2020 in the Distillery District started off brilliantly with Toronto Lightfest. However, the lights quickly dimmed as the COVID-19 Pandemic shut down businesses across the globe. Now as many parts of Canada begin to slowly re-open, the Distillery District has smashed together its Victorian Industrial heritage with gorgeous patios across all 13 acres.
There’s much more than just patios to enjoy too – many reopening businesses have brought along some interesting surprises. Read on to find out 5 great reasons to visit the Distillery District this Summer.
Enjoy a European Style Patio
The Distillery District was already an urban heavenscape of gorgeous patios – now the neighbourhood has been amped up to 11. Featuring the palm tree dotted oasis of Trinity Street, this area is spaced out perfectly for socially distanced hangouts. Grab a chilled drink and pastry from Arvo Coffee, Balzacs or Arena Coffee and enjoy this perfectly shaded escape from packed Toronto streets.
Awesome Local Businesses
Did you know there are dozens of local businesses in the Distillery District? From Sake to locally-crafted women’s fashion, there are lots of surprises to find while strolling through the area. Right now, a number of businesses have Summer deals that you can find here.
The neighbourhood is well known for its lack of chain stores, instead focusing on locally-owned Small Businesses. Each visit is an opportunity to discover handcrafted jewelry, artwork, candles and much more.
Incredible Restaurants and Cafes
We’re not quite sure it’s possible to eat your way through the Distillery District in one visit. In fact, we’re pretty certain that you should book at least a weekend to try. With so many unique and delicious options, we recommend a clear schedule and empty stomach.
Classics like Brick St. Bakery and Wildly Delicious (who also offer a huge line-up of their products in-store) are great spots if you want a quick bite that doesn’t skimp on quality. Both have a variety of hand-crafted, made to order sandwiches and bowl dishes to-go.
Looking for a seated meal? This Summer you won’t find a better option than the Catalan flavours of Madrina Bar and Tapas. Featuring a number of seafood (don’t miss the canned sardines!) plates and possibly the best Bone Marrow we’ve had, your Summer vibe will thank you for going Mediterranean.
Take a Private Tour
Since 2005, Go Tours Canada has been a mainstay of the Distillery District. Their Segway and Walking Tours have multiple awards and in 2019, they trained their 100,000th Segway rider. The fun and easy to learn Segway was recently discontinued but demand for Go Tours’ Segway experience has been high enough that they opened another Toronto location at Ontario Place in 2018.
BlogTO ranked them “One of Toronto’s Top Tours” and their Segway tours are constantly rated one of the top activities on Tripadvisor. During Pandemic regulations, they’re offering private tours. This is a great chance to take up to 8 bubble-buddies for a ride around the gorgeous Distillery. Along the way, one of Go Tours’ charming and knowledgeable guides will tell you some of the most exciting pieces of history from the neighborhood.
Get Soma Chocolate
Ranked one of the best Chocolatiers in the World, Soma Chocolate has been one of the Distillery District’s favourite tourist destinations for years. If you haven’t been yet, Summer 2020 is the perfect opportunity to try this award-winning chocolate.
With gelato, chocolate, Italian style cookies and dozens of other products on their shelves, Soma Chocolate is a must-visit. The moment you open the door, a wall of mouth-watering aromas light up your senses. Seriously, your mouth will water. Definitely budget a few extra dollars for this stop in the neighbourhood, you won’t regret it.