How much do you know about your community? Apart from sharing your favourite grocery stores or cafes, could you tell stories of some of the historical buildings or trace back some forgotten history stories of people’s work or lives in your neighbourhood?
Jane’s Walks is a free, locally-organised walking tour, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Different from traditional guided tours, Jane’s Walks are self-initiated and volunteering based, usually led by a local leader or organiser who is from a community who can tell you heart-touching or fact- based stories. It’s sort of like a “walking conversation” with an aim to stir up participation and discussions with outsiders – the walkers.
It all started with Jane Jacob, an urban activist who advocated city observation while living in New York and then Toronto. In her book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, Jacobs wrote:
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
After her death, in 2006, Jane’s Walk was founded in Toronto by a group of her friends and colleagues who wanted to honour her ideas and legacy to encourage people appreciate the place they work and live by sharing stories of how great their living spaces are.
From their official data, in 2014, Jane’s Walk took place across 6 continents, 25 countries, 134 cities, and in the form of over 1000 walks. You and everyone can add your city and suggest routes, upload pictures on the Walking App and online tools for fun things to learn and do for people visiting your community.
Why not start up your own Jane’s Walk in your city?