The Distillery District as we know it today was born in 1830 when William Gooderham and James Worts built a flourishing flour mill on the shores of Lake Ontario. Many years later, Gooderham joined up with his former business partner’s son to turn the mill into a whiskey distillery and Gooderham & Worts Distillery became the largest whiskey producer at the time.
Fast forward through many years, wars, and the Ontario Temperance Act, and you’ll arrive at The Distillery District we know today. It’s a dynamic and exciting neighbourhood that perfectly combines history and old-world charm with a modern sensibility, excellent taste, and amazing amenities.
The Distillery District is a foodies dream with countless amazing restaurants, breweries, and cafes. Whether you’re in the mood to try a brew at the iconic Mill Street Brewery or you prefer a more understated, upscale vibe at eateries like Madrina Bar Y Tapas or Boku Japanese Eats and Drinks, there’s something here for you. Chocolate lovers can rejoice at Cacao 70, Tartistry, or Soma Chocolate Maker for dessert.
Come for the food but stay for the nightlife. The Distillery District would do a disservice to its namesake without some top-notch bars and drinking holes. Whether you prefer a glass of wine or consider yourself a whiskey connoisseur, there’s a bar in The Distillery District ready to serve. From The Spirit of York Distillery to El Catrin Distileria and Pure Spirits Oyster House, there’s something to satisfy your thirst. The area is also home to Ontario Spring Water Sake Company, which is North America’s first sake brewery on the east coast.
Arts and Culture
The Distillery District is almost known as much for its community events and commitment to promoting arts and culture as it is for its rich history. With countless annual events and beautiful galleries, there’s always something to see and do here. Highly-regarded dance companies like Dancemakers are located here along with performing arts centres like Soulpepper. Visual artists are also well-represented by the many galleries including All in the Wild, Beauchamp Art Gallery, Corkin Gallery, and more.
In addition to the numerous unique furniture, homeware, and clothing stores, The Distillery District is famous for hosting the annual Toronto Christmas Market. Bringing together countless artisans and makers every year for a sensational shopping experience. Leslieville Flea also sets up in The Distillery District each month for the chance for shoppers to browse their unique vintage wares, artisanal items, and more.