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.
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.
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!
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!
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 the free app and enable your GPS, and the app will tell you where to go.
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 include secret passwords you’ll need to sample sinful spirits and yummy in-house specials at the stops along the way.
Featured bootleggers include:
- 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
- GRAND SPIRITS 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!