Toronto Don Valley Brickworks

The Don Valley Brickworks in Toronto, Ontario is a brick manufacturing plant which began operation in 1889 when clay found in the valley nearby proved to be useful for brick making.   Since then it has produced bricks for many Toronto landmarks.  Production continued into the early 1980's when the local quarry began to run out of usable clay and limestone.

The Brickworks has long been a favorite hotspot for Toronto UE'ers.  It is generally fairly safe, as far as Urban Exploration locations go, and it is also very photogenic.  Infact so much so, that on a nice weekend, you can see often several groups of people, both Urban Explorers and non-Urban Explorers there, enjoying the place.

I am unsure what the security measures are at this time, but a few years ago a homeless person lived inside the Brickworks.  And he was responsible for all of the buildings security.  He would pile extremely heavy objects in front of openings in the wall,  and set up tin cans and such to alert him to any intruders.  I have only seen him once, for a brief few seconds.  He was fairly reclusive, and we respected his privacy.  One night, on New Years, we even left a case of beer for him.

The building had many levels and nooks and crannies to hide in.  It was a great place for a game of hide and seek, or tag.  Many a new explorer I brought there to experience their first real taste of UE.  Some of them I totally had the hots for ;).  I was also planning on featuring the Brickworks in a film I was planning on making which involved UE in its plotline.  Although I did do some casting, the film never got off the ground because quite frankly I know nothing about film making other then some specialized high school level camera, film and media classes.

However, here are some photos.  :)

Some explorers head towards the Brickworks.

Affectionately known as the Jesus Machine, this contraption is used to produce a special kind of brick, used in antique installations.

Long rows of Kilns for baking the bricks.  The bricks would move through the center of the kilns on carts.

Hoppers...  For the clay.

This device is a chute on tracks which was used to sort which processors the clay was going to, I guess.  It seems to be an afterthought since it was build on top of the roof.

Nature begins to reclaim this building, after 20 years of inactivity.  These tracks were used to transport and store the bricks on.  Metal carts were used for this purpose.

A maze of pipes, catwalks and support beams runs through this place.  In this photo you can see a fellow explorer walk along a catwalk in the background with his light on.

Some Urban Explorers take photographs during a UE Meet.

This was an artistic attempt I did.  I had a few explorers help me light the scene with their flashlights.  I think it worked rather well.

This is a self portrait I took.  On a sunny day the Brickworks was always good for light beams, but generally only earlier in the day.

That concludes my entry on the Brickworks.  Be sure to check out my other locations!