What Is Jane’s Walk?
Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since it’s inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in twelve North American cities: Toronto, New York, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Halifax, Guelph, Charlottetown, Thornbury, and Salt Lake City. More partner cities and towns are being added in 2009 including Montreal, Regina, Boston, Chicago and New Orleans.
Jane’s Walk honours the legacy and ideas of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs who championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centered approach to planning. Jane’s Walk helps knit people together into a strong and resourceful community, instilling belonging and encouraging civic leadership.
All Jane’s Walk tours are given and taken for free. These walks are led by anyone who has an interest in the neighbourhoods where they live, work or hang out. They are not always about architecture and heritage, and offer a more personal take on the local culture, the social history and the planning issues faced by the residents. Jane Jacobs believed strongly that local residents understood best how their neighbourhood works, and what is needed to strengthen and improve them. Jane’s Walks are meant to be fun, engaged and participatory – everyone’s got a story and they’re usually keen to share it.
Over six thousand people took part in the 2008 Jane’s Walk . In Toronto, for instance, there were seventy four walking tours, including six student-led tours, that explored a wide range of urban landscapes, from social housing slated for redevelopment, to areas with a rich architectural and cultural heritage, to teen hangouts and secret gardens. Walks are led by both individual and small groups. Some are focussed around historical themes more than geographical areas, for instance, some strolls have been built around ideas like the history of the bicycle, gay and lesbian history, places of relevance to the homeless, the history of ‘skid row’, and urgent planning matters facing certain neighbourhoods.
Our walk is going to take in Walkerville, so if you’re interested in participating, meet us at Taloola Cafe at 11:00 am tomorrow. Taloola is at 396 Devonshire Rd, beside the old Walkerville Post Office. The walk will be about an hour, and will lead us on a circle as we will begin and end at Taloola. The walk is free, and will take place Rain or Shine.
If you like the Facebook, there’s a link to the event here as well, and if you hit the Jane’s Walk website, details for the Windsor Walk can be found there as well.
So, join us for the first Windsor Jane’s Walk, tomorrow. Come out and meet some like minded people, and hopefully for 2010, we can have a few more walks around different parts of the city.