On the first weekend of May every year, Jane’s Walk festivals take place in over 200 cities all over the world, including right here in Brantford! Jane’s Walk is a movement of free, citizen-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an American-Canadian writer, urbanist and activist who championed the voices of everyday people in neighbourhood planning and city-building.
The local movement, Jane’s Walk Brant County, is led by Community Living Brant. The community response over the last few years has been excellent, with walks ranging from learning about accessibility, to queer history in Brantford, to local ice cream offerings! Each of the walks has encouraged people to share stories about their neighbourhoods, discover unseen aspects of their communities, and use walking as a way to connect with their community.
It is uncertain what the future holds for Jane’s Walk in 2020. There may not be anything official planned for a group walk, but that’s not to say that you can’t grab your family members and plan your own explorative walk while practicing social distancing. Brantford’s Grand Exhibit is a great example of a tour you could easily plan to self-guide using this handy map.
For more information about Jane’s Walk, the international festival, visit the organization’s website. For more information about Jane’s Walk Brant County, visit their Facebook page or contact Sara Collyer, firstname.lastname@example.org.