About Distillery District
The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was once the largest distillery in the world and largest corporate tax payer in Canada. Today, the Distillery District, or “Hollywood North”, serves as a popular attraction for tourists and Torontonians. The once whisky-producing distillery building is now home to specialty shops, small businesses, gourmet cafes, galleries, artisan’s workshops, popular restaurants, and has housed the acts of many well-heeled performers – Diane Keaton, Al Pacino, Halle Berry, and Liam Neeson..to name a few.
In fact, you just may have seen the Distillery District in many of your favourite movies. That Victorian-era scene in London where the fog lifted to reveal pick-pocketers and well-dressed walkers? Hate to break it to you, but it’s likely that wasn’t really London (ahem, or the Victorian-era *sorry) and was in fact Toronto’s very-own, very Canadian, Distillery District. The area has masqueraded as Antebellum Virginia, Prohibition-era Chicago, Victorian-era London, Jazz-era Harlem, Depression-era New York, turn-of-the-century PEI, post-war Montreal, and many (many) more scenes. If we want to be specific, the Distillery District has played backdrop to over 800 films since 1990.
Beyond the curtain-call there are countless benefits to living in the distillery district area.As home to the largest, and best preserved, collection of Victorian Era industrial architecture in North America it is a display of old-world charm and beauty at each turn. It’s distinct location – behind wrought-iron gates, just shy of city sky scrapers – hides residents from the everyday ‘hustle’ of modern city living. Likewise, condo life is beautifully balanced by the traditional, minimalist, brick stone of the area.
On any given day coffee-cup holding couples, quietly strolling families, tourists, arts & culture focused businesses, date-night seekers, photographers, and fashionistas, seek refuge in the calm and quaint that can be found in the area. Greeted by cobblestone walkways, european-style shopping and patios, art installations, sculptures (and the odd festival) and it’s no wonder why.
The Distillery District is truly a feather in Toronto’s real estate cap! And, although we can’t guarantee celebrity sightings we can assure you this neighbourhood is a star.
Your Typical Neighbour
An eclectic mix of professionals working downtown, students renting places close to George Brown College, and downsizers who appreciate the arts, culture and cleanliness of the District.
What I Love
This neighbourhood takes the idea of a “staycation” to a whole new level. The year round offerings are padded with frequent seasonal festivals and events (the Christmas Market is our personal fave). Also, preparations for the upcoming Pan Am Games are significantly improving public transportation options.
There aren’t a whole lot of options in the immediate neighbourhood, though a relatively short walk away both public and separate options do exist.
Buses on Parliament and Front, as well as streetcar options on both King and Queen are all fairly close to your door. The Pan Am games are helping the cause here as well, with the looming Cherry Street and Lakeshore LRT’s promising more convenient connections into the downtown. If you’re driving, access to the Gardiner, DVP, Lake Shore and Bayview extension couldn’t be much easier.
The Real Estate Scoop
Condos are literally the option in the Distillery District, and in the context of downtown Toronto, there really aren’t that many around. That said, with the Pan Am games looming there has been massive development in the adjacent West Donlands, initially aimed at housing the athletes’ village. These buildings will inevitably become home to many who couldn’t wait for the right Distillery opportunity to pop up.
The award winning Don River Park (currently under development) will be a welcome addition to the area, something investors should keep in mind. Part of the expansive West Donlands development, the 18 acre park will open up public space very close to the Distillery - a big plus for condo owners.