Last Distillery District historic building will be upscale hotel

Rendering of Curio by Hilton in Toronto's Distillery District (CNW Group/The Gupta Group)

Ontario Construction News staff writer

A heritage building in Toronto’s Distillery District will be repurposed into an upscale hotel.

Developers Easton’s Group of Hotels announced recently that it will transform the property at 60 Mill St. into Canada’s only Curio by Hilton hotel.

Construction is expected to begin later this year.

The structure, located at the entrance of the historic community, is the last remaining heritage building to be restored and integrated into the neighbourhood.

Rising 31 storeys, the full-service hotel will preserve the heritage building’s exteriors as the base three floors. It will span 288,000 sq. ft. gross floor area and feature 392 guest rooms, along with first-class amenities including a rooftop bar and restaurant with spectacular views.

“We’re thrilled to bring Curio by Hilton to Canada, supporting the Distillery District as a vibrant community and tourist destination that is highly in need of hotel accommodations,” said Dr. Steve Gupta, founder & chairman of The Gupta Group.

“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.”

existing building
Alterations to a Designated Heritage Property and Amendment of Heritage Easement Agreement – 60 Mill Street (Rack House D)

While the original building was technically six storeys, it had no floors because it was designed for storing thousands of barrels of alcohol along wooden racks. 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

Led by IBI Architects, ERA Heritage Architects, and Studio Munge, the project will respect the building’s rich history as a rack house built in 1890. This previously stored up to 15,000 barrels of alcohol as part of the liquor manufacturing operations of the Distillery District, until its closure in 1990.

The tower will be built atop the heritage building, and feature “reveal floors,” which will be significantly set back to allow for a distinct visual separation between the old and the new. The entire volume of the existing heritage building will be publicly accessible to highlight the past use of the building to all visitors.

The original six storeys will be converted to three levels to maintain the long windows, expose the original heavy brickwork, and give visitors a glimpse into the past.

Key features and amenities:

  • Ballrooms and conference spaces within the existing heritage building volume
  • World-class spa and gym
  • Rooftop bar, restaurant, and outdoor patio
  • Main floor lobby, lounge, and restaurant
  • Five underground levels, including four reserved for parking
  • Innovative loading dock to reduce community disruption and traffic – turning table for trucks inside the building so they may drive in, turn 180 degrees, unload, and drive out without needing to reverse


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