Victorian-era Whiskey Distillery Restored into Office Space

Feb. 5, 2015

This facility has a smooth finish

Located in Toronto, the Distillery District is a National Historic Site steeped in incredibly rich history. In the 1800s, it was the epicenter of the world’s largest producers of whiskey and spirits. In contrast, it is today home to the new offices, film set, and studio of Kingstar, one of the leading producers of health and fitness infomercials in North America with a roster of well-known clients such as Beachbody, Bowflex, Slimband, Herbal Magic, and Fusion Juicer. 

Designed by the company's CEO ED Crain and crafted by restoration carpentry firm Woodbecker, the new Kingstar office space is bright, sunny, and filled with modern minimalist furniture that matches the wood floors and sandblasted red brick walls. The office is Victorian industrial meets design elements of the 21st century, creating an inspiring fusion of old and new. One of the unique features of the office is editing rooms created out of cutting doors into the thick oaken sides of 200-year-old whiskey wooden vats, which were dark and hollow.

Nestled among squirrelling cobbled lanes in one of the most historical part of Toronto, the Distillery District represents the largest collection of early Victorian industrial buildings in Canada. While carefully preserving the heritage and aesthetics of the buildings, restoration and revitalization efforts have transformed the site into an artisan and worker hub.

The walls are Port Hope cement and kiln-fired red clay bricks taken from clay pits just a few miles north up the Don River over 150 years ago. The office is laid out in compartments around new windows that have been added to the walls where there were none before. A deck is built that expands off the top floor to look west over the distillery.

The rawness of the exposed wood beams, concrete walls, and existing distillery equipment of the past century provides the perfect environment to allow the company’s creative spirit to flourish.

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