Write it down: there's just a little more than a month left before Jane’s Walks, that continent-wide (or so it seems) hommage to the great urban critic Jane Jacobs. The idea of individuals organizing walks in their neighborhoods was begun in 2007 in Toronto, the year after Jacobs’ death. Since then it has taken off, and this year there will be walks in more than 20 cities on May 2 and 3. So far the list in Canada includes Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Thornbury, Hamilton, Waterloo, Guelph, Burlington, Brant County, Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Charlottetown and Halifax. As well, Jane’s Walks are in the works in Chicago, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Washington and New York.
Last night the group in Montreal got together for a second planning session. Called Les Promenades de Jane in French, the offering here will include ones in the Petite Patrie, Mile-End, Villeray, Village gai, Milton-Park, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, St-Henri, and Outremont neighborhoods.
I’ll be leading the ones in Outremont, in French on Saturday, May 2 and in English and French on Sunday, May 3. The tentative title is: From Pierre Beaubien’s Farm to Bernard Avenue Bling. We’ll start out in Beaubien Park, which until the 1970s still was the site of a farmhouse built in the mid-1860s, go down an old Native Canadian trail (Côte-Ste-Catherine Road), swing past some houses for the extremely well-heeled, check out model housing for workers built in the 1920s, admire the restos and boutiques on Bernard Avenue, find a portion of the eruv which surrounds part of Outremont, and end up in St. Viateur Park for a picnic.
Or so it looks now. I’ll post an update later. Should be a lot of fun. Let’s hope the weather is good.