Jane’s Walk, the annual weekend-long spring event honouring the legacy of community builder and urban activist Jane Jacobs, will take place May 1-3. Jane’s Walk is a collection of neighbourhood walking tours led by local residents who are passionate about the places they call home. Jacobs, who died in 2006, was a staunch believer in encouraging residents to become involved in the communities in which they live. This event was created by Jacobs’ friends as a way to keep her vision of walkable neighbourhoods alive. Here in the East End there are several walks scheduled.
Led by Sarah Dewar, this walk begins at Stanley G. Grizzle Park and covers the Main Street neighbourhood as far south as Swanwick Avenue, recalling a thriving community of railway and motor workers in what was formerly called East Toronto. Friday, May 1, 6 p.m.
Stephen Wickens leads this Saturday morning jaunt along Danforth Avenue between Oak Park and Greenwood Avenues. In years past “The Danforth” had been called the Second Concession, the Danforth Plank Road and The King’s Highway No. 5, and lately this traditionally blue collar area has seen a wave of gentrification and development. The walk begins at Wise Guys, 2301 Danforth Ave. and will end at Greenwood Avenue. Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m.
The Friends of the Beaches Parks and Ward 32 councillor McMahon host this walk along the boardwalk, gathering and sharing ideas along the way on how best to animate the area’s public spaces. The walk begins at the Silver Birch boathouse. Saturday, May 2, 1 p.m.
Phil Pothen visits the cafés, local grocers, bakeries, fish markets and butcher shops that line Danforth Avenue between Woodbine and Victoria Park Avenues. This appetizing adventure starts at 2036 Danforth Ave., just west of Woodbine, and ends at Vic Park. Saturday, May 2, 2 p.m.
Join City Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, local historian Gene Domagala, and Bard in the Park actors for an entertaining trek amongst the tombstones of St. John’s Norway Cemetery. Saturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Starting at the northwest corner of Queen St. E. and Kingston Rd., this walk visits Woodbine Park’s wetland, continues north on Craven Road, and into the backyard of the tour’s guide, arborist Todd Irvine. Sunday, May 3, 1 p.m.
Robert Miller leads a stroll up Ashbridge’s Creek, one of the East End’s hidden streams, and past the historic Ashbridge home on Queen Street East. Sunday, May 3, 4 p.m.
Local community advocate Adam Smith leads a walking tour that outlines the history of privatization in Beach parks, from the Balmy Beach Club and Scarboro Beach amusement park to the Tuggs Inc. contract for vending rights. Starts outside Balmy Beach Club on Sunday, May 3, at 3 p.m.
Most walks are about an hour and a half. Visit janeswalk.org for more information.