September 23, 2010
Governments, Corporations and City Builders Gather to Support Evergreen Brick Works
Envision a sustainable future at Canada’s first community environmental centre
TORONTO, ON – Governments from across the political spectrum and corporations from all sectors step up to support Evergreen at the Wild in the City gala at Evergreen Brick Works. On the eve of the site Grand Opening, dignitaries, CEOs, and city builders are gathering to celebrate the re-opening of the Toronto icon, leading the way to a sustainable future.
After eight years of dreaming, designing and building, on September 25 and 26 Evergreen Brick Works officially opens its doors as Canada’s first community environmental centre. The vision for Evergreen Brick Works is to be a place for people to have fun in nature, to learn, to share ideas and to explore best practices relating to sustainability.
"A sustainable future requires committed leadership," explains Evergreen executive director Geoff Cape. "This is a quality we see in spades in our many partners, from Minister Flaherty to Premier McGuinty, and from Holcim (Canada) Inc. to city builders such as David Young. Working together, with both financial and in-kind support, we will find and implement innovative solutions that will ensure future generations will inherit a natural world that both sustains and nurtures them."
"This site is a symbol of Canada’s industrial past and moving forward the restored site will serve as strong symbol of Canada’s green future. With the programs and activities being offered, this site will act as a catalyst for sustainable behaviour change," says Paul Ostrander, President and CEO Holcim (Canada) Inc. "We’re proud to be a foundation partner, encouraging this huge transformation – from a brick factory and then an industrial heritage site, to an experiential education centre and think tank focused on sustainability."
On the family and community level, Evergreen Brick Works will also be an important place for the citizens of Toronto to enjoy an environmentally focused family programming – kids camps, educational programs, art classes, bike rentals, winter skating, health programs, cooking classes, eco-gardening, as well as festivals, workshops and a weekly Farmers’ Market. This place belongs to everyone. Evergreen is humbled and honoured to be tasked with animating this gift to Toronto and the world.
Major project supporters include city builders such as David Young who made the initial gift of $3 million, the federal government with support of $20 million, Ontario Heritage Trust with $10 million in support, and a major contribution from Holcim (Canada) Inc., the project’s Foundation Partner and Presenting Sponsor of Wild in the City.
Proceeds from Wild in the City will support Evergreen’s innovative children’s programming. We live in an age where childhood is moving indoors and becoming inactive. Only 12 per cent of Canadian children are getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Canadian children spend an average of 44 hours a week behind a computer screen, and contact with nature is in rapid decline. There are 60 elementary schools within 3 km of Evergreen Brick Works. Four of Canada’s highest needs communities are within 3 km of Evergreen Brick Works. With help from our supporters, Evergreen Brick Works will become their backyard where they can discover and play in nature.
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 and its sustainability symposia, forums and other public gatherings will make it a national hub for urban sustainability. With the Grand Opening scheduled September 25 and 26, 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 $46.5 million. Both the federal and provincial governments have supported the project donating $20 million and $10 million respectively.
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