The Distillery District is a commercial and residential district in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located east of downtown, it contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America.
In 2001, the site was purchased by Cityscape Holdings Inc., which transformed the district into a pedestrian-orientated area. Work was completed and the district reopened to the public by 2003. The new owners refused to lease any of the retail and restaurant space to chains or franchises, and accordingly, the majority of the buildings are occupied with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, jewellery stores, cafés, and coffeehouses, including a well-known microbrewery, the Mill Street Brewery.
The upper floors of a number of buildings have been leased to artists as studio spaces and to office tenants with a “creative focus”. A new theatre, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, has opened on the site and serves as the home of the Soulpepper Theatre Company and the George Brown Theatre School.
There are plans to develop residential condominiums, offices, and more retail space on the vacant lands that surround the district.
Recent New condominium developments are mainly located at the south-east corner of the neighbourhood, bordering on Cherry Street and Tank House Lane.
The Pan American Games’ Athletes’ Village was built in the area in 2015, in conjunction with an extension to the streetcar network constructed along Cherry Street. After the games, the athlete’s village was converted to townhouses, condos, affordable housing, and retail space.
The Distillery District can be reached via the Toronto Transit Commission’s 121 Fort York-Esplanade bus route, and since June 2016 the 514 Cherry streetcar line has its eastern terminus at the Distillery Loop to the east of the historic district, providing service along King Street through the downtown core as far west as Dufferin Gate Loop in Liberty Village.
The surrounding lands are animated with a mix of uses: residential areas at Parliament and Distillery and at the eastern end of Mill Street up to Cherry, restaurants along Trinity Street, Tank House Lane, Brewery Lane, and Case Goods Lane, and education uses at the eastern end of Tank House Lane
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