Wanted: Your Best Stories About the Don Valley Brick Works


The Don Valley Brick Works has inspired a century of city building in Toronto, employed hundreds of Torontonians and has provided the materials for thousands of buildings across Ontario, including Casa Loma, Massey Hall, Hart House and the UofT Convocation Hall. It has been a canvas for graffiti artists, an inspiration to photographers and has been, apparently, the location of several ‘legendary’ warehouse parties.

In its next incarnation, the Don Valley Brick Works will be known as the Evergreen Brick Works. Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization that aims to make cities more livable, is currently in the process of transforming the Brick Works from an underused, deteriorating collection of 17 heritage buildings into a national centre for urban sustainability. This $55 million process is being documented concurrently on their very interesting blog.

What’s more, Evergreen is seeking stories from people who have a connection to the site — through work or play, with business or family, on purpose or purely by accident, in order to better interpret the public history of Evergreen Brick Works. The Brick Works Heritage Research Project is looking for historical documents, well-captioned photographs, oral and written narratives and, I suspect, interesting stories in any medium.

Evergreen has also recently announced a television documentary project, directed by Canadian Catherine Annau, about the reclamation project. The documentary is seeking individuals who have worked, walked, partied or are otherwise connected to the 125-year-old site to tell their stories in the film.

“This film will focus on the personal stories of workers and families of workers, former German POW who worked there to graffiti artists and musicians who occupied the site for the last 15-20 years…we want to capture it all,” – Annau.

If you are interested in sharing your stories about what you’ve been up to in and around the Lower Don Parkland and Don Valley Brick Works you can contact: heritage@evergreen.ca, or 16-596-1495 x 550

Or, if you would rather, you can recount your own experiences at the Brick Works in the comments below!

Photo by somebody

3 comments

  1. My Grampa came from Ireland , to England,to Canada when he was a young man and worked at the “Brickworks” in the early 1900’s. I would love to learn more.

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