Evergreen Brickworks - Positioning an Urban Revitalization Project as a Tourist Attraction?

Rachel Dodds
The Evergreen Brickworks site, which was a clay and shale quarry for one hundred years, has been transformed into a thriving, innovative, and transformative green space, called the Don Valley Brick Works Park. It is a unique site as it offers programs combining ecology, design, technology, and the arts in a hands-on, multi-sensory educational experience. Located on a unique natural and industrial heritage site, the vision for the site was to re-invent itself from an abandoned, deteriorated quarry into a destination for families and individuals where they can enjoy a natural refuge, while sampling a rich offering of programs and services. Along with offering such programs and services to the community, the Evergreen Brickworks wished to determine the potential for marketing the site to tourists to expand its offerings.

The prospect of promoting the site as a tourism destination is opportune due to the nature of the site and its offerings, but the difficult-to-access location is a challenge. The site offers an opportunity to explore successfully adapted (and designated) industrial heritage buildings as a viable and sustainable enterprise. This is something that few transformed sites have been able to achieve.

This study aimed to determine key visitor profiles for the site in order to successfully target a tourism client base that would be attracted to its offerings. This paper aims to explore creative tourism within an urban regeneration context and examine the potential for tourists to utilize and explore this space in a sustainable way. This study therefore identified key tourist markets to help understand the expectations and desires of ecologically and environmentally driven tourists in order to implement site and program enhancements at the attraction. The methodology consisted of local interviews with stakeholders and also an in-depth market analysis and market segmentation strategy. The result includes marketing ideas, including social media, to enhance visit attractiveness.