Once: a distillery of alcohol for Canada.
Now: a meeting place for the people and visitors of Toronto to enjoy.
It was the friendly Toronto locals we met that recommended visiting the Distillery District – you don’t have to tell us the same thing more than four times for us to listen.
Toronto’s Distillery District is a short 30 minute walk from Downtown. When you get there you’ll know it. The streets are paved in red bricks, as are the buildings. Green renovated beams energize the look of the area, as does the abundance of string lights and the way natural sunlight shines on the pedestrian-only walkways.
We may have visited at just the right time, on a lovely spring day (“The first true spring day in Toronto” as the frustrated locals kept yelling at us) but I think the surroundings were also the cause of such a fun experience.
People want to hang out in places that hold rich of history. Knowing that, on any given day in the 1840, life was lived through the crooks and crannies of those same Industrial Architecture is, well, super cool. I like to imagine the lunch conversation of two distillery workers, “Hey, I rode my horse to work today. He’s parked out the back, you need a ride home?”
Restoring old treasures to make them functional and interesting for the modern age is the absolute best way to preserve a city’s history and uniqueness. The Distillery District now houses shops, art galleries, performance theatres, restaurants and cafes. Best of all, it provides space for people to come together an enjoy each other’s company with a beautiful backdrop.
We spent an incredible night having Mexican food at El Catrin Restaurant with friends. The plates are small but delicious; it’s all about tapas style ordering. You must demand the guacamole for your table before you even order drinks. Don’t be afraid to dance wildly to the music, they play it loud for a reason. Their heated outdoor space is exquisite and the atmosphere is to drink for.
You’ll love it!
El Catrin Restaurant
18 Tank House Ln, Toronto, ON M5A 3C4, Canada