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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Jane Jacobs Prize

Jane JacobsPrize-smaller

Jane-jacobs_0228The Jane Jacobs Prize is an annual award that celebrates individuals who contribute to the fabric of Toronto life in unique ways that exemplify the ideas of Jane Jacobs. The prize recipients reflect the diverse aspects of city life. They may not always agree on what makes the city work or what the answers are to making it work better, but their observations and backgrounds have become part of our urban experience and enrich our lives.

The Jane Jacobs Prize was first announced in 1997 at the end of a five-day international celebration called Jane Jacobs: Ideas that Matter. Hundreds of the world’s most prominent thinkers and community leaders attended the Toronto event to exchange ideas and celebrate Jacob’s work in the areas of cities, economies and values.

At the end of the event, Ideas that Matter chairman Alan Broadbent announced that the Jane Jacobs Prize would be created to build on the spirit of the gathering. In 2014, Spacing magazine took over the selection and administration of the award.

Selection Criteria

Potential recipients of The Jane Jacobs Prize are identified through an extensive, diverse network of spotters, and as of 2019, an open call for nominations. Each candidate must:

  • Live and work in the Greater Toronto region
  • Be active in the community in some exemplary way
  • Be an unsung hero who is not particularly well known
  • Be making a contribution that provides a model for others
  • Have at least five years of working/participating/advocating in the world of local city-building

A committee comprised of Spacing editors, an advisory group of ten city-builders, and two past recipients make the final selection.

Prize Summary

The recipients of the Jane Jacobs Prize receive one lump-sum of $10,000 upon receiving the award. Recipients are able to spend the money in any way they choose.

Previous Winners

There have been 25 winners of The Jane Jacobs Prize since 1999. Check out the full listing of recipients.

Submit Your Nominations

Spacing is happy to accept nominations for potential recipients (you cannot nominate yourself). We ask that you submit the following in a PDF:

  • One paragraph biography of the nominee
  • A short description of your connection to the nominee
  • One paragraph outlining why the nominee meets the above criteria
  • Contact information of yourself and nominee
  • email nominations to:


Friday, Sept. 13, 2019

Winner(s) will be announced at the end of November 2019.