The annual Jane’s Walks in Toronto have been re-imagined for this weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The walks are held each year in honour of Jane Jacobs who did groundbreaking research into cities and planning. The walks would draw large crowds of people to areas across the city for guided walking tours from neighbourhood experts.
This year, however, the May 1 to 3 walks and events will now take place virtually.
“We have been debating amongst ourselves the new direction we should take while also considering the guidance of our local public health authorities,” said a statement on the Jane’s Walk website.
“Therefore, the 202 Jane’s Walk Festival will not proceed with our usual in-person Jane’s Walks for this year. Instead, we will be exploring different formats that we can facilitate to continue our engagement and community building.”
There are a number of virtual Jane’s Walks planned across Toronto, and a keynote event on May 2. The keynote, COVID-19 and Public Space, will feature speaker Jan Gehl in a Zoom event set for noon on May 2. To sign up for this and other discussions, please go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQoiB87cBGZwhDDj0AymnZTacd8CitmDhN-PwOUCdOesrNvA/viewform
More information on how to participate in Toronto Jane’s Walks online and the scheduled times for the virtual walks, can be found at www.janeswalkfestivalTO.com
From an East Toronto perspective, the most relevant event will be the From Bricks to Cars – East End Workers History Tour. Hosted by David Kidd from 11 a.m. to noon on Sunday, May 3, the virtual walk will look at the historical locations and stories associated with working world of East York and the Danforth.
Now retired, Kidd is a labour history walk leader.
“From the beginnings of brick production in the Don Valley and off Greenwood Avenue to meat production and auto assembly along the Danforth to the provision of public services in the east end, the walk will show our working past,” said a website description.
Participants can register at any time to take part, and will be sent the link on the day of the scheduled walk.
Please go to https://www.janeswalkfestivalto.com/frombrickstocars to register for the From Bricks to Cars walk.
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