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5 highlights from Phase 1 of kiln building redevelopment (and two updates to look forward to)

Some things have changed at Evergreen Brick Works since we started the retrofit of our historic kiln building last year.

Kiln building empty. Image: Ben Rahn/A-Frame
Image: Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Published on May 25, 2018

More than a year ago, we broke ground on an ambitious project for the second time in our organization’s history.

In March 2017, we kicked off the redevelopment of this historic kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works to create a year-round hub for innovation. Not only does this redevelopment create more space for programming and collaboration, but it also allows us to set a carbon-neutral target for the entire campus.

We’re thrilled to mark the end of Phase 1 of construction. Here are five highlights from the past year (plus two more updates to look forward to):

Enclosed space

New windows on the south wall of the building, plus a custom retractable window wall between the building and the gardens, encloses the space for year-round use. The enclosure also ensures that the building’s historical features do not further deteriorate in the cold and wet weather.

The kiln building floors.
Raised floor

We raised the entire kiln building floor to help mitigate flooding and protect the kilns’ historical features. A unique raised cavity floor system called Cupolex allows water to filter through and flow underneath the building. We captured more details about the kiln building floor in a dedicated blog post.

A rendering of the City Builders Gallery at Evergreen Brick Works.
Photo courtesy LGA Architectural Partners

City Builders Gallery

Only one area of the historic structure was altered. A small section of wall was meticulously cut to create an intimate exhibition space, now known as the City Builders Gallery. When this building officially reopens next year, the gallery will be host to different exhibits and events that will engage the community and help us all build flourishing cities together.

Historical features show rail tracks on the Kiln Building floor.

Historical features

While we wanted to preserve the historical features of the building, we also saw a need to pay homage to the kiln building’s past. New steel inlays and sandblasted lines trace the tracks that shuttled bricks along the building’s floors and sections of tinted concrete represent the footprint of the kilns.


A more practical highlight, our kiln building now comes equipped with a free-standing bank of washrooms featuring 21 gender-neutral stalls, one of the largest of its kind in Ontario. Another modern feature is the addition of a service station for catering.

Though these are some foundational changes to the kiln building, Phase 2 of the construction process will bring even more exciting additions to the space.

Here are two to look forward to:

A geothermal drilling machine outside of Evergreen Brick Works' kiln building.


While we have already installed the geothermal infrastructure, solar panels added to the roof of the building will fully complete our geosolar system. Learn more about this innovative heating and cooling technology.

A rendering of the second floor of the kiln building, including the classrooms.
Photo courtesy LGA Architectural Partners

Collaboration studios

We are working to install collaboration studios in the kiln building, creating even more spaces to learn, share and meet on the future of our cities.

While some public events will be scheduled during this construction period, the kiln building remains closed to the public. The official public opening is scheduled for spring 2019. Learn more about the redevelopment over on the kiln building page.

The redevelopment of the kiln building is in partnership with construction lead EllisDon, manufacturing partner CRH Canada, and the design team led by LGA Architectural Partners in consultation with heritage design specialists ERA Architects.