Prohibition Be Drammed

Posted : August 2, 2019

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

When you think of York Durham Headwaters (YDH), you might imagine rolling hills and small towns about an hour’s drive north of Toronto. Maybe you think of Canada’s Wonderland, farmers’ markets or the region’s booming craft brew scene. But did you know that under YDH’s charming exterior lies a scandalous past?

It all started in the 1860s, when the Temperance movement started to convince the government of the benefits of banning the production and consumption of alcohol. But just because booze was banned, it doesn’t mean the stills dried up.

Temperance Temptation Tour Moonshiner

In fact, YDH became a hotbed of activity as crafty moonshiners set up secret stills in the forests and wilderness across the region. It was the perfect spot – close enough to Toronto to supply underground speakeasies, yet far enough to avoid raising suspicion of local coppers. Plus, the woods provided ample hiding spots to escape the law.

Take the Temperance and Temptation Tour

This is no baloney and to prove it, in summer 2018 YDH launched the Temperance and Temptation tour. Experience the war on giggle water firsthand but beware. Teetotalers are tougher than they look!

Temperance Temptation Tour Sepia TerraNova

If you dare, take the immersive Experience Tour in one (or all!) of our three regions. You’ll sample the best booze in all of Ontario, eat like the big cheese you are, and take in some real swell live entertainment. Be sure to don your best 20s glad rags to fit in with all the other fabulous flappers and hep cats on the tour!

Take the Temperance and Temptation Tour

Or fire up the jalopy, appoint a designated driver (who you’ll pay in local artisan cheese and chocolates, right?) and take a Free Self-Guided Tour. Download and print your directions to each of the stops on the four unique tours, or follow along with your smart-phone/tablet, and listen to the audio guide as you make your way through the tours.

You’ll hear wild tales of living double lives in York, dramatic clashes between rebels and teetotalers in Durham and running rustic bootlegging operations in the nooks and crannies of rural Headwaters.

Listen up! The Self-Guided Tours will direct your through our beautiful region, share the history of the past with audio tracks between stops, and wet your whistle with these fine bootleggers:

  • Brock Street Brewing Co.
  • The Second Wedge Brewing Co.
  • Old Flame Brewing Co.
  • Market Brewing Co.
  • Adamo Estates Winery
  • Holland Marsh Wineries
  • Gallucci Winery
  • Last Straw Distillery

Temperance and Temptation – it’s the cat’s pajamas! Take the tours and you’ll never look at York Durham Headwaters the same again!

Temperance Temptation

Visit for more information about the tours, brush up on your 20s slang, listen to music from the prohibition era, and visit the Temperance and Temptation special exhibition. You can also book your nearby accommodation!”

Learn More About Temperance and Temptation

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