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10 Pictures from 2021 That Will Make You Smile

We rounded up some of our favourite moments from 2021 that made us smile.

Two children listening to a third person in a mask

Published on December 08, 2021

This year has been challenging for all of us. From continued pandemic safety measures, to the pressures of work, childcare and so much more, it can be hard to remember the positive. 

But, during this unprecedented time, there were also moments of joy and community. At Evergreen, we continued to help kids and their families to learn and play outside, hosted weekly markets with local food and goods, and brought people from across the country together virtually to discuss the future of our cities. 

We rounded up some of our favourite moments from 2021 that made us smile. Each moment was made possible by supporters like you. Maybe they will brighten your day too. 

A person kissing a child in front of a mural

This Family Engaging with Public Art 

The importance of public art, as an essential part of thriving cities, became even clearer during the pandemic. This year, we were lucky enough to feature several new public art projects and exhibits at Evergreen Brick Works. One of our favourites was a reproduction of the late Rita Letendre’s iconic 1971 mural Sunrise, and a response mural Ishkode, both painted by acclaimed Métis artist (of Sohto/Anishnawbe and Danish descent) Tannis Nielsen. We know you enjoyed them too, and loved seeing your pictures, like this sweet father-daughter shot from Instagram user @bryanj_99.

A family posing in front of a child's bike

These New Bike Owners 

Throughout the year, the Gateway Bicycle Hub held events to help get community members in Toronto’s Thorncliffe and Flemingdon neighbourhoods on a bike and into the city’s ravine system. That included several bike giveaways, where free refurbished bikes were given to families like this one.  

A shot of a zoom meeting where children are playing bingoA shot of a zoom meeting where children are playing bingo

This Shot of Virtual Bingo

During the pandemic, our education team had to get creative about how to take the magic of our on-site programs online. They launched Virutally Outdoors, virtual field trips packed with engaging activities for kids across the country. In the picture above, educators and kids are playing a lively game of nature bingo. 

This Shot of Urban Agriculture in Action 

Our urban agriculture team was hard at work taking care of our gardens throughout the pandemic. They also managed to host some safe, small in-person events, including the workshop pictured above, where kids were able to make their own “seed bombs” that will grow native species in any garden.

People on a zoom meeting

This Important Conversation 

For the second year, we took our annual series of conversations with city builders — Future Cities Canada: The Summit — online, for six months of important talks with experts from across Canada. Above, our Acting Chief Advancement Officer Lois Lindsay hosts an edition of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series entitled Back to School: Future of Learning. It featured a powerful discussion from those on the frontlines both inside and outside of schools on how student-centered approaches to education can build resiliency and generate a sense of community that extends beyond school. 

 A group of children posing in the snow

This Engaged Group of Students 

We were hard at work designing spaces with-and-for kids this year, including a transformation of an abandoned quarry in Toronto’s east end. The Birch Cliff Quarry Lands, a well-loved community green space, is being redeveloped into a mix of public parks and housing, and we worked with partners to host collaborative brainstorming sessions with local kids, pictured above.  

Six people looking at the camera

This Group of Future City Builders  

Our Future City Builders program connects youth to a network of funders, peers and mentors, and empowers them to work in teams to create potential solutions to issues faced by cities. Above, the winners of our Winnipeg cohort’s pitch night, who won $5000 in seed funding to develop a wellness app that would connect young people to free, personalized and accessible health resources. 

Child riding a bike

This Ravine Bike Rider 

As part of the City of Toronto’s Ravine Days, we partnered with Park People, the Gateway Bike Hub and the City to host a number of events, including this free all-ages ravine bike ride, enjoyed by families and kids like the one pictured above! 

A busy indoor market

This Bustling Artisan Market 

Throughout 2021, during lockdowns and restrictions, we were able to operate our Saturday Farmers Market at Evergreen Brick Works. This fall, we added a new market to the mix, with our Sunday Artisan & Vintage Market. We love this shot of people connecting, and exploring what the vendors had to offer.  

A person playing drums

This Shot of Live Music  

One thing we’ve been missing and are thrilled to see return? Live music. Our Cultural Performing Arts Series was back in full effect this fall, with performances from artists like the world-renowned drummer Sarah Thawer, pictured doing her thing above. The series is generously supported by Bank of America.

These smiles are a thank you to our generous supporters and a reminder that this work makes a difference. Help us get started on the next photo album. Donate today.