A Unique Site, Rich in Possibility
From 1889 to the 1980s the Don Valley Brick Works was one of Canada’s pre-eminent brickyards. At its peak more than 43 million bricks a year were manufactured for use in the construction of homes and buildings across Canada. Many of Toronto’s most prominent buildings were made from Don Valley brick—Massey Hall and Old City Hall are two examples.
In the late 1980s, the site was expropriated by the City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), backed by the Province of Ontario. Acquired for public use because of its geological and brick-making heritage and because of its place in the lower Don River watershed, the site’s quarry was also recognized by the province as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. In 2002, the buildings from the old factory were designated by the City of Toronto under the Ontario Heritage Act.
In the 1990s, the City and TRCA raised approximately $6 million to restore the site’s quarry as a park and natural area. Now known as the Don Valley Brick Works Park, the green space includes the Weston Family Quarry Garden, which connects the larger park to EBW's restored heritage buildings.
Opened in 1996, the park is an awe-inspiring haven for wildlife and naturalists alike at the heart of Toronto’s ravines. It is managed by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and worth a visit in any season.