Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Distillery District

Today turned out to be a beautiful day and I spent some time in the City this evening with some friends in the Distillery District and ate a wonderful meal on the patio at The Boiler House.

The Distillery District is a National Historic Site with an incredible rich history. The site was once The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, and represents the largest and best preserved collection of Victorian Industrial Architecture in North America. The Distillery is now a small district that houses interesting boutiques, chic restaurants and is juxtaposed with modern condos popping up everywhere.

In 1886, the chimney of The Boiler House dominated the young Toronto skyline. It reminded everyone for miles around of the tremendous industry that was The Gooderham and Worts Distillery, at the time the largest in the world. Today, like the buildings themselves, the 156-foot chimney is completely refurbished. It's an architectural gem that every night is lit by its spotlight, announcing to all that this is still the source of The Distillery's energy ... albeit now, the people kind!

In 2003 the building was transformed into an award-winning restaurant by architects Mackay Wong. They retained all the major structural elements and used only recycled and historically appropriate materials to complete it. For example, the 22 foot high bar is made from 115 year old fir, recycled on site.

The successful conversion of the Boiler House from power plant, to award-winning restaurant, has been noted and praised by both architectural and food critics.


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