Posted March 12, 2017
Toronto Distillery Co closes down distillery
Toronto – Toronto Distillery Co. has announced its distillery in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood is now closed.
Founded by Charles Benoit and Jesse Razaqpur in 2012, the distillery was Toronto’s first since 1933 producing spirits such as organic gin, straight Canadian whisky, beer spirit and apple jack.
Benoit, the former head of the Ontario Craft Distillers Association, notes that Ontario’s current policy and taxation model for small distilleries worked against them.
“We need something like BC policy to continue. If we’d gotten it, we’d have been a profitable business in 2016, even after rent and payroll and everything else,” he explains.
Their closure occurred despite the Ontario government’s newly introduced Small Cidery and Small Distillery Support Program. “For most OCDA members, the program will do little – so it’s not even a question of ‘too late’, says Benoit.
Benoit laments they had to lay off 2 full-time and 3-part time employees.
Toronto Distillery Co. will continue to produce some spirit recipes through King’s Locke Craft Distillery in Prescott, while searching for a lower cost facility on the outskirts of Toronto, or possibly combined space with a Toronto brewery.
Currently, the company’s J.R.’s Dry Organic Canadian Gin is still in stock through the LCBO.