Sally Gibson's latest book is, Toronto's Distillery District. As a site historian Sally Gibson, spent many months immersed in all aspects of the history of this National Historic location. Gibson discusses the people, buildings, artifacts, events, processes, and unusual happenings that have contributed to making the Distillery District such an important part of Toronto' s history.

Illustrated with rare colour photos and sketches as well as numerous contemporary views, Gibson's Toronto's Distillery District: History by the Lake contains a wide variety of topics related to the Gooderham and Worts complex including the company's famous windmill, the devastating 1869 fire, the trials and tribulations faced during the Prohibition years and the plans often derailed) to retain the historic site intact.

The Distillery Historic District, with its historic associations and thriving arts scene, is one of Toronto's most intriguing places. Between the 1830s and the 1890s, the firm of Gooderham & Worts grew from a small windmill in the wilderness to the largest distillery in the British Empire and, for a time, in the world. In the process, it built some of the finest Victorian industrial architecture in Canada. Today's district contains over 40 heritage buildings on a 13-acre site that once formed a vital part of Toronto's busy commercial waterfront, before landfill separated it from Lake Ontario.

With the cultural renaissance of the distillery site and the prospect of a revitalized waterfront, we can now explore the people, buildings, events, industrial artifacts and processes that made Gooderham & Worts Distillery such an important part of Toronto's history. What is mashing & a rack house & a scale tank & a corbel & or a tie plate? Who were James Worts, William Gooderham or David Roberts, Sr. and Jr. What is the oldest building still standing on the site? When did the railway arrive?

Sally Gibson has a doctorate in urban geography, a decade's experience as a professional archivist, and an abiding interest in Cabbagetown's history and future. She has written two previous books about Toronto. More Than an Island: A History of the Toronto Island was praised by urban thinker Jane Jacobs as city history at its very best. Inside Toronto: Urban Interiors 1880s to 1920s was short-listed for the City of Toronto Book Award and received Heritage Toronto's Award of Excellence in 2007. If you would like to contact Sally Gibson you can do so at


See Toronto 175: Around Your Town, Cabbagetown. In part two of his newserial celebrating the 175th anniversary of Toronto, Francis D'Souza tours Cabbagetown.

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