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A new era at Evergreen - Founder and CEO Geoff Cape to step down later this year

TORONTO, ONTARIO (March 28, 2022) – Evergreen today announced that its founder and CEO, Geoff Cape, has made the decision to step down later this year.  

Under Geoff’s 33-plus years of leadership, Evergreen has evolved into a nationally recognized organization making meaningful on-the-ground change to create sustainable, thriving urban environments in public spaces and communities across the country. During the transition to new leadership, Geoff will continue to lead Evergreen as the Board of Directors moves forward with the executive search process with an external agency.   

“This is the right time to pass the momentum forward to a new leader. As the world is opening up post-pandemic, there is a real opportunity for Evergreen to lead,” said Geoff Cape. “Change is all around us and something Evergreen has faced many times in the three decades of advancing new solutions for sustainable city building. I am so proud of what the remarkable team at Evergreen has accomplished. With the strong ongoing collaboration with our partners - government, academia, business, communities, and forward-thinking funders from both the private and public sectors - I am confident that Evergreen will continue to shape our future cities for the better.” 

“It has been inspiring and motivating to see how Geoff has taken a small charity focused on community and school ground greening and over three decades turned it into one that is advancing national efforts to ensure cities thrive, now and in the future,” said Helen Burstyn, Chair of Evergreen Board of Directors. “The Board fully supports Geoff’s decision to step down at this time and will continue to build on his legacy, including the passion, creativity, commitment and ability to bring together diverse networks and develop solutions to the sustainability challenges facing Canada today. Evergreen’s mission remains critical to the health of our cities.”  

Evergreen was founded in 1991 with the ambition to connect people to nature in cities. Since then, it has evolved into a national not-for-profit working across sectors to solve some of the most pressing issues cities face -- from climate resilience and housing affordability to public space revitalization and access to nature. 

In 2010, Geoff led the creation of Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, transforming a deteriorating former brick factory in the Don Valley into a global showcase for green design and an award-winning public space. A leading example of adaptive reuse, the Brick Works is a test site to pilot ideas that can be scaled across the country and a year-round destination where residents and tourists alike can enjoy, explore and experience sustainable practices in the heart of the city’s distinctive ravine network. One of the first projects in Canada to set and strive for a carbon neutral target, the redevelopment combined the preservation of heritage features with leading edge green design technologies. Distinctive initiatives such as Koerner Gardens, the Price Terrace, and the redevelopment of the historic Kiln Building into the TD Future Cities Centre, resulted in a dynamic year-round hub for city building.  

With this unique space as home, many signature city building programs ensued: Evergreen Farmers Market, among the first and largest markets in the city; the Children’s Garden, a prototype which has been scaled for schools and communities across the country; Evergreen’s legacy of greening school grounds, which continues today with its Climate-Ready Schools pilot; and a robust Public Art Program, a key placemaking component of its broader ravine work. Under Geoff’s leadership, the organization continues its to work closely with the City of Toronto, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and others on the Loop Trail - a project that aims to enhance trail connectivity throughout the city. With these and other award-winning programs, Evergreen has become internationally known for tackling environmental and urban challenges to ensure more livable and sustainable cities.  

More recently, Geoff led the convening of Future Cities Canada, a collaborative platform to accelerate innovation in cities. Together with its founding partners and a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada connects city builders to the resources, tools, tested solutions and people required to build capacity and achieve change in communities.  

The transition to a new CEO comes at an exciting time as the organization builds on the momentum of past success and moves into the next phase of building cities that are livable, green and prosperous places where all can thrive. The next CEO will have a chance to further refine, focus and solidify Evergreen’s key priorities. 

All expressions of interest can be shared with our lead partner at WATSON Advisors, Sharon Rudy Sharon@watsoninc.ca 

For media information, please contact:  

 Renee Tratch | Senior Manager, Content & PR | Evergreen | rtratch@evergreen.ca 

Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8 

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About Evergreen: Evergreen is dedicated to making cities livable, green and prosperous. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable residents to do great things that will shape our cities for the better. For more information visit www.evergreen.ca  


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