TORONTO -- A local distillery has redirected its production facility in Toronto to make hand sanitizer for residents having trouble accessing the product during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Spirit of York distillery is offering its sanitizer, which is based off a recipe by the World Health Organization, for free to seniors and residents who can’t afford it. 

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“We saw this gentleman who was hoarding hand sanitizer and basically taking advantage of the stress and anxiety of our community in order to benefit from it. So we decided to go the other way,” said Gerry Guitor, the founder of Spirit of York.

“Our mandate is always giving back to the community … its part of our core values, so when we saw what was happening we decided we needed to something.”

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Guitor said the recipe called for ethanol at 96 per cent, hydrogen peroxide at 3 per cent, glycerol at 98 per cent and distilled water. 

“We have dedicated our ethanol, the product we normally use to make our … gin, vodka and whisky and now we shifted all of that to do hand sanitizer for the community,” he said. 


The team of 12 at the distillery will be handing out the product to people Thursday. It will cost $3 for people that can afford it, and will be free for those over the age of 65, and those who can’t pay the price. 

He said that the company will keep pumping out the sanitizer as long as the community needs it. 


“This is about us wanting to do something to rally around our community, to help them out in their time of need,” Guitor said. 

“ We are a small company trying to set an example, maybe larger companies can come in and do the same thing, maybe forgo profits for a little time in order to help the people in distress, the people in need.”