What's Here

Art & Exhibits

Art changes the way you look at and engage with space. The role of art on this site is to bring voice to the spirit of a place that holds sustainability as a core value.
Ferruccio Sardella, artist-in-residence, Evergreen Brick Works

For as long as Evergreen has been around, art has always been integrated into Evergreen’s work. This is because we firmly believe that art has a powerful, intrinsic ability to create conversation; bridge sectors, generations and cultures; and to enrich the local communities where we live, work and play.

At Evergreen Brick Works, art and exhibits are used to motivate, engage and inspire our visitors about their natural and urban environments in unique and creative ways.

See below for more information about several of the permanent art installations and exhibits on site. For information on temporary art and exhibits, please visit our What's On calendar.

Interested in exhibiting at Evergreen Brick Works?  Email exhibits@evergreen.ca for more information

Featured Artist

DiyahMaaginogDiyahMaaginog / All My Relations

Artist: Nyle Migizi Johnston
Location: Young Welcome Centre

It is easy to forget that we are all children of our First Mother of Creation. Examples can be found throughout nature that connects us to our First Family and Plant Nation relatives. From the flowing river systems that are our veins, to the Cedar Tree that is our brain stem, the patterns of connectivity are not only beautiful but inspiring. When I paint I humble myself and try to capture a fragment of the messages, stories, instructions, teachings and beauty that Creation has to provide.

Nyle was born and raised on his beautiful reserve on the Saugeen Peninsula (Bruce Peninsula)—Nawash First Nation. He took a keen interest in painting and art at a very young age. Sources of his artistic inspiration include woodland painters, Story-Tellers and the traditions of his culture.  Johnston paints the stories of the Anishinaabe people in order to raise awareness of their unique histories as they in turn inform his process. He is an Oshkaabewis (Traditional Helper) and experienced muralist. Johnston currently lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

Art

Nestled

Artist: Jana Ostermann
Media: Sumac branches, lighting elements
Location: Evergreen Garden Market

Nestled is a sculptural art piece and light fixture created by hand-weaving sustainably harvested sumac branches into a form resembling birds' nests. The organic, twisted nature of the branches offers a contrast to the industrial character of the metal roof rafters. The lighting in the woven structure creates a dynamic element to the piece, as the shadows it casts move throughout the day. As with all things found in nature, Nestled is in a constant state of flux as it responds to changes in its environment and affects the space around it.

Floodlines by Paul Aloisi and Dan BergeronFloodlines

Artists: Paul Aloisi and Dan Bergeron
Location: The Pavilions

Flood Lines addresses the increasing frequency of heavy rainfall events in our contemporary climate by creating a spatial dialog between three cisterns and the roof of The Pavilions in which they collect water from. Artists Paul Aloisi and Dan Bergeron have graphically interpreted hourly rainfall data in comparison with Don River storm surge data to render three circular paintings oriented towards a central viewpoint directly beneath the peak on the roof of The Pavilions.

Toronto: Brick by Brick by Dan Bergeron (aka fauxreel)

Toronto: Brick by Brick

Artist: Dan Bergeron (aka fauxreel)
Location: The Kilns

Six large-scale portraits of former employees of the brick-making plant. Reminiscent of the street art found on the site, yet depicting historical portraiture, these images play with time by bringing the past into the present. The weathering of the treatment on the images and the bricks is an intentional element of dynamism that will allow the pieces to continue to evolve as years pass on.

Cayuga by Miles Keller

Cayuga

Artist: Miles Keller
Media: Salvaged wood, cement, woodchips, straw
Location: The Commons

An innovative modular public seating solution made from salvaged and sustainable materials. Cayuga’s gently sloping, rolling shape recalls the layers of glacial till that form the landscape in this part of southern Ontario. The base of the seating, made from a sustainable composite material of cement and reclaimed wood chips, was manufactured in way that echoes the brick making technology once used at Don Valley Brick Works.

Winner of the 2014 Design by Nature competition.

Heritage on Site

Heritage on Site

Media: Archival Photographs
Location: Frances and Tim Price Terrace

Nine archival photographs illustrate how brick-making at this site contributed to the building of Toronto, and how geological layers exposed in the quarry revealed glacial deposits over the past 400 million years. The images, some dating back to the 1890’s, remind us of Toronto’s long and vivid history, both industrial and natural.

Legacy (the mud beneath our feet) by David HindLegacy (the mud beneath our feet)

Artist: David Hind
Media:Reclaimed steel, aluminum, reclaimed wood
Location: Clayworks

A tribute to A.P. Coleman, who found evidence of ancient periods of climate change in the layers of deposits on the North Slope of the quarry. This sculpture, which depicts a pair of Coleman’s boots, speaks to the relationship between the natural world and industry by recalling the products and remnants of their interactions.

Watershed Consciousness by Ferruccio SardellaWatershed Consciousness

Artist: Ferruccio Sardella
Media: Steel, brick, various plants and moss
Location: The Commons

Toronto’s largest living map depicting the rivers that flow through the city, designed to connect us to our watersheds and raise awareness around our extensive ravine system.

Native Tenants by Ferruccio SardellaNative Tenants

Artist: Ferruccio Sardella
Location: Children's Garden, Building 4

These large-scale sculptural representations of native plants are poetic emblems of the transformed brick factory.

Deep Time by Ferrucio Sardella

Deep Time

Artist: Ferruccio Sardella, 2011
Media: Mixed
Location: The Pavilions

This installation is a poetic interpretation of the geologically significant north slope. The artwork interprets two glacial periods with an interglacial period between. The panels within the doorways represent a snapshot of this interglacial period approximately 120,000 years ago—a time when this place was home to giant prehistoric beavers, bison, deer and catfish—entire ecosystems thriving in a carolinian temperate that was 2 degrees warmer than today.

Mapping Nature by Morgan Zigler and Lee Earl

Mapping Nature

Artists: Morgan Zigler and Lee Earl
Location: Frances and Tim Price Terrace

An installation by artist Morgan Zigler and naturalist Lee Earl, Mapping Nature constantly evolves with the additions of visitors, who are invited to create their own stories in chalk on the interactive map of adventures.

Exhibits

Green Design Exhibit

Green Design Exhibit

Curator: Robert Plitt, Evergreen Sustainability Manager, 2011
Location: Centre for Green Cities

Located on the ground floor of the Centre for Green Cities, Green Design explores the lessons learned in creating this unique site. Discover what key features of the project contribute to our LEED Platinum status and learn about the benefits and challenges of adaptive reuse. Themes explored include Conservation, Reuse, Remediation, and Sustainability.

Where Rocks TalkWhere Rocks Talk

Location: Young Welcome Centre

A representation of the north slope of the site’s old quarry, Where Rocks Talk depicts hundreds of thousands of years of geological history in seven distinct layers. The exhibit shows a region shaped by recurring glaciers, giant lakes and ancient, fast-flowing rivers—long before the highways, streetcars and city neighbourhoods of today.

The Great Fire

The Great Fire

Location: The Pavilions

On April 19, 1904, the burgeoning city of Toronto experienced its largest and most devastating fire to date. The Great Fire, as it came to be known, destroyed 104 buildings and has had a lasting legacy on Toronto that continues to this date. The Great Fire Exhibit explores the damage the fire caused, its impact on Toronto’s heritage, and how the city was rebuilt using the bricks manufactured at Don Valley Brick Works.

Graffiti

Graffiti

Location: The Kilns

The Graffiti Exhibit sheds light on the history of graffiti and street art found at Evergreen Brick Works. After being abandoned in the 1980s, the industrial buildings of the former Don Valley Brick Works became blank canvas for many types of graffiti and street art—this interactive exhibit aims to provide context and a greater appreciation of these controversial yet vibrant art forms.

A Rare Geological Study

A Rare Geological Study

Location: The Pavilions

Archival photos and pages from A.P. Coleman’s notebooks document the rare geological discovery made on the north slope of the quarry. As materials were removed from the hillside to be used in the brick making plant, layers of ice age sediments were revealed—these deposits are some of the very few that remained intact in North America, allowing geologists like A.P. Coleman to study the climates of the previous interglacial periods on Earth.