The Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada’s pre-eminent brickyards from 1889 to 1989. The site was expropriated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in 1990 to protect its unique geological, historical and environmental features. The site was re-zoned as Open Space/Parkland and designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2002.
SvN prepared a Master Plan that provides a blueprint for the redevelopment of the site as a mixed-use centre for exploring the relationship between Nature, Culture and Community that would model sustainability on all fronts – from the adaptive use of the heritage buildings using green design, to creating an economically self-sustaining operation, to providing a wide range of activities that engage and educate the community and help to restore the environment.
The Master Plan involved the detailed analysis of site conditions, including the existing built-form and surrounding brownfield, as well as community programming in the vicinity and region. A comprehensive plan to integrate the facility with the surrouding trail network was developed, including new connections to the Belt Line Trail, bridges to the Lower Don Trail network, rehabilitation of Mud Creek, and upgrading of the ‘Half Mile Bridge’ for safe cycling across the valley.