Jane’s Walks cover story of East End

Put some spring in your step by taking part in one or more of this weekend’s Jane’s Walks.

This annual event celebrates the life and legacy of Jane Jacobs, an urban activist and community builder who encouraged residents to get involved in the communities in which they lived. Jacobs died in 2006 but her vision of walkable neighbourhoods lives on in this perennial favourite springtime festival. From Friday, May 6, to Sunday, May 8, community-led walks offer something for everyone.

Here are a few of the walks taking place in the East End:

Little Free Libraries: An Impromptu Reading Walk with Neighbours

Saturday, May 7, 4 p.m. These diminutive front-lawn ‘libraries’ look like miniature post boxes. Neighbours are encouraged to take a book, leave a book, and share the love of reading. The chapter for this walk, led by the Global Director of Jane’s Walk, Denise Pinto, opens at Coxwell station and is expected to take one-and-a-half hours.

KXN: Literary and Photo Walk in the Beaches

Saturday, May 7, 11:30 a.m. Led by photographer Elle Buetow and writer Catherine Graham, this literary photo walk will give participants an opportunity to explore the neighbourhood through both words and pictures. Bring phones, DSLR, or even disposable cameras as these will play an integral role. The tour begins at the Beaches Branch library, 2161 Queen St. E. and will last an hour.

Public Art in the Beach

Sunday, May 8, 3 p.m. The Beach Village is home to murals and street art adorning the walls of buildings and construction sites, and this will be an opportunity to meet the artists who create these colourful works. Led by Adam Smith, the one-hour tour will start at Neville Park and continue along Queen Street East to Lee Avenue, visiting art installations along the way.

Erie Terrace to Craven Road: Tiny Houses, Tall Tales and a 100-Year Fence

Saturday, May 7, 1 p.m. Local historian Joanne Doucette and Craven Road blogger Alison Humphrey will share some quirky facts about why houses were built on only one side of the street while the city’s longest wooden fence lines the other, and that some of the street’s home were built from scraps and others from mail-order kits. This three-hour tour begins at Jonathan Ashbridge Park at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Queen Street and ends at Danforth Avenue.

The Upper Beaches: A Duel, Graves and Golf, Forgotten Waters and ‘Moderately-Priced’ Homes

Sunday, May 8, 2 p.m. Meet on the northwest corner of Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue and proceed through the residential neighbourhood that has only been called the Upper Beach for approximately 15 years. Tour guide Michael Hume will impart some interesting facts about the history of the area, including a duel, a long-gone pond, and a graveyard. This walk is scheduled to take two hours.

This is just a sampling of what is on offer locally.

Other tours include a culinary tasting tour along Danforth Avenue, a return to the roots of ‘the Danny’ to when it was called the Danforth Plank Road, and a meander along Main Street in the former Village of East Toronto.

For more information on these and other walks happening across the city, visit janeswalk.org.


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