What the Don Valley Brickworks Might Have Been

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A scan of from the 1990 Don Valley Brick Works Master Plan

The Evergreen Brick Works is an amazing place. What was once a quarry that dug out shale and clay deposits to make bricks for 100 years shut down in 1984 leaving a depleted and degraded environment. It is now a stunning example of how to regenerate a brownfield and repurpose a facility while preserving the essential elements present.

But before Evergreen came along, a number of master plans were drafted concerning what to do with the site. The first came in 1990, the second in 1993, then a finalized plan in 1995.  The ideas of building a funicular to Bloor Street, a botanical garden, and a zoo were also presented although none carried much water. The land was restored but some of the buildings remained vacant for years. Evergreen came along in 2006 with its plan for what to do with the buildings.

What we have today is one of Toronto’s shining gems. It seems that no matter what it became it was inevitable that the Brick Works would transform into a bastion of environmental sustainability and green agriculture.

This story involved a huge amount of research at the library, in the archives, and over the phone. Read all about it on Torontoist!



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