Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jane's Walks - Citizen-Led Tours Exploring some of Vintage Toronto


Citizen-Led Tours Exploring some of Vintage Toronto!

The Toronto Vintage Society aims to knit together Toronto vintage community.  Creating common threads between all things steeped in the past....this includes Toronto's history!

In order to enjoy what we have in this great city - we should understand our history. One of the ways to learn more is through participating in Jane's Walks. Jane's Walks are a great way to learn about the city as a whole, but also personal stories of the communities and neighbourhoods within it.

This year Jane's Walks take place all over the city May 6th- 8th. This year would have been Jane's Birthday, but also marks 10 years since the Walks were started....

From the Jane's Walks website:

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She had no formal training as a planner, and yet her 1961 treatise, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail that now seem like common sense to generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists.

Jacobs saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used.  She promoted higher density in cities, short blocks, local economies and mixed uses.  She lived in Greenwich Village for decades, then moved to Toronto in 1968 where she continued her work and writing on urbanism, economies and social issues until her death in April 2006.

A firm believer in the importance of local residents having input on how their neighbourhoods develop, Jacobs encouraged people to familiarize themselves with the places where they live, work and play with words like these:
“No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at … suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk.” 
Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers.
A Jane’s Walk can focus on almost any aspect of a neighbourhood, and on almost any topic you can think of.Walks can be serious or funny, informative or exploratory; they can look at the history of a place, or at what’s happening there right now.  Anyone can lead a walk -- because everyone is an expert on the place where they live!
Here is a list of history based walk's being offered this May 6-8th:

We plan to partake in many of these great individual and community lead walks...but hopefully soon we will be able to lead one ourselves!


Additional events celebrating Jane this year:
Jane at Home at Urbanspace Gallery. April 29-May 8, 10-6 daily.
An exhibit celebrating the life and personal history of Jane Jacobs, featuring rare and never-before-seen items from her estate.  
Toronto the Good: A Jane's Walk Launch Party at Fermenting Cellar. May 5th, 6-11pm.
A party thrown each year by ERA Architects (and friends) to celebrate Toronto and contemplate its history and evolution with fellow architects, designers, thinkers, and urban-minded people. This year we are celebrating the launch of the 10th Jane’s Walk festival!


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