A Daytime Date in Toronto’s Distillery District

Follow Up :  Hi!  I photographed and wrote about The Distillery District again, this time including lots about the story behind this fascinating place and some historical photographs.  That post can be found here, if you’d like to have a look.  Thanks for visiting my site. xo

A scan through all that I’ve written here this summer indicates that this site has morphed into one dedicated to places to go and things to do in Toronto. This being so, I must apologize to readers from afar, who might not be as interested in this concentration on localized goings-on as they would be about the more universal topics that I used to also include, such as thrift store shopping, decorating, entertaining, cooking and making things.

This change was unintentional and can be chalked up to two things :

One – the loss of our dear cat Eddie at the beginning of the summer. We miss that fellow terribly and, to be honest, simply hanging out at home on the weekends has lost much of its appeal, since his passing. He was a very social cat and was never far from us. Even when asleep, he’d often be doing so in one of our laps. Home was where our cat was, for sure, and everything reminds us of him.

In the past, he would have been right there “helping” me when I made things. As for photographing vintage finds and home decor, there was nothing he loved more than a good opportunity to photobomb. He made “doing nothing” feel like more, and so, we were happy homebodies, spending long summer afternoons in the garden. Now, we’ve found ourselves going out much more than we used to, and therefore I have many more “out and about” things to write about.

Two – I’ve had a nice bike that Nick bought me for my birthday about 6 years ago, that I’d hardly ridden. I was afraid to ride on the city streets, which were decidedly not very welcoming to cyclists. However, since city planners have made a concerted effort to get people riding, Toronto is teaming with bike riders. There are safe dedicated lanes for people to ride on throughout the downtown core and riding has become the best way to go. It’s awesome, and I love it.

Now I can get Nick to come pretty well anywhere with me if I’m willing to ride there. He’s begun asking me “So, where are we riding this weekend” and I’ve been prepared with a list of interesting places to go.

Which brings me to today’s topic — our visit to The Distillery District, a week ago Saturday.

While I’ve taken the streetcar there in the wintertime, for the Christmas Market (previously written about here and here), I’d never visited in the summer before. It’s located to the east of the city core, while we’re over here on the west, so it just wasn’t a place that we would previously have driven to, or taken public transit to, in the past. But biking over was a breeze.

Admittedly, I’m extremely tardy to The Distillery District party, but better late than never. What a pretty place it is!

↑ “The seeds of Canada’s largest 19th-century distilling firm were sown in 1837 when a still was set up on this site to convert surplus grain from an 1832 grist mill into whisky. Exploiting new technologies and commercial opportunities, Gooderham and Worts grew steadily, parallelling Toronto’s rise as a manufacturing centre.  With the large stone distillery erected in 1859-61 and brick malthouse, kilns, warehouses, shops and offices built before 1900, this complex is an outstanding example of Victorian industrial design in terms of integrity historical associations and aesthetic qualities.” ↑

We had lunch at The Mill Street Brewery. I had an original twist on Eggs Benedict, which I see on their menu, is not their usual way of making it. The version I had included wilted greens, a cheese biscuit and a light touch with the Hollandaise Sauce, and was really good. Maybe it was a Daily special? Nick had the burger and fries, which he said were very nice. we also each had a glass of beer that had been brewed right there

Their calendar indicates that, in addition to having the opportunity to walk the cobblestone pathways, admire the beautiful old buildings, shop in the local independent shops, and enjoy the bars and restaurants, there is something special going on in The Distillery District pretty well all the time!

While we were there, there was an artist/artisan festival on. Drawing from talent from all over Ontario, ArtFest Ontario travels to different locations within the province. It is clearly a well-curated market featuring high quality art and handmade things.

↑ We very much enjoyed the Latin music skillfully performed by Farrucas Duo. ↑

↑ Photographer, Melissa of Kristensen Smith with some of her pieces, many printed on reclaimed wood, giving them such an interesting and unique look. ↑

↑ This artisan from Philamain made these beautiful bags. ↑

↑ By Toronto artist, Tony Taylor. ↑

↑ Nick was drawn to this booth of gourmet condiments by Cook’s Gourmet as though a magnet had pulled him over. ↑

↑ “Stone and Hide” is the booth of multi-talented artist Ivan. ↑

↑ There are more historic buildings just beyond the boundaries of The Distillery District that are yet to be restored. I wonder what they’ll become. ↑

As for getting back to posting about other types of things, I plan to get there and certainly have stuff to show you, including a bunch of thrifted things that I love, a crocheted piece, and a couple of recipes. But before those make an appearance, I do still have a bit of a backlog of “outs and abouts” to report on. I hope you’ll stick with me!

Thank you very much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend.
xo loulou