View Full Screen

Centre for Green Cities, Evergreen Brick Works


Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Client: Evergreen
Completion: September 24th, 2010
LEED: Platinum (candidate)

The Evergreen Brick Works project transforms an underused deteriorating industrial site in the City of Toronto’s Don Valley into a regionally important, environmentally based community landmark to engage visitors in diverse experiences connected to nature and the city.  The LEED Platinum designed Centre for Green Cities is the only new building on the site. It incorporates a welcome centre, retail and amenity space, administrative offices, and workspace for the programme partners.

To capture the spirit of the historic site and its industrial heritage, the Centre for Green Cities knits the new building into and around the existing elements.  Old brick walls, steel structures, and metal sheds are retained and define the footprint of the building.  Public functions – event spaces and classrooms – are on the ground floor, immersed in the character of those existing structures. The second floor has a wrap-around balcony, occupying the space between an existing brick wall and the cantilevered floors above.  As an educational institute focused on outdoor education, the balcony offers exterior access to second floor classrooms as well as to Evergreen’s offices on the third floor, while providing an elevated view of both the Brickworks site and the visitor welcome centre.



  • OAA Awards - Design Excellence


  • City of Toronto - Green Design Award
  • Pug awards, People's Choice Award for Architecture - Best Commercial / Institutional Building
  • Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine - SAB Canadian Green Building Award
  • NAIOP - Greater Toronto Chapter, Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards - Green Building of the Year


  • Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Ontario Chapter - Award of Excellence, Green Buildings


  • Zero Footprint re-skinning Awards - Finalist: Small/Medium Commercial


  • Holcim Awards Acknowledgment Prize

In Joint Venture with du Toit Allsopp Hillier l Du Toit Architects Limited

Photography: Tom Arban, Elizabeth Gyde, Michael Leckman

Rendering: Diamond Schmitt architects with Ferruccio Sardella