I had first heard about Evergreen Brick Works this past summer from my brother, who raved about their summer farmer's market. But, being located across the city from us, it is a little difficult to spontaneously visit. So, when I had the opportunity to visit last week, I jumped on it. And I'm glad I did.
When I walked in the front door, I was smacked in the face by the smell of Whole Foods. You know, that feel good, organic-y, granola-y smell? I was instantly in love. From the smells and sights, to the history and mission of EBW, this place is totally... me.
From the late 1880s up until the 1980s, the Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada's busiest brickyards, supplying bricks used in the construction of homes and buildings across Canada, including iconic landmarks in the city of Toronto. But, when the clay ran out, the factory had to close its doors, leaving all of the old infrastructure behind. The City of Toronto and Toronto Region Conservation Authority took advantage of the opportunity to turn the buildings of the abandoned industrial site into a lively and engaging community environmental centre to help create a greener future for the city.
EBW opened with the notion that 80% of Canadians live in cities and that as a whole, we are losing touch with nature. It consists of 16 remaining heritage buildings and an adjacent 16 hectare public park that includes wetlands, hiking trails and wildflower meadows, and is a safe haven for urban wildlife. It is the perfect year-round living demonstration of how past and present can work together to create greener models for urban living. Because of this, it has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the top 10 geo-tourism destinations in the world.