The Distillery District
Toronto's Distillery District encompasses the 1832 founded Gooderham & Worts distillery complex, some of the most intact Victorian industrial architecture in Canada. The large distillery building visible today was constructed in 1859-61 of local limestone. It currently operates as a multi-use site with shopping, art galleries, and frequent special events. There are 40+ historically designated heritage buildings at the distillery site. Some of the architects are unknown, but David Roberts, Sr., architect of Toronto's Flatiron Building at Wellington and Church, is known to have designed the main distillery building, while his son, David Roberts, Jr., designed several of the subsequent buildings.
Backstory and Context
The distillery site was founded in 1832 by James Worts and William Gooderham as a simple brick windmill that became an early symbol of the port of Toronto. Their company grew to become the largest distillery in the British Empire with production topping out at over two million gallons per year in the 1860s. Business declined during alcohol prohibition, and the distillery was re-purposed for a time as a manufacturer of gunpowder components during World War I. Then, in 1927, Hiram Walker acquired Gooderham & Worts. Whiskey distillation ended in the 1950s, but the site produced rum and industrial alcohols until it shut down for good in 1990. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/distillery-historic-district-gooderham-worts-national-historic-site
Since 2001, Cityscape Development Corp. has redeveloped the Gooderham & Worts site as a stunning example of urban renewal in the 21st century. In addition to the many arts and retail tenants at the site, events throughout the year include the Sunday Market, Toronto Christmas Market, Toronto Light Fest, and the Music City Summer Series.