The Distillery District
1832: Worts and Gooderham partnership begins
1988: Site is designated a national historic site
1990: Gooderham and Worts Distillery shuts down
2003: Distillery District is open to the public
NOTE: I’m starting a new section of my blog called “Travel Pics.” They are snapshots from some interesting places I love to visit and want you to visit too. If you have any special places in your city or town that you enjoy spending your time at, let me know.
A walk back in time
When you step into the Distillery Historic District in Toronto, you step back into time. The grand old Victorian style buildings that date back to 1800’s sit proudly alongside the cobblestone roads. The Gooderham and Worts Stone Mill and Distillery was opened in 1861 by James Worts and his brother-in-law William Gooderham. Here more than 2 million gallons of whiskey were produced per year. In 1923 the Gooderhams sold the business to Harry C. Hatch who, four years later, acquired Hiram Walker’s Sons. The last of the whiskey made here was back in 1957. The focus was shifted to rum made from molasses.
Combining the old with the new
In 1987 Allied Vintners acquired Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts. The last drops of alcohol flowed here on June 4, 1990. Today you can still see a number of industrial artifacts that take you on a journey to the days that have long passed.
Now the Distillery District is alive with one-of-a-kind boutiques and top-notch restaurants and coffee houses. It is known throughout as a vibrant arts, entertainment and cultural area. There is no charge to visit the Distillery District or to discover all of the unique shops and artisans that are here. There is ample paid parking available in and around the area.
A new friend
For the past six years, from the end of November to just before Christmas, this is also home to one of the top 10 holiday markets in the world–the Toronto Christmas Market. It ranks right up there with other markets that take place in France, Germany and Spain. You can take your time here and visit all of the booths to find that gift for that hard to shop for person in your life. Most of all, it’s the perfect place to take in all that the season has to offer by meeting new people and enjoying great food and beverages that are sure to warm you up. There are lots of festive music and dancing, as well as a beer garden. With so much fun and good cheer all around, The Christmas Market will get you into the holiday spirit.
54ft tall Christmas tree
You can’t help but get a little merry after seeing the 54ft tall Christmas tree adorned with over 18 thousand lights and ornaments. Speaking of lights, there is a wonderful Ferris Wheel which will take you and your special someone high up in the sky to observe the great views of the city. The festival is closed Mondays. Admission is free Tuesday to Friday. There is a small fee to enter on the weekend. Proceeds go towards helping grow the not for profit festival as well as to other charitable organizations.