Bust out those sneakers! Jane’s Walk festival returns this week (May 4-6), giving us all a unique opportunity to rediscover our own neighbourhoods, venture into oft-unseen places, and reconnect with our community. While hundreds of cities around the world will be taking part, Toronto’s own offerings are extra-special; we are, after all, the home city of Ms. Jane Jacobs herself.
Complete walk listings can be found here. Here are some highlights:
The World in Ten Blocks – Walking Tour of Bloorcourt: Join the creators of the documentary The World in Ten Blocks for a deep dive into the rich history (and vibrant present) of diversity in Bloorcourt. This walk is both a celebration of the neighbourhood and a warts-and-all look at the ugly legacy of racism, challenges of immigration, and the escalating rents that are changing its commercial landscape. May 6 2:00–4:00 p.m. | Meet on the SE corner of Montrose and Bloor St. W (across the street from Christie Pits Park).
Who Cleans Up After Us?: If you’ve ever wondered what happens to your trash after you drag it to the curb, this walk will offer a unique glimpse into the complicated logistics of solid waste management in our city. From collection and processing to disposal–and all the steps in between–you’ll witness firsthand the challenges facing Toronto as we grow. Walk will end at 505 Richmond St. West. May 4 & 5 2:00–3:15 p.m. | Nathan Phillips Square, by the first letter “T” in the TORONTO sign.
Wychwood Park – History, Architecture, and Trees: Wychwood Park is an enchanting little enclave of woods, beautiful houses, a pond, a creek, and a lot of history tucked in the heart of Toronto. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into another time as you learn about the Davenport Escarpment, the Arts and Crafts movement, Eden Smith, centuries-old oak trees, and the wych elm on a walk through a peaceful place away from the noise of the city. May 5 11:00 am–12:00 p.m. | Tollkeeper’s Cottage on the NW corner of Davenport and Bathurst.
Wild Plant Walk in Riverside: Curious to know more about which local plants are good for food, medicine and more? Join herbalist Danette Steele for a walk that explores the history and nutritional/medicinal benefits of the plants we find in our parks, laneways and gardens. And make sure to bring your travel mug as yummy herbal teas will be provided. May 5 11 am–1 p.m. | Meet outside of the Queen/Saulter Library Branch (765 Queen St East at Saulter Street).
Walking with Babies: Led by Sheyda Saneinejad and Jennifer Lee, this lovely walk through the west end will offer insights about the joys and challenges of navigating the city by foot (with babies and toddlers in tow). You’ll hear from moms on maternity leave–a baby-wearing expert and a professional whose job is to improve our city’s walking conditions. Open to families of all types, and strollers are most welcome. May 4 10:30 am–11:30 a.m. | Meet at parking lot of FreshCo just north of Dundas West subway station