March 20, 2012

Canada Water Week at Evergreen Brick Works

Watershed Consciousness by Ferruccio Sardella. Photo: Cam Collyer.Watershed Consciousness by Ferruccio Sardella (Photo: Cam Collyer)

March 19–25 marks the second annual Canada Water Week, aimed at raising awareness across Canada about the importance of conserving this precious resource.

Water has played an integral role in the history of the brick works. Its proximity to Mud Creek and the Don River provided vital access for manufacturing and shipping.

When Evergreen began planning site revitalization and design, much consideration was given to water management and conservation. Because the site is situated in the middle of a floodplain, the new buildings have been designed to withstand 350-year flood levels. Damage control measures include elevating buildings above ground and ensuring that all electrical and mechanical equipment are installed above flood levels.

Flood mitigation begins with a series of ponds built by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in the Weston Family Quarry Garden. The ponds allow water from Mud Creek to filter naturally through channels planted with water-tolerant species to the stormwater management ponds in the parking lot, before joining the lower reaches of the Don River.

In order to reduce our water consumption, we also have large rainwater cisterns that collect and store rain for use as grey water in our buildings.

All of these features demonstrate how site design can be adapted to work with the local waterscape, an important consideration in any urban environment, and especially Toronto, with its abundance of watersheds.

To get a sense of the role that water plays in our daily lives, visit Watershed Consciousness, a large-scale visual representation of Toronto’s river system in The Commons at EBW. And come out this Saturday, March 24, from 1:30 to 2:30pm for the Watershed Walk, a special site tour with the Don Watershed Regeneration Council. Learn more about the Don Valley and what you can do to become an engaged water citizen!


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