Friday, May 15, 2020

Distillery District Toronto

Photos taken in October 2017

The Distillery District in Toronto is an amazing restoration & reuse of Victorian industrial buildings.  There are restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery. The district covers 13 acres with 36 Victorian buildings on 10 mostly pedestrian streets.  It is the largest collection of Victorian industrial architecture in North America. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988. It had been protected under the Ontario Heritage Act since 1976. Two high-rise condominium buildings were built at the edge of the district & cleverly incorporated into Victorian buildings in the late 1990s.  The Distillery District has been used as a location for over 800 film & TV productions. 

After years of decline, the distillery closed in 1990.  In 2001, the site was purchased & developed into the pedestrian-orientated area that now exists, opening in 2003. Buildings are occupied by shops, art galleries, restaurants, coffee houses, a brewery & a performing arts center. The upper floors of a number of buildings are leased to artists as studio spaces & to office tenants with a creative focus. Condominiums, office & retail space has been developed on nearby vacant land.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Riverdale Farm Toronto

Photos taken in October 2017

Riverdale Farm is at the east edge of Cabbagetown in Riverdale Park West. It's certainly worth a visit when you are touring charming Cabbagetown, particularly if you like animals. It contains heritage breeds of farm animals: cows, horses, sheep, goats & poultry.  Riverdale Farm covers 7.5 acres with several buildings & paddocks. There are also flower, vegetable & herb gardens. Riverdale Farm opened in 1978. The City of Toronto purchased the land that became Riverdale Park in 1856. Riverdale Zoo opened in 1894 on the site of Riverdale Farm & closed in 1974. The animals moved to the new Toronto Zoo. From 1974 to 1978, many of the Riverdale Zoo buildings were removed.

The larger barn (the Francey barn) was built in 1858 on a farm about 30 km away. It was donated to the City of Toronto in 1977 & rebuilt at Riverdale Farm. It has 2 levels. There is also a smaller pig & poultry barn. Both barns are located near the Simpson House at the entrance to Riverdale Farm. The Simpson House was built on site & designed to represent the 1850s Francy farmhouse where the Francey barn first existed. The Meeting House was built in 1993 by the duck pond. Activities are offered to the public inside & it includes a lost & found, first aid & restrooms. There are also 2 smaller houses built on the property in the early 20th century & used for various purposes.