Above are a few photos from a variety of tours during yesterday’s first annual Jane’s Walk. Word is spreading that a lot of the tours had up to 80 people with a suspected 2,500-3,000 participants city-wide. Next year, I’m sure, will be bigger and hopefully cover more parts of the city.
Spacing is happy to have been an organizing partner of Jane’s Walk and we would like to extend our gratitude to Margie Zeidler, Chris Winter of the Conservation Council of Ontario, Alan Broadbent and Ann Peters at Ideas That Matters, and all of the volunteers, tour guides, and residents who made Jane’s Walk possible.
Please feel free to leave a comment about the walk(s) you were on, what you liked, what you didn’t, etc….
top four photos by Luke Tymowski, bottom row by Himy Syed
David Crombie’s excellent three-hour tour of Swansea drew 50 people (the crowd gathered outside the High Park subway station was so big one local asked if the subway was closed). The crowd at Adam Vaughan’s Kensington/Alexandra Park walk was harder to count, but was probably about 125 people.
It would be great to spread the walks out (perhaps over two days) to make it possible for people to go to more of them — though that could lead to over-crowding. One woman on the Swansea walk brought along a portable microphone/speaker, which made it much easier for everyone to hear, especially on busier streets.
Overall, it ran remarkably smoothly — especially given how quickly it came together — and I’m looking forward to next year.
I would second spreading the walks out a little. I was hoping to get to three but was caught out by the wrong time being published for the first St Clair West walk and didn’t allow enough time to get from that one to the Kensington one. Perhaps a google map could be created with likely starting *and* ending points to help people plan their journey between walks.
A big thanks for the Dufferin-St Clair Public Library for hosting the refreshment break while showcasing their redevelopment plan.
It’s a great time to do this – Simcoe Day might seem a better day to celebrate Toronto in this way but given the usual ambient temperatures in late summer this was a much more pleasant day to walk in Toronto. Together with Doors Open May is becoming the month to discover our city.
Hopefully next year some folks will take on some walks outside of the old City and Beaches. Unfortunately I haven’t lived in Ward 29 long enough yet to be useful as a guide!
One of the reasons that Jane’s Walk was such an instant success was the tremendous passion and commitment people across Toronto have for our city.
I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next year, and to having it expand to other communities — especially those that are so desparately in need of a community vision and help in building more vibrant and walkable urban villages.