Thursday, August 27, 2015

Evergreen Brick Works...

Let’s go back to June’s Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto...

Our Sunday lunch stop was at Evergreen Brick Works, thankfully the planners worked in lots of extra time for us to wander, as there was a lot to see.

From the Evergreen website: "Transformed from a collection of deteriorating heritage buildings into a global showcase for green design and urban sustainability, Evergreen Brick Works is both a stage and incubator for Evergreen’s programs. A dynamic public space in the heart of Toronto’s Don Valley, the site engages visitors through interactive workshops and community festivals, and offers a full suite of programs combining ecology, design, technology and the arts in a hands-on, multi-sensory educational experience. In 2010, Evergreen Brick Works was named one of the top 10 geotourism destinations in the world by National Geographic."

The first thing that catches your eye is this massive artwork by Ferruccio Sardella titled Watershed Consciousness.

Taken from his website: "Considering the size of the work, information about the urban grid is minimal. Presented as copper and brass rods that lace across the work, only the major road and rail arteries are depicted along with the vertical-horizontal axis of Yonge st. and Bloor st. Instead of the repetitive criss crossing of city streets, the piece depicts ghostly homages to the lost rivers of Toronto etched into the rusted steel. To consider this work as a map is to confront Toronto’s ecological essence. “Where is your watershed address?” is the question the installation asks the occupants of the region."

"At the top of the sculpture, there is a large water troft [sic], below which suspends perforated steel that is shaped to reflect the Oak Ridge Moraine, which is where the watershed begins. With a century old industrial building behaving as a receded backdrop, sculpted stainless steel pipes depict with accuracy the current route of the tributaries that stretch high above Toronto. The pipes hover in open space to extenuate the delicacy of the water table in an ever changing landscape."

"In growing seasons, water flows through the installation – traversing down the various steel surfaces and irrigating the plants before being collected in a tray at the base and recirculated back into the sculpture. In this way, the installation is a living work that looks and behaves differently in each season – growing and hibernating, rusting and cleansing, at it responds to the changing conditions of its environment."

Its meaning gives it depth but it stands as a thing of beauty even for those that don't know what it represents.

This open, yet covered, space is home to the largest farmer's market in Toronto, it runs year round - though sadly not when we were visiting.

There were photogenic details everywhere you looked...

In/on the buildings...

As well as those supplied by nature.

The couple on the far, lower, right is getting their picture taken.

The building is covered with photos detailing the historic nature of the site. From the Evergreen website: "From 1889 to 1984, the Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada’s pre-eminent brickyards. Many of Toronto’s heritage buildings and Canada’s national landmarks—including Winnipeg’s T. Eaton Building, Toronto’s Massey Hall and Casa Loma Stables, Montreal’s Acadia Apartments and Moncton’s T. Eaton Building—were constructed of bricks from this factory."

By 1984 the brick kilns were no longer producing and the buildings sat empty. As happens they became a destination for those wanting to explore, party and express their inner (graffiti) artist.

The buildings are now a mix of the old and new...

There is signage everywhere, pulling even the casual observer in...

The old brick kilns remain, and you can walk through the area.

Located adjacent to the kilns, I was told this open space is flooded in the winter and becomes a skating rink.

It must be magical.

The photos I've shared thus far are of areas we toured before lunch, and now - after enjoying a tasty box lunch - we still had a little more time to explore on our own.

There was a gift shop and nursery on the premises...

It was fun to look at things I could buy, however I was soon back outside exploring.

I can't shake the idea this was a temporary installation, a summertime project where kids to learn about growing veggies. Although I may have just made that up since I can't find any documentation to support it. (update 8/28 read more about this project here)

Professional photographers must have so much fun here!

In the distance, under that row of trees, you can barely see the edge of the old quarry. I wanted to walk out there, but looking at the time I knew I'd be cutting it close, so I did not. Dead center, on the pole, is a bird condo.

With at least one resident home.

I think we need a big ol'metal flower on our house. Or wait, an agave hanging off the roof! Yes please.

This was in the kid's area, there was a big auger with a tube attached they were using to fill water buckets, the bamboo had "water me" signs...I can imagine they do not want for water...

Clever seats.

This section sponsored by the Home Depot?

Lots of fun for the kids...

And the adults too!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

32 comments:

  1. Wow, I need to go through this post a few more times to process it all. So much to see! I love abandoned industrial sites; I'd have so much fun photographing there.

    That humongous echinacea sticking out of the 2nd story window is awesome!

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    1. You would have loved this place Gerhard. In fact I'd bet your lunch would have waited until we were back on the bus so that you could have spent all your time photographing.

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  2. I thought this looked like one of the most interesting places that the Fling went, but most of the other bloggers have given it short shrift (except for Pam, of course). What a cool place! I don't remember seeing photos of those enormous coneflowers hanging on the building anywhere either, love those! I want to know how they made it. I do think you need an enormous Agave on your house.

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    1. Isn't it interesting the different things that capture our attention? The Portland blogger's posts on the tour we took last Saturday really show how different we all see the same space.

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  3. This was one of my favorite spots we visited. It was just so wonderfully weird and creative!

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    1. "wonderfully weird and creative"...well put Cindy!

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  4. Some interesting industrial details there, some of which can be adapted to even grace interiors (if you're into industrial look that is). Perhaps one of the most fascinating parts of the fling it seems.

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    1. You're right, it was! (one of the most fascinating parts of the fling)

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  5. That looks like an amazing place! So many details, but that sculpture at the start of the post is just... wow.

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  6. I liked the echinacea too!

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    1. I wonder if I can convince Andrew we need the agave version?

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  7. When we sat down to plan the Fling, the Brick Works was a "must-see." After we met with them, we were even more convinced. Very glad you were able to explore, Loree. I've emailed you a link to the Bowery Project, whom I'm pretty sure are responsible for the temporary planting area.

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    1. Thanks Helen, and yes...you ladies hit a home run with this one!

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  8. What fun, looks right up my alley. Thanks for being such a good blogger and taking lots of photos ;)

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    1. You would have found plenty of inspiration here Denise.

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  9. Fabulous pictures! I loved this spot, too. I sure hope to get back there again.

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    1. Do you get to travel a lot for work Linda? I would love to return to Toronto someday, but there are so many places we hope to get to, I doubt it will happen.

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  10. The structure is impressive and I appreciate the artistic touches, especially the Echinacea and Rudbeckia "growing" out the windows, but I love the surrounding scenery, made all the more interesting by juxtaposition with the industrial building. And you should definitely have a huge metal agave sticking out one of your windows!

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    1. If you ever get to Toronto Kris you should definitely check it out!

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  11. Fabulous place and great coverage. I love that sculpture and its message - even without the message it is interesting visually. Lovely place, thank you for the tour.

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    1. You are so welcome Tamara, wish you could have been there.

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  12. So glad to see many photos and in-depth report of this place, which I was very taken with in other bloggers' reports but always left wanting more.

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  13. I don't remember seeing any posts on this place ..I'll have to go back and look them up--what a unique spot. I would love to be there very early am with my camera !

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    1. Oh go if you can Kathy, you'd love it!

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  14. A fun place to photograph and you got some good shots. You should have a huge agave on your roof!

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    1. I'll be enlisting your help in convincing Andrew.

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  15. What an interesting place. I could study, and simply appreciate, that watershed artwork for a long time.

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    1. I took SO MANY photos of it. I found it very hard to narrow them down. Hmm, maybe I should have done an entire post just on it...

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  16. Nifty looking place--looks like a lot of weeds, though, in the ungardened spots. Or maybe those are all natives? I liked the milk-crate raised beds, smart idea, and the Echinacea-flower-out-the-window. Thanks for the report!

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  17. That giant Echinacea hanging out of the window......I die.

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