Don Valley Brick Works

The natural environment and old buildings all set into a valley make Don Valley Brickworks a fascinating place to explore

Ponds paths and historic buildings at Don Valley Brickworks Park
Ponds paths and historic buildings at Don Valley Brickworks Park cc licensed photo by Loozrboy

Don Valley Brickworks is a former quarry and brick plant turned into parkland situated in the Don River Valley. The natural environment and old buildings all set into a valley make this a fascinating place to explore and to photograph.

History

The site of Don Valley Brickworks was once a source of high quality clay ideal for producing top quality bricks. Beginning in 1889 a quarry was developed to obtain clay, shale, sand and water to produce the bricks. A plant and kilns were set up adjacent to the quarry to produce bricks which where used in the construction of many of Toronto's landmark buildings including the Massey Hall and Casa Loma. At its peak the company was producing 114,000 bricks every day.

Eventually the clay, shale and sand were used up. In 1994 reclamation of the site began. The quarry was filled and landscaped. Three ponds along with a meadow and forest were created in the space formerly occupied by the quarry. Wildflowers, shrubs and native trees were planted around the ponds. In 1997 the reclaimed site was opened to the public. Since that time many species of wildlife have inhabited the site including fish that have entered into the ponds from the Don River.

A non-profit organization called Evergreen Brick Works has taken over responsibility for the old buildings on the site, converting them into a cultural and educational centre. They offer a variety of programs and events throughout the year.

Nature

Step outside and immerse yourself in the lush greenery that surrounds Evergreen Brick Works. Situated in the picturesque Don Valley, this urban oasis offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Stroll through the scenic trails, meander alongside the tranquil ponds, or simply relax amidst the native flora and fauna. It's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Activities

From educational workshops to recreational programs, there's no shortage of activities to enjoy at Evergreen Brick Works. Engage in hands-on experiences like gardening workshops, sustainable living seminars, or even culinary classes featuring locally sourced ingredients. Be sure to check out the farmers market held on Saturdays. With activities suitable for all ages and interests, there's always something new to discover.

During winter visitors can enjoy a lovely skating rink that is open to the public for free skating.

Art and Culture

Art enthusiasts will delight in the vibrant cultural scene at Evergreen Brick Works. The site regularly hosts art exhibitions, installations, and live performances, showcasing the talents of local and international artists alike. Marvel at thought-provoking sculptures, immerse yourself in interactive installations, or simply soak in the creative energy that permeates the space. It's a feast for the senses and a celebration of Toronto's diverse artistic community.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Don Valley Brick Works Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

Address: 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8, Canada

Phone: (416) 596-7670

Official Website: Don Valley Brick Works

Don Valley Brick Works Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Hit up Evergreen Brick Works recently and it totally exceeded my expectations! This place is a wicked mix of old brick factory vibes and green, eco-friendly goodness. If you’re in Toronto and looking for something different to do, this is it. The weekend market is a highlight – you can snag some fresh local produce, grab a bite of something tasty, or pick up some unique crafts. It’s a chill way to support local folks and find some neat stuff. The area around is awesome for wandering, with trails where you can walk or bike and catch some pretty sweet views of the city and nature spots. They’ve got this outdoor area where kids can go wild and play, plus lots of cool programs that make learning about green living and sustainability actually fun. The people working there are super friendly and really into what they’re doing, which makes the whole place feel even more welcoming. So, whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a laid-back day out, Evergreen Brick Works has got you covered. Totally recommend dropping by to check out the vibe and see what’s happening. Definitely a breath of fresh air from your usual city spots. Can’t wait to head back and see what else they’ve got going on!
R K P - 2 weeks ago

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5 Star Rating Evergreen Brick works is a former quarry and industrial site that has been converted into a city park. The industrial buildings have been restored and converted into an environmentally focused community and cultural center. It is an excellent destination for a hike with family in an urban setting. During the fall season, it becomes the perfect place to experience the beautiful and vibrant autumn hues. The trails are easy to hike with young kids and provide a spectacular view of the changing foliage. The view point at the end of trail offers a great view of the Toronto city skyline from a distance. The dense plantation in the Don Valley area offers a beautiful natural scenic view. Overall it is a great place to spend quality time in the outdoors in the middle of the city for tourists and residents alike.
Imran Shahid - 4 months ago

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5 Star Rating its a nice place to bring child to go there to hiking or exploring the nature. The parking is 2.5 per hour. 8 dollars full day. It’s better to go in the morning since they don’t have too much parking spots. They have children programs on Saturday too
hui.shi石慧 - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating Great free spot to check out in the city and makes for a great date spot. They have a farmers market on Saturday and when I came on a Sunday we stumbled upon a group of dog trainers. Surrounded by a very nice trail that you could spend an entire day walking around. There is a paid parking lot and head up it can get busy. Would recommend coming here to explore.
Simon W - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating We’ve gone back here for many years now. During the summer, it’s a beautiful lush space sprawling with beautiful flora and fauna. In the fall, it’s nice to walk about viewing the beautiful colours. And during the winter, we enjoy having hot cocoa while watching the skaters go around happily about. This is such a treasure nestled in the middle of a bustling city. We especially enjoy the weekend markets. The artisan and vintage market has always given us little treasure finds. Every time we have family or guests from abroad, we always make sure that they get to visit and experience this place as well. Always such a good place to be 😊
Luzee Liban-Juco - 4 months ago

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Directions

TTC Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Bloor-Danforth Broadview0 Minutes
Yonge-University-Spadina St. Clair Station30 Minutes

How to get to Don Valley Brick Works by TTC Subway

Your best option is from Broadview Stationwhere you can catch the free Evergreen Brickworks Shuttle Bus at Erindale Ave, east of Broadview Ave (just north of Broadview subway station). It runs daily every 30 minutes or so. Schedules are available on the Evergreen Brickworks website linked to near the bottom of the article.

From St. Clair Station take the #88 South Leaside bus south to Bayview Avenue at Moore. Continue walking south along Bayview Avenue 2.2 km to the Don Valley Brickworks which is on the right side of the road. Note on Saturdays only during the summer from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm you can take the 28A To Brickworks via Bayview from Davisville Station and no walking is required.

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