distillery district toronto

Toronto's Distillery District removed some benches and people are very upset

The removal of a few benches from Toronto's Distillery District has caused an unexpected uproar, and patrons of the charming shopping and dining attraction are angrily taking to social media to fight back against property owners.

A Twitter user is calling out the private owners of the Distillery District for the removal of a trio of benches with a reminder that the district is not actually a public space, characterizing it as more of an open-air shopping mall.

"Silly pang of sadness because those benches helped me through some of the grimmest covid lockdown days, getting me out of my shoebox condo, giving me a place to sit and sip a coffee I brought from home, seeing sunshine and other humans," reads a follow-up tweet in a thread about the loss of the benches.

The first tweet in the thread has garnered 133 retweets and 700 likes with over 60,000 views as of writing. Several users have piled on in shaming the Distillery District, including many comments raising accessibility concerns.

Others point out that the removal of benches means fewer places to enjoy the offerings of retailers and restaurants populating the Distillery District's restored Victorian industrial buildings.

One user points out how fewer benches could limit the Distillery District's viability as a meeting place.

The owners of the Distillery District defended the removal of the benches in an email statement to blogTO. A representative explained that, in May, "we added over 150 outdoor patio seats throughout the streets of The Distillery Historic District. To be clear, there is no requirement to purchase anything while relaxing on any of these seats."

As for the removal of the benches, the statement goes on to explain that "As of June 14, all seasonal patio seating along Trinity Street has been redispersed throughout the site as we are preparing to welcome The Lavazza IncluCity Film Festival from June 27 - July 21."

"To ensure adequate and safe space for our increased summer foot traffic, as well as to adapt to the addition of over 150 seasonal patio seats, two benches have been removed."

The festival, which will turn Trinity Street into an outdoor movie theatre, will see inflatable white couches installed, which visitors will be able to use during non-show hours as overflow seating.

So, despite the Twitter outrage over the loss of a few benches, the Distillery District is actually gaining seating.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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