Staff Picks - Jane's Walk Festival 2015

To help you navigate the huge list of walks on offer, the Jane’s Walk Project staff suggest their top-picks for this year’s festival.

Kate Watanabe, April 29, 2015

Jane’s Walk is setting a new record!

Throughout the city Jane’s Walk is gearing up for a record breaking weekend. Over 185 walks will be happening in Toronto during the festival this year - that’s an increase of 20% over last year! To help you navigate the huge list of walks on offer, the Jane’s Walk Project staff suggest their top-picks for this year’s festival.

Denise's Picks
Denise Pinto, Global Director

d'bi.young anitafrika

Watah Walk - Steps of self knowledge

May 2, 2015 | 06:00 PM

Walk Leader: d'bi.young anitafrika

Dub poet d’bi young anitafrika was named one of Toronto’s Vital People this year. Her work is provocative and raw, and exceptionally beautiful. Along with her students and co-practitioners at the Watah School, she is going to create a collaborative performance on this walk which will reflect on how the Distillery District has shaped critical art making for emerging, racialized, immigrant and first nations people. If you are interested in cites that work and are made for everyone, this walk is for you.

Keeping Bloor; Rosina Shopkeeper Project

Keeping Bloor; Rosina Shopkeeper Project

May 3, 2015 | 02:00 PM

Walk Leader: Claire Burns

I lived in Bloorcourt for just over a year: long enough to call it home, and brief enough that I never had a chance to visit the variety of shops that pepper this incredibly dense retail strip. Guided by Jane's love of diverse, independent shops, I'm recommending this walk because shopkeepers and small business owners are critical to building lively, liveable streets. On the tour, seventeen shopkeeps will be sharing stories about the changes they've seen through their store windows, coaxed by a grassroots group of actors, playwrights, librarians and local politicians. Not to be missed!

Kate's Picks
Kate Watanabe, Toronto Programming & Events Coordinator

Skateboarding in the Financial District: A wheeled perspective

May 2, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Walk Leaders: Ariel Stagni, Carolina Zabas Roelandt

This walk sounds so fantastic!. Led by an avid skateboarder in collaboration with an urban planner, the walk will examine how our public spaces allow or prohibit use by different groups. As a teen I spent many evenings at Trinity Square, a popular skateboarding destination, and I remember the continual clash between security guards and the boarders. I’m interested to hear the different perspectives of the stakeholders affected by non-traditional use of our cities buildings.

Intriguing, industrial, Sterling Road!!

May 1, 2015 | 06:00 PM

May 3, 2015 | 01:00 PM

Walk Leader: Catto Houghton

This walk is special to me because it happens right in my neighbourhood. I’m fascinated by the mix of industry and recreation that happens along sterling road. The stretch is reflective of the changes facing this section of the west-end, an area that is steadily gentrifying but managing to create a new identity, one that has escaped the clutches of mega-chains….. for now.

Nadia's Picks
Nadia Halim, Global Cities Coordinator

From One Mall to Another: The Galleria to The Duff

May 2, 2015 | 02:00 PM

Walk Leader: Shari Kasman

It wasn’t that long ago that we took malls for granted, as the natural habitat of the common North American teenager. Now, it seems we live in a twilight of the malls; I’ve spent more time recently looking at photos of eerily derelict malls online than I have shopping in local ones. But, in this age of one-click shopping, can the Galleria and the mighty Duff successfully re-invent themselves? I look forward to checking in on them and finding out how they’re doing.

Josh Fullan, School Edition Lead

Spaghetti Junction - The Farewell Tour

May 2, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Walk Leader: Peter Milczyn

This walk is super interesting to me because it takes place right where I grew up and went to high school. Like a lot of our inner suburbs, it is now full of high rises and a lot more and different kinds of people, many of whom don't want to cross six lanes of traffic to get their morning coffee or walk the dog. I can remember walking the stretch on Dundas near Six Points Plaza as a kid and feeling, without really knowing why, how bleak and depressing it was. It's a lot more vibrant now because of all the people but the postwar design is still working pretty hard against it. I'm skeptical the reconfiguration and revitalization can solve all of the issues here but am willing to listen.

Nico Koenig, Community Outreach Coordinator

Scarborough Poetry Walk

May 3, 2015 | 02:00 PM

Walk Leader: Anna Nieminen

Have you heard? The Toronto Public libraries have created a map to explore the city through poetry! Really! Check it out here ( and come on this walk to hear Scarborough’s contributors. You can even bring your own poem to share as you stroll. I’m a big fan of walks that try out new ways to facilitate discussion and even made a longer list for you to see called Jane's Walks that Re-Invent the Walking Tour.

Wrestling with change in today's Parkdale: The forces that divide and community initiatives that hold us together

May 2, 2015 | 11:00 AM

Walk Leaders: Joshua Barndt, Bob Rose

I’ve got a soft spot for Parkdale. Anytime I walk into Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre (PARC)  I am constantly inspired by the sense of community there. This year, PARC will be teaming up with a few other groups to talk about their plans for a one-of-a-kind community land trust. I had never heard of a Community Land Trust before, but now that I know, I think it is urgently needed and needs your support.

Samridhi Kundra, School Edition Coordinator

Anatomy of a Big Box Parking Lot

May 3, 2015 | 3:00 PM

Walk Leaders: Michael Black

Parking lots take up so much space. We seem to take them for granted but I’ve never taken the time to understand what elements make it the way it is. I think it is an underutilized space and it’ll be interesting to see how other people see it.

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