Distillery District, Toronto

Bagpipe player performs for a wedding party. © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

If you have never been to the Distillery District in Toronto, you should check it out. It has a vintage feel with the old brick buildings and brick roads. There are cafes, restaurants, galleries, studios, theatres, and shops. What makes it unique is the kinds of things you’ll find there that aren’t in the big box stores or malls. While I visit The Distillery District‘s website to look up the retail directory, it wouldn’t upload.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011Instead, I go to the Visit Us & Map page to find the locations of everything includ-ing the one fabulous store that I like called Bergo Designs. It’s everything you want for your home but can’t afford. There’s that one child’s chair that I want to buy for my one-year-old nephew because it’s looks so comfy but it’s $700. “Really?” you say with the word a little more drawn out. As a matter of fact, I would buy it if I’m rich. That chair is too cute.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

They also have those fantastic vases that look like art work. I happen to find a sample online (click here to view) but it doesn’t even compare to what you’ll see at the store. I couldn’t see it online, but there is a knife holder made of wood and is in the shape of a person. Put your knives through and the poor person looks like it’s being stabbed. Great for those who have been broken hearted or backstabbed before. You can use it to vent like you would with a voodoo doll. I love this store. Makes everyday things look better and it will definitely make your home delicious and inviting.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Another great place to visit is Soma chocolate-maker. It’s a chocolate bar, factory, and boutique. You can see them make their chocolates truffles, Italian cookies and specialty drinks. I have never been to this store until my photography class make a trip to the Distillery District. The teacher insists on trying THE Mayan Spicy Hot Chocolate. Don’t be disappointed with it’s size. Yes, it’s small and a bit pricey. You must drink it slowly to fully appreciate the taste. I’m not one for spicy things, but I manage this one and like it.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

If you are an artist or just like visually appealing things, there are plenty of galleries to see. Art is even dis-played in various stores. You may not be interested in furniture, but these stores will also display works of art. Should you be an artist yourself, there are studios as well as Pikto if you want to make your own prints for photography. They even make photobooks. I have heard mixed reviews about the place. If you are patient and willing, then do it. Check out their samples first. In general, the books are decent, but I do not like the binding. I personally don’t like it because of the visible holes. It may seem they have used string to keep the pages together which is fine but open the book enough times and that is an opportunity to wear down the pages.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

The Mill Street Brew Pub is an interesting place. During my photography class’ excursion, we decide to eat here for lunch. Listed on the menu is a lobster grilled cheese. I like lobster. I like grilled cheese. Why not try this? It is definitely delicious and filling. I totally recommend it. The restaurant itself is open concept with skylights to allow natural light to come through. You will be able to see the kegs and machines that make the beer. They have won four gold awards in 2010 from Ontario Brewing Awards. There are currently twelve individually crafted beers, one of which is called Original Organic Lager – all ingredients are organic. You may ask for samplers and they’ll come out with five samples of your choice. It officially opened in December 2002.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

In 1831, James Worts emigrates to Canada from England and opens up a mill. A year later, his brother in law, William Gooderham, joins him as the main investor and form the Gooderham and Worts partnership. Between 1830’s to 1890’s, the business grew from a small windmill to the largest distillery “in the British Empire and, for a time, in the world……In 1987, Hiram Walker-Gooderham and Worts was acquired by Allied Vintners and three years later, on June 4, 1990, the last alcohol flowed from Gooderham and Worts. 158 years of industrial activity on the site was ended.” (www.distilleryheritage.com) In 2001, Cityscape Holdings Inc. purchase the Distillery and restore the place with Dundee Realty Corporation.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

While there you will see a few sculptures outside. Seen here is Michael Christian’s Koilos. As the Oakland artist describes it, “It’s practically a paradox. It wants to jump but also wants to relax at the same time. It wants to contem-plate, but also wants to play.” Christian also has another sculp-ture on site that you can’t miss. IT is an alien like structure with three legs and an eye. Very War of the Worlds like.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


Claude Millette’s Passerelle et Portance sculpture looks like two bridges. Born in 1957 in St. Hyacinth, he now lives in Saint-Bernard-de-Michaudville. Installed in 2006, my friends and I take advantage of the sculpture and pose while we ask a random guy to take our photo. Good job random guy. You followed my instructions.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

As my friends and I spend the day here, we notice plenty of weddings parties around us. There are at least four. The most interest-ing is this Indian wedding party where the colours are vibrant and the bride is beautiful. Like many public places, you would need a permit to do professional photography including wed-dings. You can book this venue for events also. I believe Fashion Cares was once held here back in 2007. It was not a success because stiletto heels did not agree with brick roads and the weather was not co-operating. I think that Kelly Rowland also performed at the same event. The tickets alone were $1000 each and many people left early. I found out recently after the premier of Real Steel at the Scotiabank theatre, the cast celebrated at the Distillery District.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Fini © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Excellent post. Some good points you mention in there.


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