Family-friendly fun at the Winter Village

Evergreen Brick Works captures winter spirit during season-long festival

When Mary Lewis was a child, she spent many weekend mornings on an ice rink in her backyard. Her fondest memories are ones of her, her younger sister and her father tumbling over each other to see who could race to the finish line first.

Now 39, Lewis spends weekend mornings with her own family creating new memories on the ice. The rink may not be right in her own backyard anymore, but it’s close enough.

Evergreen Brick Works, located at 550 Bayview Ave., is currently holding its Winter Village. On top of a free public skating rink, the event also includes a farmers market on Saturdays and a street food marketplace, equipped with a heated outdoor eating area.

“It’s wonderful to have a place like this in the neighbourhood,” Lewis said. “It’s within walking distance and it’s not overwhelmed by city noise, you know? It’s a great escape on the weekends. It brings my family together.”

The Village also offers other family-friendly activities. Each weekend, Evergreen’s Children’s Garden holds nature-themed workshops about the local plants and animals that call the Don Valley home. There is also fat biking, which is a form of mountain biking on thicker wheels, lessons and group rides.

“I like that it’s local. I like that I can talk to the people participating and know I’m supporting my neighbours,” said Lewis, who lives in East York. “What could be better? It makes me feel like I’m a kid again.”

The Winter Village is open weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Feb. 28.