Self-contained, master-planned communities are hard to come by, which likely accounts for the desirability of Toronto condos for sale here. Then factor in its intimate size (13 acres), its focus on pedestrians, and its artsy vibe, and the Distillery truly becomes one of a kind.
Situated within the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery, the Distillery District comprises the largest collection of Victorian industrial architecture in all of North America. The whiskey distillery was named for James Woorts and William Gooderham, business partners and brothers-in-law. Unfortunately James Woorts died only two years into his foray into the distilling business, leaving Gooderham to continue on alone. Nevertheless, by the 1860s Gooderham and Worts has become the largest distillery in the world.
Much of the existing architecture was built between 1859 and 1927, and is currently protected by the Distillery District’s status as a National Historic Site of Canada. On top of this designation, the neighbourhood is in good hands thanks to its owner, Cityscape Holdings Inc., who won’t stand for chains or franchises. Moreover, the decision to keep the Distillery’s streets car free was also made by Cityscape. In addition the neighbourhood boats plenty of public seating and street art, proving its allegiance to pedestrians and cyclists, rather than cars.
While condos for sale in the Distillery District are desirable for Torontonians, tourists also can’t seem to stay away from this highly instagrammable neighbourhood. Between the love locks and cobblestone streets, the neighbourhood makes the perfect backdrop for photos and videos. In fact, movies are filmed here on the regular, plus The Distillery has become a popular destination for wedding and engagement shoots as well.
The Distillery District has transformed considerably since its days as an industrial site where whiskey was once brewed. Buildings in the area became disused following the deindustrialization of downtown Toronto, a time when much of the surrounding buildings were demolished altogether. Thankfully the city saw the value in preserving the distillery’s industrial architecture, and developers quickly understood that homeowners would be just as interested in the area as tourists.
With no detached, single-family homes whatsoever, the neighbourhood tends to cater to single buyers or young couples. Condos for sale in the Distillery District are distributed throughout just six buildings, meaning interested prospective buyers need to keep a close eye on the market.
Fortunately, though, the condos in the Distillery are quite sizeable: The Pure Spirit Lofts contains 380 units; 344 homes can be found within the Clear Spirit Condos; and The Gooderham is divided into 328 suites. Condos in most of these buildings range from around 400 to 1,500 square feet, with the largest units in the neighbourhood found in 80 Mill Street.
Drivers will want to opt for condos for sale in the Distillery District with parking spaces, as street parking is hard to come by – and completely nonexistent south of Mill Street. With both the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway around the corner, though, it does pay to have a car when living in this neighbourhood.
Those without cars, on the other hand, can walk to the west end of the neighbourhood in order to reach the For York-Esplanade bus, or up to Queen Street to catch the Queen streetcar. The former carries passengers west along the Esplanade and Front Street West toward Exhibition Place, while the latter moves east toward the Beaches and west into the downtown core.
Last but not least, a selling point for condos for sale in the Distillery District is the neighbourhood’s proximity to the Martin Goodman Trail. Again catering only to pedestrians and cyclists, this path covers 56 kilometres of Toronto’s waterfront.
The Locals: History buffs and architecture nerds.
Code of Conduct: Longtime residents of the Distillery District know just when and how to avoid the crowds.
What You’ll Find: An important piece of Toronto’s industrial history.
What You Won’t Find: Franchises and chains.
The Homes: Exclusively condos.
Sealing the Deal: The picturesque cobblestone streets.