Jane’s Walk invites Toronto to “Walk it out” from May 3-5
Continuing on its commitment to facilitate and host conversations relating to everyday urban experiences, Jane’s Walk returns to Toronto from May 3-5, 2019. Now entering its 12th year, Jane’s Walk Toronto has cemented its place in the city’s consciousness as a forum for all to freely share their unique experiences about living in a constantly evolving city like Toronto. By offering a wide variety of free, citizen-led walking tours, the Festival looks to engage and educate residents as it celebrates the remarkable qualities that make Toronto one of the world’s most liveable cities, while at the same time highlighting the growing needs and opportunities for improvement.
Jane Jacobs, the legendary American-born, self-trained author and activist, best known for her impactful writings about cities, arrived in Toronto in 1968. She landed in our city soon after her legendary feats defeating unscrupulous and powerful urban developers in New York City while protecting neighbourhoods and underserved communities. She brought with her that same determination and passion, and with it, she helped shape our city into what it is today. Starting in 2007, Toronto friends and enthusiasts of Jacob’s work got together and volunteered their time to lead a series of neighbourhood walking tours in early May, to coincide with her birthday. Since then, the Jane’s Walk movement has grown into a global phenomenon, covering a wide range of cities from Tokyo to Vienna.
As cities evolve and look for more sustainable futures, Jacob’s work and ideas have become more influential and relevant than ever. “No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at…suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities, you’ve got to get out and walk,” wrote Jane Jacobs in her 1957 book Downtown is for People.
The Jane’s Walk movement understands the power that an individual’s story can have, creating important change in their communities. Jane’s Walk Toronto 2019 invites citizens looking to volunteer as Walk Leaders in order to share their unique perspectives on being a member of our city’s diverse patchwork. Through these city walks, Jane’s Walk Toronto looks to create bridges between communities, encourage a more participant and engaged city life, and ultimately improve social cohesion.