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A Geotourism Hotspot: National Geographic

Published on February 21, 2010

image Evergreen Brick Works is in the heart of the ravine. (Photo: Michael Reichmann)
There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else. No other big city has so much nature woven with such intricate thoroughness through its urban fabric. The ravines are to Toronto what canals are to Venice and hills are to San Francisco. They are the heart of the city’s emotional geography, and understanding Toronto requires an understanding of the ravines. — Robert Fulford, Accidental City

When one thinks of exotic eco-travel, one envisions going to places like Cambodia, Mongolia or Costa Rica. But the idea of having an internationally recognized geotourism destination in Toronto’s own backyard seems strange. Not so to National Geographic, which recently recognized Evergreen Brick Works as a top ten finalist in the National Geographic Geotourism Challenge. Of the more than 600 entrants, Evergreen Brick Works was highlighted for our efforts to connect city dwellers with nature.

Jonathan Tourtellot, geotourism editor at National Geographic Traveler, says the heritage structure eclipsed 600 entries because it closes the divide between nature and urban life. “Here’s a group doing a spectacular job of trying to make that reconnection in an urban area,” he said. “There couldn’t be a better place for it.”

Evergreen’s executive director Geoff Cape went to Washington to present the Evergreen Brick Works concept at the National Geographic Geotourism summit sponsored by National Geographic and Ashoka’s Changemakers. With more than 200 participants from around the world, the event was to discuss advances in geotourism and other new trends in sustainable travel.