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 May 2009 - Nr. 5

Toronto, ON – On May 2 and 3, thousands of Torontonians will take to the streets for the third annual Jane’s Walk, a series of more than 70 free neighbourhood walking tours across the city exploring our collective history, architecture, planning and personalities.

Celebrating the legacy of Jane Jacobs, the foremost urban thinker of our times, the Centre for City Ecology created Jane’s Walk to inspire citizens to see how people live, work and play in their built environment to help shape their communities.

Jane’s Walk is a thriving Toronto export. The CCE administers the Jane’s Walk program globally, partnering locally with cities and groups across Canada and around the world. Jane’s Walk is happening in more than 20 cities across Canada this year, with as many taking place internationally, including Chicago, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, and Goa and Mumbai, India.

"For Jacobs, the best way to get to know parks, sidewalks and streets was on foot," says Jane Farrow, executive director of Jane’s Walk. "Her eye was always at ground level, and she felt strongly that no grand planning scheme could substitute for an understanding of people's everyday experience of the city."

Toronto’s passionate residents share stories and observations about their neighbourhoods, the urban history and local lore on this walking, talking exchange. Volunteer tour guides, from former Mayors and journalists to recent immigrants and high school students, customize their tours with personal stories, local perspectives and insider hideaways to help bridge social and geographic gaps and create a space for Toronto to discover itself.

This year’s walks cover the Greater Toronto Area from the core to the suburbs and the exurbs. Explore 200 years of Lakefront and Harbour development with Fort York staff, tour the high-rise towers and ravines of the North Kipling site for the Mayor’s Tower Renewal project led by architect Graeme Stewart or join special guest recording artist Sarah Harmer on a tour of Front Street’s academic heritage and archaeology, cuisine and distillation, led by Environmental Defence lawyer David Donnelly and archaeologist Dr. Ron Williamson.

May 4, Jane Jacobs’ birthday will be declared Jane Jacobs Day for the third year by Mayor David Miller, honouring Jacobs’ belief that walkable, diverse and mixed used neighbourhoods are the hallmark of a health city and citizenry.

Jane’s Walk is made possible with the support of: The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Toronto Community Foundation, AVANA Capital, Urbanspace Property Group, City of Toronto Culture & Transportation Services, The Metcalf Foundation, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Media Profile and media partners CBC Toronto and NOW Magazine.

For a full listing of the tours or to find out how to lead a walk, visit


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