A visit to the Evergreen Brick Works market in Toronto in the fall of 2011 turned out to be more than just a Saturday morning grocery trip. The venue housed a plethora of stalls ranging from local producers of fruits and vegetables, to locally brewed coffee, artisanal produced chocolate and bread, and artisan and woodworked items. Breakfast turned into Lunch, and an afternoon hike!
To provide some historical reference, the site, located in the Don Valley region of Toronto, was transformed from an industrial brick-making factory that serviced Toronto for nearly 100 years, to an eco-centre with a goal of creating a greener future through it’s educational programs that aspires to educate through example.
The Brick Works, funded by the national charity known as Evergreen, is Canada’s first large-scale community environmental centre. The charity’s aim is to promote collaboration, innovation, accountability and interconnectedness through thinking in systems. This mandate is reflected in the wide assortment of programs and activities offered here.
For activities geared towards families and young children, the Brick Works offers hands-on workshops supportive of making and playing with food, mud, dirt and plants, as well as kitchen supplies. For an older crowd, local food and drink event workshops are always had along with special events, innovative lectures with the aim of engagement, and exhibits. There is always a steady flow of local art that promotes the sustainability message of the site.
To conclude, the smoked sundried tomatoes, and chili spiced chocolate purchases represented a fraction of the experience that the Brick Works can offer. This is a social experience where you are educated, well –fed, and inspired, as you connect with the local nature and life of Toronto.
Written by: Samantha Hogg