UPDATED: Flood Watch 2013 at Evergreen Brick Works

The sun shines on EBW after heavy rainfall caused site-wide flooding (Photos: Jessica Nagy)

June 7 – Update on our flood recovery efforts: The Kilns and current exhibits Post-Oil City and MOVE: Imagine 2040 will be closed from June 10–12 while we complete clean-up from the flood. Click here to find out how you can help us fully recover.

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We’re pleased to let you know that Evergreen Brick Works is on its way to a full recovery after yesterday’s flooding!

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, between approximately 1am and 5am, more than 60 mm of rain fell across the GTA, resulting in widespread water damage, flooding and road closures. The most significant flooding took place in the Don Valley, right where Evergreen calls home—shutting down the Don Valley Parkway and putting parts of the Brick Works under more than two feet of water!

This is not the first time we've had to close the site due to excessive amounts of rain but it is certainly the largest flood we have had since moving into the Brick Works in September 2010. The Don Valley floods several centimetres on a regular basis and during rare storms, such as Hurricane Hazel in 1954, several metres of water can rise across the former industrial site.

shuttle bus under waterOur shuttle bus got caught in the flood—it's already in the shop for some repairs and a good clean (Photo: Evergreen)

Knowing that Evergreen Brick Works is located on a floodplain, we’ve designed the site to withstand most rain events. A stormwater management pond collects water from the central parking lot, greenways and other hard surfaces on site, and allows sediment within the water to be filtered before being released into the Don River. The concrete floors are essentially waterproof and mold resistant, and major mechanical systems are placed at a height above the water level expected from even the most severe flood.

For more details and information about our stormwater and flood mitigation, check out the Green Design pages on our website!

With the sun shining today and everything drying up, it’s easy to forget just how lucky we are that there was no really serious damage or injury. It’s also a good time to remember that we should respect our neighbour, the mighty Don River, as well as the other waterways throughout the city. Please continue to exercise caution around these areas over the next few days and remember to tip your hat to Mother Nature.

A big thanks goes out to the few staff who were here throughout the day yesterday to begin clean-up—especially our Flood Management team David Stonehouse, general manager of EBW, Robert Plitt, sustainability manager and Teena Derderian, assistant general manager.

Today the offices in the Centre for Green Cities are open and all staff have pitched in to help get everything ready for our regular weekend programming. We’ll be open for our usual hours and public activities on Saturday and Sunday but please do mind the mess! Thanks to everyone who had to postpone activities on site for your understanding and patience and thank you to all who plan to visit this weekend for your continued co-operation and support.

Check out our photo gallery on Facebook for some more pictures of the flood and aftermath!