The Gooderham and Worts Distillery was founded in 1832, and by the late 1860s was the largest distillery in the world. Once providing over 2 million US gallons (7,600,000 L) of whisky, mostly for export on the world market, the company was bought out in later years by rival Hiram Walker Co., another large Canadian distiller.
The Distillery District is a National Historic Site, and has been designated for protection under the Ontario Heritage Act since 1976.
Many interesting features can be found on-site and are readily available to the general public but, on occasions such as Door Open Toronto, we get a glimpse of what once was the original distillery district. Of these rarely seen areas, we have the Rack House D and the Malt Kilns Building and Tunnel.
Rack House D is the largest Victorian rack house (barrel storage building) at the Distillery District. Designed by David Roberts Junior and opened in 1890, the six-storey red brick building is located at the northeast corner of Mill and Trinity Streets. The exterior is massive and simple, composed of a series of brick piers and recessed brick panels, capped by an arcade in a dropped corbel pattern unique to the buildings on this site. The wood-framed, double-hung windows on the east and west facades bear green-painted galvanized-metal shutters. The interior consists of a six-level, heavy-timber rack frame that was capable of storing 15,000 barrels and supports the shallow-pitched roof. There are no interior walls. The central racking system is encircled by perimeter walkways at each level, with additional walkways between the racks. The lack of windows on two walls creates a dim atmosphere. A freight elevator, hand winch, and barrel hoist are among the industrial artifacts in situ.
Malt Kilns Building and Tunnel: Designed by David Roberts Senior, Gooderham & Worts' 1863 - 64 Malt Kilns building is intimately related in form and function to the adjoining Malt House. Originally three storeys high, the roof of the Kilns Building was raised and other changes made between 1877 and 1884. Today, the Kilns Building is a four-and-a half storey, hipped-roof, lantern-topped, red-brick box set on a rusticated limestone base. The function of the elaborately detailed square lantern appears to have been decorative. The basement of the building offers a glimpse at a late-nineteenth century kiln furnace and an intriguing barrel-vaulted corridor. The decoratively functional brick kiln furnace contains two fire boxes manufactured by Fred W. Wolf of Chicago and was used to heat the "green malt" (germinated barley) essential to making alcohol from grain.
1979's The Black Stallion (film)
These stone distilleries were shown in the 1979 film, The Black Stallion...Here is a photo link from the film http://torontoist.com/2011/01/reel_toronto_the_black_stallion/