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Water Ways: Histories of the Don

By April Nicolle & Floyd Ruskin, Evergreen Brick Works

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Friday, May 5



Language: English 

Area: Don Valley

Theme: Environment and Sustainability, History and Community

Accessibility: Uneven terrain, Low-lighting, Dog-friendly walk, Family-friendly walk


Everything you are – everything you know – it has been shaped by water. You are made of water, you need water, and the land upon which you stand is an intricate sculpture carved by ancient waterways. But just as water carves, it also builds: systems and communities and history.

In the Don Valley, these themes coalesce, and at the Brick Works, the story of water and community is alive. Join us for a wander, and we’ll follow the water. It’s a story that begins millions of years ago with a prehistoric sea and continues throughout time as the don is reshaped and reformed by human and non-human activity. We’ll cover topics like land formation, indigenous land management & teachings, the ecological implications of the industrial revolution, the power of community organizing, and pathways to a more sustainable future.

For the second half of our walk, we’ll wander through the Don Valley Brick Works Quarry Park, and observe the many communities who have returned to their home here in the last few decades. This portion will be free-flowing – an exploration led by the inquiries of the walk participants. As we walk, we’ll pay reverence to the non-human members of this ecosystem. We’ll think, too, about who is missing, and what could be.

  • Walk Start Location: Meet in front of the Water Shed Wall (pictured) at Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue. Located in the Don Valley and accessible by the Beltline Trail. Free shuttle bus is also available from just North of Broadview station. Walk leader will have Green "Evergreen" baseball cap.

  • Walk End Location: This walk is a loop, we'll end where we began.

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