a) the project is in Toronto, and involves b) adaptive reuse of old buildings, c) the preservation of green space / creation of a nature preserve, d) a public-private (non-profit) partnership, e) a farmers’ market, f) a repurposed shipping container, g) community gardens, and h) sustainable building principles, among other things that are of interest (to me)!
A retired shipping container, known now as the Welcome Hut, helps to orient visitors as they enter the grounds of Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works (EBW), a new 40-acre nature preserve / redevelopment project — billed as “Canada’s first community environmental center.” EBW is a project of Evergreen, a national charity dedicated to bringing nature into public spaces, schools, and homes.
Several components of EBW’s master plan have been completed on the site that was, for more than a century, a brick factory with massive kilns (decommissioned in the 1980s), with adjacent clay/shale quarry in a ravine along the Don River.
From an August 2010 Toronto Life story:
In an earlier age, Toronto would have torn down the brick sheds, but we are beginning to see new value in these old places. We don’t just come for the food or the chit-chat with a charming artisanal cheesemaker. We also come for the worn-down bricks and the history immersion. We crave these historic buildings that can root us in our city’s past and tell us where we came from. The fashion for ruins was also hugely popular in 18th-century England. Back then, people were leaving the land to work in factories. Similarly, as our factories close, we’re developing a nostalgic appreciation for manufacturing.
EBW’s offerings are slated to include a sustainable garden center, farmers’ market, demonstration gardens and kitchens, conference and event facilities, community bike space, art exhibition areas, and programs for families and kids.
The Welcome Hut — Dwell.com slideshow here — was designed so that it could be relocated elsewhere on the property, to serve other purposes as needed.
(spotted on Twitter, via Dwell’s Miyoko Ohtake, @miyokoohtake)