Toronto-based firm Levitt Goodman Architects is known for its green designs. "We've done lots of LEED-certified buildings, but we're looking toward the bigger picture of sustainability," says Janna Levitt, a principal at the firm. So when Matthew Cohen, a senior project manager at Evergreen (a nonprofit geared to creating and supporting sustainable urban spaces), called Levitt earlier this year, the timing and partnership could not have been better.
The project on which Evergreen was seeking help was the development of Evergreen Brick Works
, the adaptive reuse of Toronto's former Don Valley Brick Works brickyard. In the 1960s and 70s, the factory produced more than 43 million bricks each year, however, business slowed in the 1980s and the brickyard closed its doors that decade. In 1996, the city of Toronto opened the 12-acre, 16-building site as a park and Evergreen became involved by helping plant wildflowers. Today, the nonprofit runs the site, working to get all 16 buildings back into usable condition to host a farmers' market, the Evergreen administration building, rental space for businesses and other nonprofits, a skating rink, workshop spaces, and more. Photo by Ben Rahn, A-Frame Studio