Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Distillery District

In 1831, the Gooderham and Worts Distillery was established in Toronto.



Throughout the 1800's, the company expanded. Quoting the history section of the Distillery District's website, "its numerous facilities included flour mills, a wharf, the distillery, storehouses, an ice house, a cooper shop and a dairy."



Gooderham and Worts continued manufacturing booze all the way through to 1990. When the company finally shut its doors, the premises were taken over by the movie industry as the second-largest English movie location outside of Hollywood. You've probably seen several movies set within these buidlings.



In 2001, the site was converted into a "pedestrian-only village entirely dedicated to arts, culture and entertainment." And expensive retail outlets. And swanky condos. Multi-story glass towers loom over the 19th-century warehouses.



Yuppies happily sip coffee on the cobbled patio outside the Brick Street Bakery. You can see another condo tower in the background.



Ken and I were there on Saturday, poking around in the fancy-shmancy boutiques. Our main motivation was the presence of Soma, a gourmet chocolate shop that makes all their own chocolate onsite. The magic happens behind a clear, plexi-glass wall so that we can all press our noses to the window and salivate while we watch the chocolatiers dip truffles in imported cocoa. They offer a dairy-free, dark chocolate gelato that's to die for, which is what we desired, but it was still too early in the season. Instead, they were still vending Mayan hot chocolate spiced with a hint of hot pepper.

Next time we're there, I'll get some shots inside Soma. Their chocolate-making apparatus is reminiscent of Willy Wonka's factory. You can bet we'll be back soon, to get our gelato!

17 comments:

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Chocolate!!! Chocolate!!! Chocolate!!! I want some Chocolate! OK, so I have an addiction. I so want to go there and see the Willy Wonka factory.

Nilsa S. said...

Forget that it's geared towards yuppies. That area is a very cute enclave in the middle of a big city. So cute! Also, so nice to be able to sit outside! Goodbye to winter!

unsigned said...

I want a golden ticket! Gimmie Choco!!!

Leighann said...

I love your posts that give us a little tour! AND.... you all have the BEST names for your businesses :p

whatigotsofar said...

Thank you very much for the idea. Mommy's birthday is next week and she loves chocolate. (Yeah, I know, what woman doesn't?)

jameil1922 said...

oooooooh adult beverages! (not that big a fan of chocolate)

Keera Ann Fox said...

All that brick is what tells me I'm in a foreign country - foreign to where I am now. What sets Bergen apart is all the wooden houses.

Kelly said...

Your photos really rock. What a crazy juxtaposition between those two buildings.

Hey, thanks for the positive vibes on my blog. I needed that today. You have a lifelong supporter and friend on the bloggy playground.

Thanks again!

1218Blog said...

Looks like a nice area. There are so many spots in my city that went from desolate, scary, will only be caught dead in neighborhoods to chic, yuppie, expensive trendy neighborhoods. I guess it is happening everywhere.

Jenski said...

Have you ever looked into working for the city of Toronto's tourism department or whatever they have that gets people to visit? Seriously. Or a tour guide? Or maybe that really is what you do. :) If you don't you are incredibly cool for knowing all this about where you live. I'm a little ashamed to say I could not give nearly as good of a representation of my city.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: Wait 'till I post photos. You'll froth at the mouth! If only I could make my posts scratch-n-sniff...

Nilsa: The whole district is just cute as a button. I have to admit to being a bit yuppie-ish myself (but don't tell my goth friends. They'd disown me!) ;-)

Unsigned: You don't even need a golden ticket. Just go during business hours and be willing to stand in line for 20 minutes with the rest of the ravening crowds.

Leighann: Yay! That's good, because I have a plan for a post that's just interesting signs and business names from all around the city. I'm waiting for the weather to get even nicer before I set out on that adventure.

Whatigotsofar: Perfect! You can't beat chocolates from Soma. They make Laura Secord seem like plastic by comparison.

Jameil: They also sell a lot of different kinds of fancy coffee. I'm sure you'd find something to love there. :-)

Keera: Please post some pictures of the wooden houses. They're rare here. Even the few wood-frame houses around are often covered in a fake brick-like "wallpaper", or vinyl siding.

Kelly: Thanks! And you're most welcome. :-)

1218blog: Cities are like living, breathing organisms. They grow and they mutate. I complain about the crowds, traffic, and pollution, but I don't think I could live anywhere other than a big, vibrant city.

R.E.H. said...

What a cool looking place, and fresh made chocolate - yummy!

I wonder if freshly made chocolate, still warm, is as satisfactory as freshly baked bread?

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hmmmmm... If they ever come up with scratch and sniff pictures on my computer monitor it will totally change the internet ;P

Nicole said...

Ohhhh, that looks like one awesome place to go and shoot.
Wonderful shots, now, if you could only get me some of that....uh....nevermind, too late ;)
Chocolate will do as well ;)

Sparkling Red said...

R.E.H.: They actually have signs up that their pre-packed chocolates should not be carried in your hand, because real chocolate melts at body temperature. They provide nifty little baskets for impulse shopping purposes.

Ron: I'd definitely want to restrict the scratch-n-sniff option. I love photos of dogs, but I could really live without the added reality of dog breath, for example. (We could go worse places... but I'll leave that to your imagination.)

Nicole: You would love it! Fabulous shots are everywhere, especially on a sunny day. Red bricks, green trim, and blue skies - every shot is beautiful!

PixieVonAzia said...

Those are awesome looking buildings. It looked like a nice day to be walking around :D

Sparkling Red said...

Pixie Von Azia: Oh it was, it was. I wish I were there right now!