More than 40 heritage buildings comprise this pedestrian-only assemblage of shops, galleries and restaurants located on the former site of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery at 55 Mill Street.
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ADORN YOUR ABODE Robyn Berman curates the goods at her Bergo Designs shop—and her expectations are high. Here, contemporary wares for the home and office rule, like the futuristic Serafino Zani Othello kettle or a cantilevered rocker by the Brothers Dressler. Other whimsical items showcased in this 6,000-square-foot space include kitchen gadgets by Alessi and sleek Scandinavian tableware from Stelton.
WINE & DINE Exposed brick and handcrafted timber tables make The Boiler House a warm environ to tuck into a Canadian-influenced menu of such mains as East Coast bouillabaisse or Alberta rib eye. The striking 22-foot-tall wine rack stocks vintages from around the world, while the Sunday brunch buffet with live jazz is perfect for whiling away a morning.
LOCAL COCOA Peer through the viewing window at Soma Chocolatemaker to get a glimpse of confectioners producing Douglas fir or milk chocolate-chai truffles, biscotti and Italian cookies. Gelato is spun on-site in such delectable flavours as Sicilian pistachio or pumpkin. Don’t leave without trying the signature Mayan hot chocolate, which is infused with ginger, chili, orange peel and Madagascar vanilla.
CANADIAN CRAFTERS UNITE The long, glass-fronted Distill Gallery boasts a treasure trove of more than 100 Canadian artisans, craftspeople and designers. Owner Allison Skinner showcases her own ceramic vessels here, as well as intricate necklaces, rings and brooches by metalsmith Gillian Hillerud or kitschy subway station-branded bracelets by Leslie Jones.
STAGE APPEAL Home to Soulpepper Theatre Company, an artist-founded collective, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art venue. Shows take place at four auditoriums: the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre, the Michael Young Theatre, the Tank House Theatre and the Kevin and Roger Garland Cabaret. Starting on June 24, catch David French’s backstage comedy Jitters.
A CUPPA JOE Grab a cup of micro-roasted fair-trade coffee from Balzac’s to go, or nestle in at this bustling two-storey Parisian-inspired café. Named for Honoré de Balzac, a 19th-century French novelist, playwright and copius caffeine consumer, this 1895 pump house is adorned with a grand chandelier, plus colourful vintage posters and signs.
TAP INTO IT Fittingly located in an old tankhouse, Mill Street Brew Pub produces handcrafted beers on site—the vats that transform hops into wort are located in an adjacent room but visible to the masses. Pull up to the 21-foot-long bar to sample the award–winning Tankhouse Pale Ale or Stock Ale, the organic lager or a fruit beer. A menu of comfort food includes lager-battered fish and chips, chicken and leek pot pie and burgers.