CRH Canada is the Foundation Partner to the Evergreen Brick Works revitalization project. Once the site of deteriorating heritage buildings and a depleted quarry, the former Don Valley Brick Works has been transformed into an international showcase of urban sustainability.
Connecting people with nature
The Evergreen Brick Works initiative has transformed a once abandoned area into an environmentally-based community center and park that inspires and equips visitors to live, work and play more sustainably. Leading the initiative is Evergreen, a Canadian charity that aims to make cities more livable by deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environment.
Then and now
Founded in 1889, Don Valley Brick Works quickly grew to become one of the main suppliers of construction materials for the city of Toronto and the rest of Canada. To this day, you can see its bricks and kiln-fired clay products in many landmarks in Toronto and other cities.
The factory closed in 1984 and the complex, which includes 16 buildings and 16 hectares of public park, remained abandoned for several years until redevelopment began in the early 90s. Soon, the public was enjoying a network of hiking trails, a large garden and wildflower meadows. Early in the new millennium, Evergreen embarked on its project to revamp the site and, in 2006, it opened a public farmer’s market and launched summer programming. Construction on the current project began in 2008.
The Brick Works is now open year-round and acts as a community center promoting sustainability. It offers event space rental, public skating, office space rental, a weekly farmers market, yoga classes, summer camp and much more. The location also contains the Don Valley Brick Works Park, home to many native species including the Blue Heron.
CRH Canada is proud to be associated with the Brick Works project and our partnership is an example of our commitment to innovation and sustainability. The Brick Works was essentially a quarry and this transformation demonstrates how such sites can be rehabilitated to create an ecological and community legacy.
A good fit
Evergreen, with its mission of creating public spaces by using green materials and methods, and CRH Canada, a company committed to innovation and sustainability, are a good fit for a partnership. As the Foundation Partner of Evergreen Brick Works, CRH Canada contributed sustainable construction materials, services, technical advice and support for the construction of the project and its surrounding grounds, as well as funding for ongoing programming at the center.
Evergreen Brick Works brought together our aggregates and concrete products as well as construction services. The applications included a pervious pavement parking lot, the use of recycled aggregates, locally sourced materials, concrete durability and strength formulated in the context of the site’s location in the floodplain and subsurface archeology, concrete containing fly ash to reduce cement content, and the use of light-coloured concrete to reduce heat-island effect (due to the reflective nature of concrete).
We are proud to be a part of this unique site that is a symbol of Canada’s industrial past and moving forward, will serve as a strong symbol of Canada’s green future.
“CRH Canada’s sustainable construction solutions and products are at the core of this rehabilitation project. It would not be as clear a success without them.”
- Geoff Cape, Executive Director, Evergreen