As it’s World Whisky Day this Saturday 18 May we thought we’d share our recent visit to Toronto’s fabulous Distillery District with you.
Toronto's Whisky Heritage
We were surprised to learn that Toronto was once home to the largest distillery in the world, Gooderham and Worts which started as a mill in 1832 before growing into a distillery in 1837. It remained a distillery until 1990 when the last whisky was finally distilled ending 158 years of industry.
40 buildings across 13 Acres
Toronto’s distillery district as it’s now known lies just to the east of the downtown area, not far from Union station and close to Lake Ontario. In 2003 it was turned into a pedestrianised boutique shopping area and has been beautifully and sympathetically preserved as a great example of Victorian industrial heritage and it was great to stroll around what must have been a pretty awesome place in its day.
All the remaining buildings are original and there are quite a few reminders of the past like this fabulous planer which Ali spotted straight away.
Sake and Whisky
There are lots of lovely independent shops to browse as well as 2 distilleries, a theatre, art galleries, restaurants and a creative hub with lots of creative businesses and studios.
First up, we couldn’t resist trying some sake at Izumi, This little brewery, Ontario’s first Sake distillery was tiny with a mini bar area where we could try a sake flight tray – made from Ontario spring water, each one was absolutely delicious and served in beautiful little sake cups.
After a wander round the complex we headed to the Spirit of York Distillery, a fabulous space, well laid out with the most amazing bar area with surrounded by botanicals. There was even a band playing the day we were there. What more do you want! They produce Canadian Rye whisky as well as vodka and gin and acquavit.
Capture the spirit of World Whisky Day
If you love whisky history, you’ll love this place. We can’t wait to come back and we highly recommend a visit if you’re in Toronto. Don't forget to celebrate World Whisky Day this Saturday 18 May, you'll be in good company! You can find the perfect whisky gift in our online shop