Toronto – Interested to see firsthand the creativity it takes to rehabilitate an abandoned brick factory into an environmental community centre, His Royal Highness Prince Charles requested that a visit of Evergreen Brick Works be included in his 11-day Canadian tour.
An environmentalist and avid organic farmer, Prince Charles was welcomed this morning at the Brick Works by local farmers and Toronto’s business leaders.
Evergreen Brick Works’ champion, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also attended the tour with His Royal Highness to be updated on the site’s development.
“Evergreen Brick Works is globally unique as well as an inspiration to others to explore new and innovative ways to look at our relationship with nature,” says Evergreen Executive Director Geoff Cape. “The down-to-earth experiential aspect of Evergreen Brick Works, from our local food program to our outdoor classroom curriculum, provides visitors the opportunity to try out sustainable practices that they can take home with them and apply right away.”
“Receiving the attention of such an international dignitary who is also very knowledgeable on ecological issues shows that Toronto is seen as a global leader in bringing sustainability practices to life,” continues Cape.
In honour of the Royal visit, and to share with His Royal Highness Prince Charles how Canada thinks about a more sustainable future, Evergreen Brick Works together with Minister Flaherty also convened a forum of thought-leaders to explore how we can collectively encourage the transition of the conventional economy to one that is more sustainable.
Led by Amanda Lang of CBC and Frances Westley from the University of Waterloo, and with a panel that included Ray Anderson, Dan Esty, Annette Verschuren and Ilse Treurnicht, the findings of the Forum will be released in a White Paper.
To showcase Evergreen Brick Works on-the-ground efforts to both His Royal Highness and Forum participants, Evergreen Brick Works also hosted a farmers’ market reception with Jamie Kennedy, where a number of Evergreen Brick Works’ regular farmers’ market vendors were able to display their local wares.
Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities–now and for the future. Since 1991, it has engaged people in creating and sustaining healthy, dynamic outdoor spaces across Canada — in schools, communities and homes. Its entrepreneurial approach to social responsibility creates vibrant neighbourhoods, a healthy natural environment and a sustainable society for all.
Evergreen Brick Works
Evergreen is restoring Toronto’s derelict Don Valley Brick Works to its proper place at the centre of the city’s future. By revitalizing and reusing historic buildings and offering programming focusing on education, heritage and ecological sustainability, Evergreen Brick Works will be an environmental community centre in the heart of the Toronto ravine system. Its use of a wide range of green technologies will help make it a national hub for urban sustainability.
When complete in 2010, the site will be animated with year‐round programs and activities that include a native plant nursery, a seasonal farmers’ market, demonstration gardens, an organic food market and kitchens, conference and event facilities, youth leadership and children’s camps, family programming and youth‐at‐risk programs. Evergreen Brick Works is a project of Evergreen, Canada’s national charity dedicated to bringing nature into public spaces, schools and homes.
To-date, the Evergreen Brick Works $55 million capital campaign has raised $44 million. Both the federal and provincial governments have supported the project donating $20 million and $10 million respectively.