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8 of North America's oldest distilleries

Walker Distillery

Photo: JasonParis/flickr

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Walker Distillery

Built in 1858 in Windsor, Canada, the Walker distillery is one of the oldest operating distilleries in North America. Entrepreneur Hiram Walker actually lived in Detroit but saw more business opportunities in Canada, so he crossed over to Windsor to build his liquor business. In the mid-19th century, labor and materials cost significantly less in Canada than in the U.S.

Early success led to expansion, and employees actually moved to housing developments next to the distillery and an adjacent grain mill also owned by Walker. The town was known as Walkerville, though it eventually officially became a part of Windsor. Today, Canadian Club is produced at the distillery and the site's fascinating past is celebrated in an onsite heritage center.