Don Valley Brickworks Park and Moore Park


This is the last segment of the Toronto Beltine Trail on my blog, which features both the Rosedale Beltline and the Kay Gardner beltline. (previous posts).  As you travel east across Moore Avenue from Mount Pleasant you'll see the entrance (or exit) to the Moore Park Ravine and as the the trail shadows the Bayview Extension you will come to the Evergreen Brick Works.  The Milkman's Lane, which was built in the later part of the 19th century is said to have picked up its moniker by serving as a popular route for dairy workers who were transporting the products from the farms of the Don Valley.  The road was officially closed in 1958.



In amongst this part of the belt-line houses a very unique collection of historical building.  The entire works is known as the "Evergreen Brick Works"  I had already planned on taking a closer look here, but had the perfect opportunity during this years', "Doors Open Toronto" Photography festival to take some pictures of these architecturally, historically and socially- significant buildings, which were featured in the festival. 


The Belt-line trail itself was originally built as an 1890's commuter steam railway line.  It had circled the City by going around Union Station and coming up through North Toronto.  If you check out a google map of the trail, you can easily spot the loop. It only began being used as a multi-use trail towards the end of the last century.

Today the Belt-line is so heavily used for hiking, running or what ever is your pleasure that Toronto is seriously in the process of doing a very expensive overhaul to the condition of the trail.  Some of the deterioration occurring are the widening of the trails by almost 6m of the naturalized areas caused by foot and bicycle traffic.  Much of the improvements proposed will be right along the Moore Ravine.  

Historically, the Evergreen Brick Works or also known as the Don Valley Brick Works was created in 1889 by the Taylor brothers.  The brothers (3 in all) had bought this land where their first attempt was establishing a paper mill on it.  They did well and probably would have continued to stay in the paper mill business had it not been for the digging of the post holes to build a fence around the mill.  

While digging the older brother William had noticed some good quality clay in the ground.  He took a sample to a local brick works where they had determined that in fact it was very high quality clay.  It wasn't long after that, the brothers began a quarry at the north end of the site and a brick making plant was built at the south right near the Don River.

It was in operation for nearly 100 years of which that time they provided bricks for some very well known historical buildings like Casa Loma, Osgood Hall, Massey Hall and the Ontario Legislature.  The original factory has closed and today the quarry is converted into a city park.  Here there are naturalized ponds, a youth cultural centre, and a national charity which dedicates itself to building and restoring nature in a city environment.
Milkman's Lane


As for the future of Evergreen Brick Works, everything about Evergreen is here on an informative and event filled website, so I'll just let them to the talking.  Here's what they have to say.