Fun at the Christmas Market in The Toronto Distillery District

selfie with a at christmas market

On Sunday my friend Andrea and I had a very good time at the Toronto Christmas Market over in the Distillery District.

santa and big tree

at toronto christmas market

wreath at christmas market toronto

choir at christmas market

at christmas market

Toronto is a relatively young city, having only been incorporated in 1834. I mention this because my online friend Emma recently posted here about her visit to a Christmas Market in France, in a town with an abbey built in 780 AD that is still standing, making it a mind blowing 1,233 years old!

Around that same year that Toronto first formed, the Gooderham and Worts Mill was built, just to the east of the downtown core, by brothers-in-law James Worts and William Gooderham, who had traveled from England with their families, servants and 11 orphans, 54 people in total.

There is a sad tale wrapped in the history of this place in that two years after they began operation, Mr. Worts' wife died in childbirth. This left him so sad that on the same day he committed suicide by throwing himself into the company well.

Gooderham continued on, partnering with Worts' eldest son, and taking advantage of the good grain growing conditions in the area they built a distillery, which began operation in 1837.

Then in 1881 both Gooderham and the younger Worts died within a year of one another. The business was inherited by a son, George Gooderham.

In 1914 the distillery was almost ruined by prohibition, and by 1923 the operation was struggling. It was bought by Hiram Walker in 1927, giants in the world of distilling spirits.

Fast forward through time and a huge amount of change in Toronto, and after 153 years of continuing operation, the once successful business closed in the 1990s. The site was abandoned of residents however became the number one film location in Canada, used as a location for over 1700 films.

In 2001 the area was bought by Cityscape Holdings and the very ambitious project of restoring the more than 40 buildings on the site began.

distillery district christmas market

old building distillery district

christmas market at distillery district

christmas market distillery district

lowes christmas market toronto

lowes christmas market distillery district

In 2003 The Distillery District was opened to the public. It is now this unique place steeped in history and great for exploring, shopping and dining.

[The details in the above history were obtained at The Distillery's website here.]

decorations at christmas market

a at gingerbread house

red cloaks at christmas market

portuguese water dog in christmas coat

That is Coco, a Portuguese Water Dog. Thanks to the cute fellow with her, who let us have a good visit.

It is quite a beautiful site indeed, and the perfect setting for this old-fashioned style Christmas Market, organized by Lowe's Toronto. It was selected by Fodor's Travel Guides as 'one of the World's Best Holiday Markets'.

What fun it was to stroll around, people watching, delicious snack munching, and of course, it being a former distillery and all, cocktail enjoying.

I had never had mulled wine before and am seriously wondering why that is. The serving we had there was so delicious.

having mulled wine

ornaments at lowes christmas market

black chandelier

leaving the christmas market

The Lowe's Christmas Market is closing this Sunday, so if you want to go too, this weekend is the time to go. Get all the details about it on their site here. This seemed like a place mostly enjoyed by adults, and although there were some children there, it was not child-focused. It is on my 'highly recommended' fun things to do list and I plan to go back again next year!

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7 Responses to Fun at the Christmas Market in The Toronto Distillery District

  1. Julie says:

    Your photos are great! I went at night and it was so hard to get good photos, most of mine are a blur. Glad you had such a fun time!

  2. Emma says:

    Lovely photos – it reminds me of Manchester (and home!) I love the dog’s suit. I need to get my dogs special outfits, I think.

  3. Lauren says:

    Wow! The Distillery District has quite the history ! I enjoyed hearing. I’m also glad that after all the sad tales, it looks like things are thriving again. Sounds like you and Andrea had a fun time, what a lovely holiday market! :)

  4. That looks like a lot of fun and I loved reading about the history of the district! Happy Holidays!

  5. Hollie says:

    Such wonderful photos. It looks like a fun time. Great history write up too!

  6. Vix says:

    Loved the history of that part of Toronto! What a sweet market and two fabulously dressed friends (and a cute dog) taking it by storm. The Birmingham Frankfurt market is the largest outside of Germany and utterly heaving with bodies! x

  7. Annika says:

    Ah, there is nothing better than sipping on a mug of mulled wine on a cold, dark winter evening. We call it Glühwein in German, which means “glow wine”, and it does that to your cheeks. Especially when you ask for a shot of whiskey, rum or Amaretto in it! :) I’m glad you liked it!

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