The Distillery District

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Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2015

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The 47 buildings of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery in east Toronto have been repurposed into what is now called The Distillery District. You can still get a drink there but many of the Victorian industrial buildings (from 1832) have been turned into shops, galleries, theatres and eateries in this area that is designated as a national historic site. I have been meaning to check it out since it opened in 2003 and finally made it there last summer. It is further than I thought from Union Station so I ended up taking a cab there in order to be less late meeting up with a friend who lives in Toronto. I had started walking east from the station and texted her to let her know I was on my way. She told me to grab a cab – it’s further than you think. However, if you have the time you could walk it (about half an hour) and maybe stop off at the St. Lawrence Market along the way – a good place for pea meal bacon on a bun for breakfast.

If you are looking for a unique gift The Distillery District is a great place to browse – you never know what you will find. There are over 80 shops and boutiques from high end to budget items. One of my favourites is Bergo Designs as it has unique gadgets and home decor – everything from kitchenware to jewelry. Another is Blackbird Vintage Finds for, well, vintage items, of course. For the chocolate lover, there is Soma – you’ll smell it before you find it.

It is interesting to walk around the cobblestone streets and take in the architecture of the old buildings. There is an art installation where people can attach locks to a heart and letters spelling LOVE – think of the Pont des Art in Paris. There is a lovely antique clock in the square that fits in well with the industrial brick setting. At night it is a different scene again with all the lights. I tried to get there this past December for the Christmas Market – maybe I’ll get there this year. Maybe I’ll try one of the walking or Segway tours.

“The Distillery District”:

Denise Bridge

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