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G&W Distillers

Gooderham & Worts, a former giant in Canadian whisky, has a history tied to Toronto's development. Founded in 1832 by James Worts and William Gooderham, it began as a milling operation. It soon grew into one of Canada's largest distilleries, impacting Toronto's economy and society.

The story starts with James Worts, an Englishman who moved to Canada in the 19th century. He set up a grist mill in York, now Toronto. In 1832, his brother-in-law, William Gooderham, another English immigrant, joined him. They formed Gooderham & Worts. Sadly, Worts died shortly after, following his wife's death. Gooderham kept the business going and expanded it.

Under Gooderham, the distillery flourished. Its location near Lake Ontario and the Canadian National Railway helped. By the late 19th century, it was one of the world's largest whisky producers. It made over two million gallons a year. This growth matched Toronto's own expansion, with the distillery playing a key role in the city's industrial development.

The company was more than just a business. It helped build the community in Toronto. The company invested in real estate, banking, and other sectors. The Gooderham Building, also known as the Flatiron Building, is a lasting example of their impact on the city.

Prohibition in the early 20th century was a hard time for the distillery. It survived by making medicinal alcohol and exporting. But it never fully recovered its former status. The distillery closed in the late 20th century.

Today, the brand is part of the Distillery District in Toronto. This cultural and commercial area keeps the city's Victorian-era industrial architecture. It reminds people of the city's industrial past and Gooderham & Worts' role in Toronto's history. The legacy of Gooderham & Worts lives on in Canadian whisky history and Toronto's urban and cultural life.

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