In the heart of Toronto, old-world charm and modern vibrance come together in one of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods.
The Distillery District’s heritage buildings harken back to its history, while its contemporary local businesses create a lively atmosphere.
Could this central Toronto community be right for you?
The Distillery District has a rich history stretching back to 1832. It was once known as the site of the world's largest distillery—Goodenham and Worts. It was eventually revitalized in the 1990s, and preservation efforts were key.
Today, cobblestone streets and heritage buildings make for one of the most picturesque places in the city. Of course, the Distillery District is far from stuck in the past. On any given day, you'll see both residents and tourists sipping cappuccinos or cocktails, frequenting local boutiques, and enjoying the sights and sounds of this incredibly unique community. Here are a few reasons it's beloved.
• Historical Character - Gorgeous Victorian architecture abounds
• Central Locale - Just east of downtown, the area is ideally situated
• Charming Amenities - Enjoy must-visit boutiques, eateries, and galleries
• Modern Homes - Here, you'll find contemporary condo buildings
• Buzz-worthy Events - Beloved festivals and a magical Christmas Market
Though the Distillery District is one of the city's most well-known neighbourhoods, it's relatively small. There are only a handful of condo buildings here, and they have a modern vibe that contrasts beautifully with the area's heritage feel.
One of the area's most popular places is No. 31 Condos, a 41-storey tower on Parliament Street. Made of red brick and glass, it pays homage to both the past and the future. It also boasts upscale amenities, like a seamless-edge pool. While this is one of only a few condo buildings in the immediate area, there are many others on the neighbourhood's borders, in communities like Corktown.
Thanks to the Distillery District's convenient location, trendy amenities, and picturesque setting, condos here are highly sought-after. There's no shortage of potential tenants who want to call the area home.
Demand for rentals in the Distillery District make it a great place to invest. While there are only a few buildings here, they contain many units of varying sizes, from cozy to spacious.
Living in the Distillery District means having quick access to a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and food markets. From unique local businesses in the neighbourhood to the food stalls and vendors in nearby St. Lawrence Market, there's no shortage of local amenities.
Where to eat in the Distillery District
Does your perfect day include a long, leisurely, and all-around delicious meal? If so, you'll love savouring the cuisine whipped up in the Distillery District. Here are a few top-notch restaurants in the area.
• El Catrin - This Mexican staple is known for its fresh and flavourful tacos and extensive tequila selection.
• Madrina - From patatas bravas to chicken lettuce wraps, the Spanish tapas here are something special.
• Cluny - This bistro serves up French-inspired dishes like confit duck leg and twice-baked soufflé.
• Balzac's - Perfectly-roasted coffee beans, fresh pastries, and a spectacular Victorian interior make this local coffee shop a favourite.
What to do in the Distillery District
Exploring the Distillery District's many shops is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. If you're looking for a unique gift, start your search at Blackbird Vintage Finds. From old typewriters to antique kitchenware, you'll find an abundance of one-of-a-kind items. Hoi Bo is your local go-to for sustainable women's fashion, while IZUMI Sake Brewery and Spirit of York are perfect for those who like everything in their liquor cabinet to be finely crafted.
The Distillery District is also well known for its local festivals and events. Check out the Sunday Market for artisanal foods, or the Toronto Light Festival to see the works of local and international light artists.
It's also the site of the much-loved Toronto Christmas Market. Buy gifts from local artisans, savour hot drinks and satisfying snacks, check out the live entertainment, and take in the massive tree and twinkly lights!
If you're an art lover, you don't have to wait for a festival to roll around to see some beautiful or thought-provoking pieces. Check out Arta Gallery for ever-changing contemporary exhibitions and Corkin Gallery for abstract pieces and photography. Meanwhile, Thompson Landry provides a special focus on Quebec artists.
Where is the Distillery District?
The borders of this central neighbourhood are Parliament Street (west), Cherry Street (east), Mill Street (north), and the condos on Distillery Lane (south). Trinity Street, which traverses the area, is frequently used to host markets and other events.
Who lives here
Its condo buildings, location, and amenities make the Distillery District the perfect place to live, work, and play. For this reason, it tends to attract young professionals—and downsizers who enjoy being close to the action!
Thanks to local bus stops and Distillery Loop (where the 504 streetcar route ends), the neighbourhood is well-served by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Once you're in the area, it's both pedestrian and bike-friendly.