Having originated in 2007 to commemorate the vibrant life of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), Jane’s Walk is a walking conversation led by volunteers. It creates a space for citizens to discuss what matters to them while learning more about their city and their neighbours. Today, over 10,000 participants from over 300 neighbourhoods in 24 cities across the world take part. A few of the cities involved are Calcutta (India), Melbourne (Australia), São Paulo (Brazil) and areas all across North America.
A Walk concentrates on a particular aspect of a neighbourhood and can be serious, funny, informative, historical or exploratory. The idea is to meet your neighbours and learn new things while sharing your knowledge and maybe even exchanging a business card or two. Through this, Jane Jacobs aspired to contribute to the development of walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy and cities planned for and by citizens.
The annual global festival is held from May 2nd to 4th, with many walks taking place around Toronto. Some of the talks that can be expected are King and Spadina: One of the Two Kings, Sussing out Bedford Park, Queer and Fabulous and A Raindrop's Journey in Rosedale Valley, to name a few (see the website for a full schedule of walks or to read more about volunteering).