Wandering Toronto’s Distillery District

Last updated on December 15th, 2020

I fall in love with Toronto’s Distillery District the moment I spot it a few blocks ahead through the bus window.

My new love doesn’t disappoint. We are greeted by interesting restored buildings – the remains of a Victorian industrial site –   that retain many industrial features even as they are repurposed into galleries, shops, and restaurants.

And they make for great gallery space, as we discover almost immediately when stumble upon an opening reception at artagallery. First cousins Ron Gordon, Steve Gordon, Maurice Kahn are showing their work here. I am particularly partial to the luminous photographs from Africa, where Ron and Steve were raised. As we wander through the gallery, Ron tells us some of the stories behind his photos. It is a treat to be a part of all of this, if only briefly.

Back outside, the area is framed by architecturally interesting brick and stone buildings that glow warmly in the late sun, the streets and plazas overflowing with flowers and art. It is ideal for wandering.


It is also ideal for shopping and eating, so we spend some time doing those things, including a chocolate stop at Soma, dinner on the patio at Archeo, and then back to Soma for gelato and sorbetto.

(I love being able to see into part of the kitchen through an open window at Archeo, getting the occasional glimpse of the work within. I especially enjoy it because I’m sure it would be illegal to have an open kitchen window in the US, making the sight a bit of guilty pleasure!)

There is only a little more time to wander before dark falls and an early bedtime (we must catch a very early flight the next morning) calls us home.

But it’s enough time to assure me that this is where I would live in Toronto.



Exploring Toronto’s Distillery District

Toronto 2013 Travel Diary

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