Why tour the Distillery District with Sally Gibson?

Toronto's Distillery District is steeped in history and nobody knows it better than Sally Gibson. As Manager of Heritage Services for the Distillery District, Gibson has written numerous articles and a beautiful book about the people, events, buildings, and distilling technologies that distinguish this National Historic Siite. Much of this history has never before been revealed. Some deals with "ordinary" workers. Some with spectacular events. And some with Toronto's most distinguished architects and businessmen.

Gibson works all of this into her tours by direct commentary and happily answering questions. She also gears each tour to the background of participants, whether school children, out-of-town tourists, local history buffs, conference attendees, or just ordinary folks."Sally Gibson is one of Toronto's hidden treasures," former Mayor David Crombie told one tour for built-heritage enthusiasts.

Why tour the Distillery District?

Not only is today's Distillery District a vibrant arts and entertainment district, but it also embraces the Gooderham & Worts National Historic Site containing over 40 Victorian buildings that document Canada's architectural, industrial and social history. There is no place like it anywhere. And it is definitely worth visiting year-round ... in spring, summer, winter or fall.

Between the 1830s and 1890s, the firm of Gooderham & Worts grew from a small windmill in the wilderness to the largest distillery in the Britsh Empire and, for a time, in the world. The twentieth century brought war, prohibition, globalization, decline, and rebirth as you wll experience during the tour. The tour emphasizes the distillery's Victorian heyday, but notes other themes as appropriate.

Start your visit to the Distillery District with a Gibson Tour. Then, fortified with a sense of distillery history, explore the site at your own pace, inspecting buildings more closely, visiting specialty shops and art galleries, enjoying a drink or a meal, or simply soaking up the atmosphere.


Winter stone distillery



Each tour must be pre-booked for a specific time and costs $50.00 Cdn per person, with a minimum of either 10 people or $500. Payment is due upon confirmation of the booking. Payment may be made by cash, cheque, or PayPal account that accepts credit cards.

To set the scene, listen to a June 2008 interview between CBC's popular morning radio host Andy Barrie and Sally Gibson about her Distillery District book and to a September 2008 interview with Fresh Air about the Distillery District..

To book a tour or find out more information, please contact Sally Gibson with this contact form. To pay for your tour via PayPal, please fill out this PayPal form. An email will be sent to you, confirming your reservation when payment has been received.

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