April 17, 2003
by Canadian Architect
A national historic site in the east end of downtown Toronto where the Gooderham and Worts Distillery once operated has been transformed into a 350,000 visitor destination. The former Victorian distillery buildings now house galleries, theatres, restaurants, and artists’ studios over 13 acres of land that includes brick-paved courtyard and lanes. Modern design has been commissioned for buildings which once operated as a malt house, a cooperage, a grist mill and fermenting rooms. Heritage architects ERA Architects Inc., Shim-Sutcliffe, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, Zeidler Grinnell and Andrea Bruno are designers for some of the tenant spaces, while Architects Alliance has designed new housing for the site.
Buildings are being left in their original state with minimal interventions in conservation while accommodating the new use code requirements. Interior finishes and many of the industrial artifacts and machinery remain in place.