Lead a Jane’s Walk and Show Off Our Neighbourhood on May 4 – 5


Kitsilano Bee Walk

Mary’s Bee Walk with Go Go Bonkers and participants.

There are free walks all over town — indeed all over the world — on the weekend of May 4-5. Jane’s Walks are in honour of Jane Jacobs, an urbanist and activist (1916-2006), who preached walkability. Jane’s Walks  started in Toronto in 2007. Organizers chose the first weekend in May to honour her spirit; it’s near to both the date of her birth and the date of her death.

In Kitsilano last year there was one, yes one, walk. And it was mine. I’m proud of that. But come on, folks: let’s show off our neighbourhood. We consistently get voted best neighbourhood, but that’s no reason to rest on our laurels (although we certainly have lots of laurel).

I’m not the only one to ever have done a Jane’s Walk in Kitsilano, however. Bruce Macdonald did one in 2010 that got a lot of press including on this blog. Last year there was a walk ever so close –on Habitat Forum ’76 Site – Urban Archaeology Tour at Jericho Beach organized by Lindsay Brown.

Here are the Jane’s Walks already listed for 2013. You’ll see my Kitsilano Bee-Line Walk there. Maybe you’ll come along on Saturday, May 4 at 2pm. You can also check out the video from a previous bee-walk above.

If you’re thinking about leading a walk, here are some suggestions.

How To Lead A Jane’s Walk

1. You don’t have to be an expert. It’s all about villagers showing others around their neighbourhood.

2. The walks are free and open to all. Even so, it’s okay to set up your own registration process so you have some idea of who’s coming. I’d recommend it.

3. Meet in a coffee shop – after all, that’s part of the ‘hood, right.

4. Have a very small handout. I didn’t, last year, and I wished I had.

5. Keep it simple. Have a focus and a few key points.

6. Set your boundaries. People may ask you about all sorts of things. You don’t have to answer.

7. Cooperate with your neighbours. Could be fun if we coordinated things so there were a series of Kits walks and we could go on each other’s walks.

Wired Monk Coffee Shop,  2610 West 4th, 604-742-1752, Wiredmonk.com/location/kitsilano/

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Mary is a workshop leader, consultant, visual artist, volunteer and citizen. Her work  promotes curiosity, learning and creativity that results in people having a fuller life and engaging with the world in new ways. Read more of her work at marybennett.wordpress.com  Get in touch: kitsecoarts@gmail.com

Last modified: March 20, 2013

2 Responses to " Lead a Jane’s Walk and Show Off Our Neighbourhood on May 4 – 5 "

  1. Dear Mary,

    What a wonderful thing! I had never heard of a ‘Jane’s Walk’ before this post. I am completely inspired, and will be forwarding this post to the City of White Rock Parks and Leisure as well as our community Arts Council.

    Thank You…
    Cathy Burrell