Have you ever had a staycation in Toronto? If you’re wondering what to do in Toronto when you have time off, you could spend an entire incredible day in the Distillery District!
In some cities, folks might have trouble planning a staycation—but not in Toronto! Here, there are so many attractions, experiences, and activities that even if you’ve lived here for 20 years it’s impossible to have done it all. Heck, some Torontonians haven’t even been to a Jays game yet!
One of the best local tourism spots in the entire GTA is the Distillery District. Back in the 1860s, this used to be the home of the largest distillery in the world. Its location at the mouth of the Don River made it ideal for importing ingredients and exporting whiskey. Of course, those days are now long behind us. Today, the Distillery District is a National Historic Site and one of the most dynamic and exciting commercial and residential spaces in Toronto!
If you’re looking for something to do in Toronto this weekend, we highly recommend heading to the Distillery District.
Wondering what to do in the Distillery District? You name it, you can do it!
Whatever your desire, you’re likely to find it in the Distillery District.
The whole point of a staycation is to relax and enjoy yourself in your hometown. This is your chance to discover new things about Toronto and yourself. Your gateway to powerful rejuvenation can be found at Vital Float Centre, located right in the heart of the Distillery District.
Vital Float is a Toronto-based float therapy centre. Here, we help people achieve profound relaxation, eliminating stress and anxiety while healing pain and injury. Floating is one of the best things you can do for your body and also one of the best things to do in the Distillery District!
You may have heard of float therapy before. You enter into a large private cabin that’s full of a saturated solution of Epsom salt. The density of the water allows you to float effortlessly on the surface Because there is no external stimuli, you’re able to float distraction-free. (Music and lighting are optional.)
You may know that people travel from all around the world to experience floating in the Dead Sea. Well, people come to Vital Float for the exact same reason: for the healing benefits of a float in Toronto! When you’re floating, gravity feels like it falls away, leaving you suspended without effort. This has incredible benefits for your joints. Meanwhile, the minerals in the water work their healing magic on your muscles, which is one of the reasons why athletes love floating so much. In fact, the Patriots keep up with their flotation therapy throughout their run up to the Superbowl!
For a full hour, you will discover new levels of calm and relaxation. These are some of the ways floating may improve your quality of life:
After your session, you will feel incredible… and probably also hungry! But thankfully, you’ll be just a few steps away from all of the incredible restaurants, cafés, and bakeries that the Distillery District has to offer. It’s the perfect place to satisfy any food craving you might have!
Every Toronto coffee lover should definitely check out Arvo. They are purveyors of fine coffee and we’re very partial to their delicious avocado toast too! Arvo is a multi-roaster quality-focused café that serves season single origin coffees from around the world. If you’re looking for the best coffee in Toronto, you won’t be disappointed.
The Distillery also has the charming and unique Balzac’s Coffee serving up some of the best caffeinated beverages in Toronto. The Distillery location is loaded with character. If you want to sit down and sip a warm drink after your float, you can head over and find a seat on the second floor. The chairs are comfy (though not as comfy as our float chambers!) and the coffee is hot.
Let’s not forget tea! Palgong Tea is a wonderful tea company from Korea, now residing in the Distillery District. If you love tea then you will love what they have to offer. They really know their tea and offer an incredible selection to choose from.
No Distillery District list would be complete without mentioning Soma Chocolate. There is something magical about really, really good chocolate. Enjoying a delicious piece of chocolate is like the “float tank” of food.
Recognized as one of the best chocolatiers in the world, we are lucky to have the Soma so conveniently located. Not only do they make fantastic chocolates like truffles, bars, and drinking chocolate, but they also have gelato and cookies. In the winter, don’t miss their incredible hot chocolate, which is truly a revelation. Trust us—eating fine quality chocolate is one of the best chasers to a session in a float tank that you could imagine.
Who can resist a freshly baked, artisanal donut? Whether you spell it “doughnut” or “donut”, you can’t miss the new Flipside Donuts Cafe & Bar that has recently joined the Distillery District. They’ve shrunk down their donuts into minis and elevated the flavours to be something truly special; a must-try when you visit. Yum! It’s a cozy café with a very local flare and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood!
Floating and food are only a taste of what the Distillery has to offer. After you’ve had an incredible float and a wonderful dinner, why not take in a memorable show with one of Canada’s leading and most interesting theatre companies, Soulpepper? Check their theatre calendar to plan your visit to the Distillery.
And what about art galleries? The Distillery District boasts several incredible galleries, which feature some of the most stunning, challenging, and progressive art in the country. Don’t miss Thompson Landry Gallery or Corkin Gallery as you stroll the Distillery’s historic lanes and beautiful architecture.
You’re probably thinking, ok what about the best restaurants in the Distillery District? There are so many absolutely exceptional restaurants, cafes, and bistros including some of Toronto’s best restaurants that we aren’t going to try to mention them all here. We’ll save that for another blog post! But you can be sure that there is both variety and quality to choose from. You won’t be disappointed!
There is a constant schedule of events in the Distillery District. It’s one of the most exciting areas in the City of Toronto! With so much going on, you’ll want to check the calendar and visit regularly. On weekends you’ll find the Flower Market, Yoga on Sundays, the Sunday Market, live music, and so much more. Not to mention the world famous Distillery District Christmas Market. Be sure to check thedistillerydistrict.com/events to plan your visit.
We’ve already described the benefits of floating. Now imagine if you were to indulge in a massage before floating to enhance the profound relaxation. Or maybe you’ve heard about Vitamin IV treatments? They’re really popular now and you can try it right in the Distillery at Lemon Water Wellness. It could be the perfect complement to your float and Toronto staycation.
There is so much to see and do in the Distillery that you won’t be able to enjoy it all in one single day. If you discover that you love your staycation in Toronto and you feel so incredible from the benefits of floating, why not become a regular? We offer a monthly membership for a deeply relaxing float each month for just $42, which allows you to visit all your favourite Distillery destinations on a regular basis, too.
So what are you waiting for? Book a float with us today, right here in Toronto’s Distillery District!