The Distillery District is a National Historic Site with rich history, located east of downtown Toronto. It had its beginnings with the opening of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery in 1832.
The Distillery District is bounded with Mill Street to the north, The Gardiner Expressway to the south, Cherry Street to the east, and Parliament Street to the south.
The Distillery District began to grow as a community in 1832 when Gooderham and Worts established their distillery in the area. Brothers-in-laws William Gooderham and James Worts created what was known at the time to be the largest distillery in the world. Rapid growth of the business in 1859 led to the building of the present day distillery. It has survived the test of time and boasts the largest and most well preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America.
Unfortunately both Prohibition and World War 1 took a toll on this successful business. In 1923 Gooderham and Wort were forced to sell their business to Harry C. Hatch. After which Hatch renamed the distillery Hiram Walker - Gooderham and Worts Ltd. After 153 years in business the distillery ceased production in 1990. However it found another calling as the number one location in Canada for filming movies. More than 1700 movies have used the distillery as the backdrop for filming scenes.
Cityscape Holdings Inc., purchased The Distillery in 2001later connecting with Dundee Realty Corporation. Together they had a marvellous concept for this space. The 13 acre plot surrounding more than 40 historical buildings was to be transformed into a destination place dedicated to entertainment, arts, and culture. After widespread renovations in 2003 The Distillery reopened its doors for business. It instantly became a successful Toronto landmark.
A residential section was added to The Distillery in 2008 for the first time in its history. Loft Condominiums and Pure Spirit Condos were built on Mill Street. Since this time two more condominium towers have since been added in the residential area, The Gooderham and Clear Spirit. This Toronto neighbourhood is a striking example of how architectural and historical preservation can be maintained while incorporating new elements.
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