also so many great event spaces in the area. Check out a full list of galleries here.

Looking for something to eat in the area? Grab a pint at the Mill Street Brewpub or grab some Mexican food at El Catrin. For an amazing cup of coffee, there’s a gorgeous Balzac’s (check out our interview with their founder Diana Olsen here).

What’s your favourite thing to do in the Distillery District? Tell us over on Twitter!

Header image via kevincabralstudios on Flickr.

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