Brickworks Workshop

January 13, 2009 ·

Michael Reichmann

Toronto – November 5 and 6, 2005

Brickworks #7 — Toronto. November, 2003

Located very close to downtown Toronto is an old industrial site calledThe Brickworks. For the first half of the 20th century it was the source of much of the brick used to build the city of Toronto, and then in the second half of the century it was abandoned; the buildings sealed, and the grounds turned into parkland.

In November 2003, quite by accident, I found an entrance into one of the sealed buildings and ended up doing some fascinating photography. You can read about that event in my essay titledArchitecture as Landscape.

Since thenThe Brickworkshas become slated for a major urban renewal program under the auspices of the environmental groupEvergreen. You can read about that exciting projecthere. But at the moment the buildings of The Brickworks sit much as they have for the past half century. (TheCity of Toronto, the property’s owners, has done an environmental and safety cleanup.)


The Workshop

I have been retained by Evergreen to documentThe Brickworks, through archival materials for as it was back then, what it looks like now, and how it will change and evolve in the future, especially over the next few years during its upcoming restoration and renovation stages. This commission has given me unique access to the interior of the site’s buildings.

I have been successful in convincing Evergreen of the worth of sharing that access with a small group of enthusiastic photographers. Here is a chance to enter a unique historical industrial site that has essentially laid in ruin for more than a half century, and to photograph and be able to freely explore the building’s interior with the guidance and advice of Michael Reichmann, and photographer Peter Thomson.


There will be four workshop sessions.

Saturday, Nov 5, 2005

Session #1: 9am – 12 Noon SOLD OUT

Session #2: 1pm– 4PM AVAILABLE

Sunday, Nov 6, 2005

Session #3: 9am – 12 Noon SOLD OUT

Session #4: 1pm– 4PM AVAILABLE

The cost of each 3 hour session is the same, at CDN $250. You may sign up for more than one session if you wish, but a fee of $250 is payable for each one attended.

Each session will be identical to the others. The only difference will be that if the days are sunny, the morning sessions may produce sunbeams through the holes in the ceiling. There are some, but fewer sunbeams in the afternoon. If the day is overcast, the morning and afternoon sessions will be essentially identical.


The only special clothing that will need to be worn are heavy boots, and hard hats. You must provide your own boots. Rubber soled sneakers will not be permitted. Hard hats will be provided when you arrive at the site.

Since this is early November the days could be cool, so appropriate dress is required. Though we will be indoors, the buildings haven’t been heated in 50 years. If it’s raining, rain will be coming in through openings in the roof, the floor may be wet, and so proper rain gear would be advisable.

Photographic equipment can be whatever you wish to use, ranging up to large format. Tripods are a must. Exposure times range from around a second, to several minutes. Wide angle lenses are worthwhile, as are tilt/shift lenses if you’re not using a view camera.

Michael and Peter will be available at all times to not only show you some of the better shooting locations but to also answer technical questions and offer compositional advice.


Refreshments will be served, ranging from juice and coffee at the beginning of morning sessions, to sandwiches and soft drinks later in the day. The refreshment stand will be open at all times to all participants, and is included in your workshop fee. There will be sanitary facilities provided. Parking is close by and free. The Brickworks is located off Bayview Avenue, just minutes from the heart of Toronto.

Out of Towners

Though we expect that most people attending will be from the Toronto and the Southern Ontario area, because of the unique nature of this event I expect that some people will travel to Toronto just for this opportunity. I will be planning a group dinner for the evening of Saturday Nov 5, once I know how many people are interested in attending.

Gallery Exhibition

All participants will be invited to submit their best work from these sessions, which will appear in a special gallery exhibition to be held in Toronto, likely in February, 2006. Because Evergreen is a not-for-profit organization proceeds from print sales will go toward funding the Brickworks restoration. More details on this will be provided at a later date.

Brickworks #14— Toronto. November, 2003

Liability Waiver

Please be aware that upon your arrival at The Brickworks you will be required to sign aLiability Waiver, releasing Evergreen and The Luminous Landscape from any liability associated with your participation in this workshop and your entry into these buildings.


What Once Was Forbidden is Allowed

If you would like to participate in the unique experience, all you need to do is register. Registrations are on a first come, first served basis. Here’s what you do.

Copy the form below from your browser, and then past it into your email program.

Answer the questions, and email it

Also please note that you are asked to indicate the session or sessions that you would like to attend. If your preferred session is sold out, please indicate your second choice.

Please Cut and Past This section into your e-mail program and complete

Please Enroll me in The Brickworks Forbidden Photography Workshop




Daytime telephone or Mobile #:

Session(s) Requested– Indicate #1, #2, #3 or #4.
If more than 1 session, please indicate.

Total Sessions Requested:
(the fee for each session is CDN $250 ($US $200))

Alternate session(s) –
If your first choice ends up being booked, please indicate here your alternative choices

Are you interested in joining a group dinner on Saturday evening, November 5?

Please Cut and Past This section into your e-mail program and complete

Once you have e-mailed this form I will get back to you to confirm the sessions that you’ve requested. Once you receive your confirmation you will need to send in your payment to confirm participation. There will be no refunds once payment has been made.

You will need to send a money order, certified check or bank draft (sorry, no credit cards, Paypall or personal cheques) payable toThe Luminous Landscape Inc., to ….

The Luminous Landscape Inc.
68 Roxborough Street West
Toronto, Ontario. M5R 1T8

You will have 14 days from the time your register online until your cheque needs to arrive. If it has not arrived within 14 days you may loose your reservation.

Please remember that availability is on a first-come first-served basis, so if this unique opportunity strikes your fancy, don’t hesitate.

Do not mail payment until we have confirmed the availability of the sessions that you have requested.

Michael Reichmann

Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. Michael passed away in May 2016. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of photography. Each month more than one million people from every country on the globe visit LuLa.

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