Toronto: Distillery District

Distillery District, Toronto
Distillery District, Toronto

On the Sunday of our recent stay in Toronto we took the subway to Union Station and walked east to the Distillery District. On the way we passed this clever mural on the Flatiron Building. Some of the windows are real!

The Distillery District, formerly the home of Gooderham and Worts, is the most intact Victorian era industrial site in North America, though the distillery itself closed in 1990. Since 2003, the area has housed arts and crafts, live performance, and bars and restaurants. We enjoyed just wandering around.

When it came to lunchtime, we stepped into Cluny Bistro expecting the stripped back decor of an ex-industrial building and were amazed to find decorated ceilings and chandeliers. It was also very busy – obviously a go-to place for Sunday lunch. We couldn’t get a table in the restaurant, but got a seat in the bar. We liked it so much that we booked a table for the last night of our stay. (The picture with John is brunch – and that’s fruit juice in the glass, by the way – the others show the restaurant at night.)

In the afternoon, we decided to walk back to our accommodation instead of going back to the Subway. We passed Old City Hall:

Old City Hall, Toronto
Old City Hall, Toronto

Toronto Sculpture Garden:

Toronto Sculpture Garden
Toronto Sculpture Garden

And the Cathedral Church of St James:

Just outside St James, we liked this monument to a Scot, Robert Gourlay. Sounds like a fine fellow!

Our last stop before home was Allan Gardens with its six greenhouses. Beautiful!

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57 thoughts on “Toronto: Distillery District

  1. Heyjude May 2, 2016 / 13:42

    We spent a few days in Toronto in 2005 but didn’t visit the Distillery Historic District so I have really enjoyed this post. I did visit the Allan Gardens though as they were quite close to where we stayed. And Cabbagetown which I really must write about. How long were you there for?

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2016 / 19:25

      We were there a week, so more to come when I find time for blogging. Didn’t get to Cabbagetown so that would be interesting to read about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Heyjude May 2, 2016 / 20:16

        I have been meaning to write it up for years, have to see what quality the photos are now.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzanne et Pierre May 2, 2016 / 14:41

    The Distillery District was a favourite of ours when we lived in Toronto. It was close to where we used to live so we would often have it as a destination for our walks. We have lots of pictures of the area and maybe I should post some on our own blog. Nice collection of images of Toronto…(Suzanne)

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2016 / 19:33

      Yes, I’d like to see more of it from another person’s point of view. Lovely place to live near.

      Like

      • Suzanne et Pierre May 2, 2016 / 20:06

        Well, we were on the other side of the bridge (over the Don River) in Leslieville so it wasn’t so near but we are good walker so didn’t mind going on foot. I will pull together some photos we took over the years and post them soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Blue Sky Scotland May 2, 2016 / 15:52

    Enjoyed your Toronto photos and descriptions. I like seeing old buildings and the art work of other cities. Really like the period architecture of Old City Hall.

    Like

  4. Amy Parmeter May 2, 2016 / 15:56

    You’ve captured so many great places! Being a hockey nut, I spent my one Toronto day at the Hockey Hall of Fame and Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant – thanks for showing me there’s much more I need to go back and see!

    Like

      • Amy Parmeter May 2, 2016 / 20:07

        Actually the building is quite impressive! I believe it’s a former bank and it has a stunning stained glass ceiling over the room that houses the coveted Stanley Cup – a suitable setting for those of us who do worship hockey!

        Like

  5. Retirementallychallenged.com May 2, 2016 / 16:11

    I will definitely put the Distillery District on our list of places to see when we are in Toronto! And, we’ll check out Cluny Bistro. Thanks for the tour!

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  6. VioletSky May 2, 2016 / 17:11

    I’m glad you enjoyed the Distillery. For many of us who live here, it has a delightfully faint whiff of Europeanness in the city.
    How was Cluny for dinner? I’ve been there for lunch and loved it, but dinner was, well, not so enjoyable.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2016 / 19:27

      I think we enjoyed lunch better too. Can’t put my finger on why, the food was fine – maybe just the atmosphere in the bar was more cosy.

      Like

  7. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy May 2, 2016 / 18:56

    I’ve never even heard of the Distillery District – I think it is officially on the list of places to visit when I get Paul up there for a Toronto trip!

    Like

  8. Peta Kaplan May 2, 2016 / 19:19

    This is a first for me and quite an eye opener reading about the Distillery district in Toronto. It looks super interesting thank you. Next time we are in Totontk visiting family we will have to check it out!

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 2, 2016 / 19:30

      Glad to tell you about something you didn’t know! Thanks for visiting.

      Like

  9. Lynne Rickards May 2, 2016 / 20:50

    I’ve never been to the Distillery District as I moved from Toronto to Glasgow in 1992, just as they were converting all those buildings. I wish I’d thought to visit last time I was there! Lots of your other photos looked very familiar, though I don’t know Allan Gardens. Looks like it can compete with our own Botanics! Looking forward to your next instalment…

    Like

  10. anotherday2paradise May 3, 2016 / 02:38

    Thanks for the wonderful tour, Anabel. The Old City Hall is such an amazing building. Love all your nature photos too.:)

    Like

  11. RuthsArc May 3, 2016 / 05:54

    Thanks for sharing this delightful and varied stroll.

    Like

  12. findingnyc May 3, 2016 / 17:10

    Toronto is on my list of places I want to visit. It looks wonderful! I especially love all of the public art.

    Like

  13. Birgit May 4, 2016 / 04:43

    There are a couple of places I have not been to….hahahaaa typical in some ways since it is so close to me. You took some great pictures

    Like

  14. Lori L MacLaughlin May 4, 2016 / 16:07

    Lovely buildings and flowers! I always enjoy looking at your photos. I’ve never been to Toronto. The CN tower in your previous post looks incredibly tall. Do you know how high it is?

    Like

  15. Alex Hurst May 5, 2016 / 22:23

    I’ve never seen such pretty pictures out of Toronto! You actually make me want to visit it! 😀 That mural and all the brick and copper are really pretty.

    Like

  16. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor May 7, 2016 / 14:11

    I haven’t been to Toronto in years. I’d love to get back there one day. So many things that I haven’t seen before!

    Like

  17. Beth Walsh's Photoblog May 10, 2016 / 03:54

    I love the mural. You captured some great street art during your visit. Next time I visit Toronto i will definitely check out the Distillery District and Allan Gardens. Couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t get too much sunshine. Next time come visit Ottawa and I will order a few sunny days! 🙂

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 10, 2016 / 07:41

      You have that power?! It was a strange week – the first day when we went to the islands was sunny but 0C, it snowed on the second day and by the end of the week it was sunny and quite warm (15C).

      Like

      • Beth Walsh's Photoblog May 10, 2016 / 21:28

        You’ll have to come visit to see if I have the power. This spring the weather has been all over the place but mostly cool. The flowers and leaves are a little behind. I’m just glad it stopped snowing. Glad to hear you did get some sun. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Liesbet May 10, 2016 / 11:19

    You surely leave no stone unturned, or better, no area unwalked when you visit a place, Anabel! I really liked that first mural with the windows. Clever and original indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. lisadorenfest May 14, 2016 / 07:57

    Oh how I love Toronto. Had not seen the Flatiron Building Mural…it went up since my last visit…which says I have been away too long.

    Like

  20. jazzfeathers May 23, 2016 / 08:11

    WOW! That Distillery Distric looks so amazing!
    I thhink I like this part of Toronto better than the part in the previous post 🙂

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh May 23, 2016 / 08:41

      It’s interesting in a different way. I think I preferred the island though.

      Like

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