2022 Greener Greenspace Profile
The Guild Garden within Evergreen Brick Works Children's Garden
Located in the Don Valley Ravine in Toronto, the Guild Garden with the Evergreen Brick Works’ Children’s Garden is an interactive greenspace nurturing people and natural systems.
Design and Process
Evergreen’s Guild Garden provides families and children of all ages a place to access nutritious food, connect with pollinating insects and other wildlife, and spend time in a natural setting. The garden is an interactive greenspace that offers the many benefits of place-based outdoor play and learning. It’s a welcoming garden where kids can participate in hands-on activities while cultivating knowledge and appreciation of nature and growing food. Dedicated garden staff engage children and families about native plants to support pollinators and healthy ecosystems.
The Guild Garden includes communities of plants that appeal to various pollinators and other species. Being close to the ravines and trail system of the Don Valley in Toronto, the garden is also a welcome space for many of the native fauna in the area. Paths weave through the garden, and a centuries-old hollow white oak log is placed strategically so children can pass through it. Over 25 species of plants, including fruit-bearing trees, berries, herbs, vegetables and edible perennials, were planted, creating a rich and diverse garden for humans and other living beings.
The Guild Garden was designed to encourage an ecosystem that supports healthy soil, plants and populations of beneficial insects. Trees and plants of various heights and bloom times were selected to appeal to pollinators and maximize biodiversity and yield. As a year-round haven for pollinators, fallen leaves are left in the garden beds over winter to help pollinator species insulate during the colder months. To minimize resources and waste, the garden is maintained using organic land care practices. Where possible, rainwater is captured and used to water plants. As the garden evolves and matures, it has attracted more bird species.
Evergreen is a national organization promoting sustainability and resiliency. Opened in 2010, the Evergreen Brick Works is a year-round destination spot and public greenspace to demonstrate sustainable practices and provide nature-based experiences. The Guild Garden within the larger Children’s Garden space is a relatively new garden, designed and co-created in partnership with Foresters Financial. The company’s staff built the garden from the ground up during a three-month series of activations. The team took part in landscaping the new garden beds, soil building and tree planting while local native plant nurseries supplied plants.
The Evergreen Brick Works gardens are maintained by a team of three staff who practice regenerative landscaping and design. Volunteers are largely made up of industry professionals with experience with organic land care practices, soil building and composting and others.
To learn more, visit Evergreen's website.
Photos c/o Evergreen
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.See the full list of 2022 recognition recipients here