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Centre for Green Cities, Evergreen Brick Works


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

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 Certified 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.


2014 CaGBC Toronto Chapter, Innovation in LEED Awards - New Construction Core and Shell

2014 National Urban Design Award - Sustainable Development Award

2013 Toronto Urban Design Award, Large Places or Neighbourhood Design - Award of Excellence

2013 The European Centre for Architecture Art Design & the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design - Green Good Design Award

2013 OAA - Design Excellence Award

2013 Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award - Global Award for Excellence in Urban Design

2012 Civic Trust Awards - Regional Finalist

2012 Pug Awards, People’s Choice Awards for Architecture – 2012 Best Commercial and Institutional Building

2012 SAB Magazine - Canadian Green Building Award

2012 Green Toronto Awards - Green Design Award

2012 National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards - Green Award of the Year

2011 Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Ontario Chapter - Award of Excellence, Green Buildings

2008 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