Walk Leader: Ian Hosler
Text by: Ian Hosler
Photographs by: Ian Hosler
Chatting with people as they arrived for our Jane’s Walk around Westmount, I observed that we had a healthy mix of first-time visitors, local residents, alumni of Westglen School, and other friends and neighbours.
Our school librarian approached me and confided that she had in fact met Jane Jacobs through a friend in Toronto some years back and had gone on a walk with her, which I thought was an amazing and appropriate connection to the day’s activity. Nonetheless, it was with some trepidation that I watched the crowd gather.
In the course of my research for the walk, I had found a number of interesting local places where I knew there was a story, but I couldn’t find any recorded history. So I asked the group to help fill in those blanks with our collective knowledge. I was really pleased at how everyone contributed; we ended up with a much richer picture of our neighbourhood, crowdsourcing as we went along.
As we walked the streets and alleys, neighbours came out of their yards to see what was going on and contributed their stories. At the end of the walk, as we stopped in for a cold beverage at a local restaurant, I couldn’t help but reflect on the power of the Jane’s Walk experience to bring people together in the community.