The "EVERGREED" in big, bold red letters on the side of the Toronto Brick Works building is little hard to make out now that its been spraypainted over.
But it's clear not everyone is enthusiastic about plans of non-profit Evergreen - no greed - to remake the heritage site into "an international showcase for urban sustainability and green design." In particular, the Governor's Bridge Ratepayers Association, which was appealing to the mayor to pull the plug on the $55 million project long before shovels went into the ground December 8.
Among other concerns, the group doesn't want the city, which so far has anted up $10 million, to be stuck with any of the costs, or possible overruns.
Not an altogether surprising sentiment coming from the cosy, small-c conservative confines of this former slice of East York.
But from a greenspace point of view, plans for the site are somewhat worrying. The Works' late 19th century environs will be dominated by parking lots - on either side of the site and smack dab in the middle.
The artists' renderings are beautiful. But with the current layout, it's a little hard to imagine a visitor centre, event space for gardens and exhibits, a restaurant and an administrative building on the site without it feeling a little car-centric and cramped.
No one wants the entrance to this vital natural space, the first we're trying to reclaim in a meaningful way in the neglected Valley, go Big Box. We should be encouraging people to bike, walk, take transit instead. (Right now, a free shuttle runs from Broadview but it only on Saturdays for the Farmers' Market from May to November.)
Which brings me to the huge opportunity being missed across the street - the GO Transit tracks begging for a open-air platform and some light rail.
Seems like a natural, more pedestrian-friendly solution for the Bricks, to ferry people in by rail, except for the right-of-way obstacles we always run into when it comes to putting transit service on track owned by CN and CP.
The Brick Works is an important part of the city's industrial history, moulding the bricks that rebuilt a decimated core after the Great Fire of 1904.
We almost lost in the 80s when some well-connected developers somehow convinced the former Borough of East York to rezone the lnds urban valley, opening the door to residential development.
Locals fought, convincing the Metro and Region Conservation Authority and Metro Parks Department to buy the land and designate it for conservation use.
A monument commemorating the effort still sits on the Brick Works site. A massive reclamation of the area wetlands was also undertaken. Today, they form part of the base of valley cliffs that boast some of the oldest known geology on the planet.
It would be a shame to see this quiet crevasse of the Valley, the mystery of 200 years of history, smogged out by the vroom, vroom of car culture.