On the weekend of May 5 and 6, a number of East End locales will be featured in Jane’s Walk, an annual event celebrating the work of urban activist Jane Jacobs.
Jacobs was an advocate for strong neighbourhoods and encouraged residents to become involved in the planning and development of their surroundings. Jane’s Walk was founded in 2007, a year after her death, as a way to honour her legacy.
On Saturday morning, get to know about The Other Danforth: The Life and Death of Upper Midway. This two-hour walk will begin at Wise Guys nightclub, 2301 Danforth Ave., at 10 a.m. and will focus on local history, development and neighbourhood revitalization.
Tap to Toilet starts at Queen Street East and Nursewood Road at 2 p.m. with a look at the R. C. Harris Filtration Plant – Toronto’s ‘Palace of Purification’ – and ending at the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant. Local experts will impart some new ideas about eco-engineering the future of sanitation and toilets. This walk travels the boardwalk and dogs are welcome to attend.
A third Saturday walk is the Williamson Ravine Ramble. This walk begins at 4 p.m. at 315 Gainsborough Rd., in the cul de sac near Coxwell Avenue and (upper) Gerrard Street East. Wear sturdy footwear, be prepared to get muddy, and bring along your leashed canine buddies for this walk through the Williamson ravine. Discover some rare tree species, learn about tree canopies and protecting them, and get local input on wayfinding. The tour ends in the Gerrard India Bazaar at 6 p.m.
What better time to explore a graveyard than at night? Spooky Spirit Ghost Tour of St. John’s Cemetery gets started at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of St. John’s Norway Church, 470 Woodbine Ave., at Kingston Road. Bring a flashlight and follow along for a guided tour of the area’s largest cemetery. This tour ends at 9 p.m.
On Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., take A Fresh Look at Social Housing in the Queen and Coxwell community. The tour begins at 1555 Queen St. E. at Craven Road and ends at Project Amik, 419 Coxwell Ave. Led by a social housing expert, representatives from Toronto Community Housing, Innstead and Riverdale Co-ops and Project Amik, you’ll find out about policy decisions that made social housing what it is today.
How Parks Work: An Eastern Beaches Walkabout gets underway Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Balmy Beach Club, at the foot of Beech Avenue. This walk focuses on the parks along the boardwalk, including their design and maintenance. Bring the dogs along as they will get a chance to mingle with their neighbours at the newly-renovated off-leash park. The walk ends at the Gardener’s Cottage in Kew Gardens at 6 p.m.
For more information about all the Jane’s Walk tours in the city, visit janeswalk.net.