Based in the heart of Toronto’s ravine system at Evergreen Brick Works, our Visiting School Program uses natural, ecological, and physical architecture to connect children to nature, get them active, and cultivate their ecological literacy.
Join us for an exciting nature and play-based experience with your students.
Download the Teacher's Guide (PDF, 760 KB)
To inquire about our one-hour high school tours, please visit our Site Tours page.
- Grades K–12
- Available September–June
- Programs are full days
- Class sizes of up to 30 students
- Minimum 15 students per group (please contact us directly for exceptions)
I think the realization for the kids and myself that the city has a gem hidden, just walking distance from the subway, is simply incredible.
- Place-based: building a foundation of knowledge through a focus on local nature, culture and community
- Ecological: providing children direct contact with nature
- Hands-on: creating a compelling learning setting through multi-sensory, direct experience
- Active and mobile: moving the body to engage the mind
- Arts-infused: breathing life into learning through creativity, compelling narratives and arts activities
- Integrated: weaving together expectations from across the curriculum through ecological themes and engaging experiences
I think that was the best field trip I have ever been on! Everyone enjoyed themselves so much it was such a pleasure to be with them… They are still talking about it.
Our rate is $15 per student per day.
A bursary is available for model schools and/or LOI qualifying schools. We will contact you if you’ve been approved for a bursary.
See our program offerings for:
Eco Clubs: Looking for a unique, experiential program for your eco-ambassadors? Join us for a full day program at Evergreen Brick Works where we’ll explore sustainability ideas here onsite which you can bring back to your school. Programs are tailored to students interests as well as to the seasons and weather. For more details download our guide.
Cycle School (Grades 1–8): Explore the materials and mechanical processes used to build, maintain, and ride bikes. Students will get hands-on experience working with tools to discover the concepts that allow us to change gears, move forward, stop and balance including levers, pulleys, gears, and gyroscopic force. After lunch, get excited about active transportation while mastering physical literacy skills and exploring comparative forces on our bike obstacle course. Available May to October, rain or shine – we provide the bikes!
Cycle School (Grades 9–12): Explore the Evergreen Brick Works on the world’s simplest and most efficient machine – the bicycle. We discuss the social and environmental impact of active transportation on a trail ride through the heart of Toronto’s ravine system. Students will engage in conversations about sustainability, carbon neutral economies, and accessible infrastructure while designing routes through the city during our interactive mapping exercise. Available from May – October, the on-trail activity may be altered due to inclement weather – we provide the bikes!
Coming winter 2018/2019 – unavailable this season. Skate School (All grades): A skating rink like no other in Toronto, hidden from the winds by old factory walls and shaped around garden mounds, our rink connects students to the beauty of the outdoors while getting them active and having fun! Improve skating skills and work up an appetite with the help of our experienced coaches before lunch, then join us for storytelling and get cozy around a fire with roasted apples in the afternoon. This program will be adapted to suit the ages and abilities of participants. $20 per student, available in January and February only – we provide the skates!
Urban Animal Adventures: Children are naturally curious about the animals that inhabit the world around them. Through songs, guided exploration and crafts, students will learn about the different animals that fly, hop, burrow, and swim at Evergreen Brick Works. Students will make connections to what they see at Evergreen Brick Works with what they find in their communities.
The Living City: The local community is presented in the context of the natural community, and the idea that all living things need food, water, shelter, and space. We will show how the interaction of elements in a strong human community represents a healthy ecosystem. The Living City introduces students to Toronto’s surprising abundance of living things—fox, deer, coyote, rabbit, and a host of birds, insects and plants—and how close these live to our communities of homes, streets, grocery stores and schools. Curriculum connections: S&T; SS
Water, Water Everywhere: Students will follow the local ravine landscape and discover Mud Creek, which meanders through the heart of the city. Students will explore the dynamics of moving water by creating mini rivers, dams, beaver lodges and more. Water is a feature central to communities around the world and Toronto’s relationship with water is a case in point. Curriculum connections: S&T
Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Students will explore the landscape through the eyes of the local animals. By engaging all of their senses, students will track the animals and learn about their interesting characteristics and behaviours. Through games, stories and habitat-building, students will learn about the importance of protecting the land for generations to come. Curriculum connections: S&T
Earth Shelters: Children are builders by nature. In this program they use natural materials to create shelters that mimic the architecture of plants and animals. Working in groups, students will explore hands-on how different building techniques can affect the strength and stability of various structures. Curriculum connections: S&T
Our Home and Habitat: This is a wide-ranging exploration of the hills and dales of Toronto’s unique ravine landscape. The ravines of Toronto play host to an amazing diversity of wildlife, and students will learn where and how these creatures live together in the same space with enough food, water, air and shelter. In a sustainable city, physical and human geography are in harmony, and the connection between people and place is strong and vibrant. Curriculum connections: S&T
Geology Rocks: Evergreen Brick Works sits on the floodplain of an ancient river, where there was once an industrial quarry the size of the Rogers Centre. The quarry excavated clay and shale to make the bricks that built this city; but the process of digging exposed half a billion years of geological time and an epic tale of nature’s history. Students will explore how the landscape evolved naturally and through human interventions. Curriculum connections: S&T
Stealing Fire: Energy begins with the fire of the sun. The fire flows through the green leaves and needles of the plant kingdom into the metabolism of animals, including human beings. But unlike other animals, human beings learned to ignite and exploit fire. Students will explore how energy is transferred and transformed within food webs and other systems. Curriculum connections: S&T
The Web of Life: This program is an exploration of the astonishing diversity of life in Toronto’s ravine ecosystem. The wetland habitat in the Don Valley Brick Works Park plays host to more species than any other space in the city. The surrounding ravines provide homeland for fox, coyote, beaver, turtle, hawk and salmon. Curriculum connections: S&T; SS
Producers, Consumers and Decomposers: Discover how all three interact in the natural environment, right here in the heart of the city. Learn about food webs that connect the different creatures living in the Don Valley and what happens when humans effect their balance. Students will get hands on with our vermi-compost and other decomposers to get a firsthand look at how decomposers contribute to a healthy environment.
Water in the City: With its rivers, forests and dramatic geography, Toronto’s ravine system defines the City's landscape. Making up 17 percent of Toronto’s total area, ravines wind through residential, commercial and industrial neighbourhoods. Students will get a close up look at the ravine system that cuts through the Brick Works and learn about the history of these water ways and how humans have impacted the rivers and streams. Students will get to experience the challenges of designing a city around a ravine system and the negative and positive effects of moving water through a city.
Exploring our Watershed: Evergreen Brick Works is located in the heart of the Don Valley watershed. Students will have the opportunity to explore the site and adjacent park for signs of watershed management and discover strategies used to mitigate pollution and human impact. Students will get hands on and experiment with different ways to protect our watershed.
Bringing Nature to our Cities: Our cities need nature. During your trip to Evergreen Brick Works, we’ll explore ongoing efforts to restore and revitalize nature in our urban spaces. On a guided tour through the Industrial heritage buildings, we’ll learn about how the site has been transformed into a leading showcase for green design. Later, on a guided nature walk through the scenic quarry gardens, students will hear a story about the restoration of this once abandoned quarry mine. Students will roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty and bring new life to spaces in need of greening.
Book Your Visit Now
Please note we are currently fully booked until the end of November and are only accepting applications for December and later.
To inquire about our one-hour high school tours, please visit our Site Tours page.