The first time I set foot in the Distillery was in 2004. My daughter Angie was attending OCAD and she wanted me to join her in checking out some of the art galleries.
I was wowed. I had never seen anything quite like it, an area filled with a large collection of Victorian Industrial buildings all begging for transformation.
A year after my first visit I was asked to meet with the group of visionary developers who had purchased the Distillery back in 2001. Meeting with them and hearing their ideas about the Distillery, I was awe struck. Not only did the have speak of their desire to convert the 44 original historic buildings to a destination where art, culture, shopping and dining all meet but they also wanted to develop it to an area where people could live. And they wanted to know if Insite would be interested in spearheading the sales and marketing!
It didn’t take long for me to say yes. I knew right away it the area would attract people who wanted something different, new ways to live and work. I had a gut feeling about it. I always go with that initial gut feeling and I have never been disappointed.
I have to say there were a lot of “nay-sayers “ when I mentioned the Distillery initially. They thought the area was too far removed from the city, it was not there yet, etc. I listened but I was not convinced. I knew how passionate Cityscape and Dundee were, and I too shared their passion.
Ten years later three condo towers have been built where over 1500 people live. Lots of people like I, live and work in the Distillery.
And, true to the original vision, it is a place where old meets new, where the best dining exists along with the best cafes, where galleries showcase amazing art, where students study at the finest schools including Voice and George Brown Theatre School, businesses thrive in the area and people of all walks of life enjoy all the Distillery offers.
Who wouldn’t want to live here?