I love discovering hidden spaces in Toronto in my spare time. The Distillery District is one of my favourite places to explore. Walking around the nineteenth-century industrial buildings make you feel like you’re living in a different time.
During the summer months, the distillery brick streets and alleyways are packed with tourists and locals, but it’s quite a calm place on a warm April evening. The supersized works of arts that are dispersed around the distillery just add to the fun.
But the Distillery District has so much more to offer people who are committed to spending a bit of extra time exploring the buildings and alleyways. If you step inside the side entrance to Old Stone Distillery (the green door beside the number 36), you can find small historical exhibits and old pieces of machinery lining its five-story staircase. It could take more than 30 minutes to climb all the way to the top because of all the distractions in the staircase!
After leaving the Stone Distillery, go across the road to Case Goods Lane. Door No. 8 leads to the old Cannery. If you climb the stairs to the second floor, you will find a hallway packed with historic distillery pictures:
Right across Case Goods Lane from the Cannery is the Case Goods Warehouse (now known as the Artscape Distillery Studio). This building mainly hosts artists’ workshops and dance studios. A conveyor belt dating back to the 1920s runs from the ground floor to the second floor. As an added bonus, someone hung some paper cranes around the room!
I could mention so many more exhibits…but half the fun of the Distillery District is discovering these exhibits for yourself. Here’s a sneak preview of a couple of the things that can be found in other buildings: