A gem worth discovering

There’s a hidden gem in the heart of Toronto, that I only discovered this summer, although I lived closeby for years. It’s the Evergreen Centre, a non profit activity and educational  centre located on the old brickworks property, nestled in the Don Valley, off Bayview Avenue.
Now its a fascinating source for heritage and ecological studies and a wonderful place for a summer or fall outing without having to travel a long distance.
You can drive, bike or take a free shuttle bus from Broadview station to reach this quiet urban paradise, where there are many activities to keep you occupied and interested for day out; most of them for minimal cost or free. Explore the trails through the valley on your own, or take a guided site tour, nature or heritage walk. A large garden centre offers an interesting selection of plants and shrubs along with “Beyond the backyard” workshops like urban Bee keeping, and Eco studies include  the Weston Quarry garden, a large pond in a former quarry, another philanthropic project of the Weston Family, which contains a marvellous collection of water lilies and other plant and waterlife. Rare plants and trees are dotted around the property and labelled for easy identification. There’s even a bike repair and swap shop where you can give your bike a tuneup and some TLC.
An indoor community education building includes a cafe which serves healthy all natural food and freshly baked goodies and a shop selling natural locally made products, preserves and crafts,  or you can bring a picnic and enjoy the outdoor environment.
Designed as an educational experience, a visit will inspire you to come again, and discover the delights of urban living.

A free shuttle bus runs every 30 – 45 minutes to and from Broadview station,
EVERGREEN CENTRE, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
For more information and a calendar of special events –  see evergreen.ca    or tel 416 596 1495

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