Toronto’s Historic Distillery District is Finally Getting a Hotel
Toronto’s historic Distillery District is finally getting a full-service hotel — a project that’s likely been a long time coming.
The hotel will rise 31-storeys above the last remaining heritage building left to be restored and integrated into the district, which is located at 60 Mill Street on the edge of the iconic tourist destination.
Easton’s Group of Hotels — a renowned leader in Canada’s hospitality industry that’s part of The Gupta Group — announced it will build the project, which will mark the first Curio by Hilton hotel in Canada once it’s completed.
The full-service hotel will preserve the heritage building’s exterior that will encompass the building’s lower three floors. Spanning 288,000 square feet, the hotel will feature 392 guest rooms, along with first-class amenities including a rooftop bar and restaurant.
The hotel will also accommodate a world-class spa and gym, the main floor lobby, lounge, and restaurant, ballrooms and conference spaces located within the heritage building volume, five levels of underground parking, as well as an “innovative loading dock” intended to reduce community disruption and traffic.
The project will be overseen by a talented team of architects and designers that includes IBI Architects, ERA Heritage Architects, and Studio Munge, who will ensure the project pays homage to the building’s rich history.
“Working with an immensely talented team of architects and designers, Easton’s Group of Hotels will restore this historic building and transform it into a cherished landmark, celebrating its prolific history while leaving a legacy for decades to come,” said Dr. Steve Gupta, Founder and Chairman of The Gupta Group.
Originally built in 1890, the building — known as the historic Rack House D — once contained as many as 15,000 barrels of alcohol as part of the liquor manufacturing operations of the Distillery District until its closure in 1990.
According to the Easton Group, part of the reason this building has yet to be restored or used in over 30 years is that the original architecture of the building is extremely complicated.
While the building was technically six storeys, it was built without floors in order to store thousands of barrels of alcohol along wooden racks. Interestingly, the barrel storage racks forming the middle of the building are currently supporting the building itself, so any adaptation will require significant efforts to ensure that it is sufficiently supported once they are removed.
The redevelopment of the site includes restoring and revitalizing the heritage building, specifically preserving the south facade to ensure that it fits seamlessly with the rest of the Distillery District. To further preserve the building, the original six storeys will be converted into three levels in order to maintain the building’s long windows and expose the original heavy brickwork.
The majority of the hotel will rise above the heritage building and will feature “reveal floors,” which will be significantly set back to allow for a distinct visual separation between the old building and the new structure.
Construction of the project is anticipated to begin in mid-2022.