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Distillery District

The Dis­tillery Dis­trict is a national his­toric site, with 13 down­town acres and over 40 build­ings form­ing the largest and best pre­served col­lec­tion of Vic­to­rian indus­trial archi­tec­ture in North Amer­ica. It is also Toronto’s first pedestrian-only vil­lage, and one of Toronto’s only des­ig­nated his­toric districts.

If you live the urban lifestyle – or if you’d just love to live in an Vic­to­rian indus­trial vil­lage – the Dis­tillery Dis­trict is the per­fect loca­tion for you. For those plan­ning to live in the city, Toronto’s ana­logue to SoHo or Gas­town is only a 10-minute walk to the heart of down­town and a 90-second drive to the Gar­diner or DVP.

Distillery District Real Estate Map

Dis­tillery Dis­trict Real Estate Map

You will have all sorts of cool stores and restau­rants right at your doorstep. You will also be enjoy the renowned Euro­pean style “patio cul­ture” dur­ing the warmer months. This is liv­ing at the cen­ter of the arts scene, where cul­ture is cre­ated and lived every­day. Imag­ine strolling with your fam­ily through the brick-paved streets day or night, never hav­ing to worry about cars or traffic.

Stretch­ing east­ward from Par­lia­ment Street to the West Don­lands, south from Mill Street to the CN rail­way tracks, this newly-popular address is based around the site of the old Good­er­ham & Worts Dis­tillery, founded in 1832. This was once the largest dis­tillery in the world, send­ing over 2 mil­lion gal­lons of whiskey all over the world in its heyday.

Dur­ing its life­time, the Good­er­ham and Worts Dis­tillery played a vital role in the growth and wealth of the city of Toronto. Even after the Pro­hi­bi­tion era, this huge plant still sur­vived. After over a cen­tury and a half of con­tin­u­ous pro­duc­tion, the dis­tillery ceased oper­a­tions in 1990. It imme­di­ately became one of the most pop­u­lar film­ing loca­tions in Toronto – and con­tin­ues to be used for that pur­pose. Some of the more well-known films shot here include Cin­derella Man, Chicago and X-Men.

The Distillery District

The Dis­tillery District

When the dis­tillery closed its doors in 1990, the poten­tial for invest­ment and rede­vel­op­ment was evi­dent; how­ever, with the econ­omy in reces­sion, the crash in down­town office lease rates and res­i­den­tial con­do­minium prices put the district’s revi­tal­iza­tion on hold. While two res­i­den­tial condo build­ings were built on the periph­ery in the 1990s, many years passed before the site was pur­chased by Cityscape Hold­ings Inc. in 2001 and the trans­for­ma­tion into a pedestrian-oriented arts and enter­tain­ment dis­trict began.

The Dis­tillery His­toric Dis­trict opened in May 2003 and quickly became a vital part of the city and one of its top tourist attrac­tions. The new own­ers refused to lease retail and restau­rant space to chains or fran­chises and, accord­ingly, the major­ity of the build­ings are occu­pied by unique bou­tiques, art gal­leries and restau­rants – includ­ing a very pop­u­lar micro brew­ery and brew pub. The upper floors of a num­ber of build­ings are leased to artists as stu­dio spaces and to office ten­ants with a cre­ative focus. A new the­atre, the Young Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts, is home to the Soulpep­per The­atre Com­pany and drama pro­duc­tions from nearby George Brown College.

Distillery District Condos

Dis­tillery Dis­trict Con­dos

Almost a decade into its trans­for­ma­tion, The Dis­tillery Dis­trict has become one of the most roman­tic des­ti­na­tions in Toronto. The brick-lined streets and Euro­pean piazza-styled areas have earned the Globe and Mail’s descrip­tion as “a pic­ture post­card draw” and National Geo­graphic Magazine’s des­ig­na­tion as a “top pick” for vis­i­tors to Canada.

With devel­op­ment of res­i­den­tial con­dos, offices and more retail space on the sur­round­ing vacant lands, the trans­for­ma­tion of the Dis­tillery Dis­trict from aban­doned indus­trial site to one of Toronto’s most dis­tinc­tive neigh­bour­hoods is only going to accel­er­ate. Never mind the pos­i­tive effects of the huge West Don Lands Project directly abut­ting the Dis­tillery Dis­trict to the east, as well as the Pan Am Games.

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Con­tact Lau­rin Jef­frey for more infor­ma­tion – 416−388−1960

Lau­rin Jef­frey is a Toronto Real­tor with Cen­tury 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these arti­cles, he just repro­duces them here for peo­ple who are
inter­ested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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