Monday, 4 May 2009

It Was a Great Week End for Jane's Walks!

Sun, crystal clear skies, good cheer all round: it was a great weekend for the Jane's Walks in Montreal. The news I've heard from other guides is all positive, and the two we had in Outemont were extremely successful.

The only problem, actually, was due to perhaps too much success as well as some bugs in the reservation system. I only had a dozen reservations for Saturday, but I made 15 of the handouts you see to the right anyway. What a surprise when somewhere betwee 30 and 35 people showed up!

On Sunday, fore-warned being fore-armed but still taking into account the fact that I had fewer reservations for that walk, I printed out 30. People kept arriving though, and at one point I counted at least 45.

That's the upper limit for a comfortable walk: I had difficulty projecting my voice and at one of the stops the traffic noise was pretty intense. But few people got discouraged--in fact, I think we may have had more people at the end than at the beginning, as Sunday strollers decided to tag along.

Outremont is a neighborhood that Jane Jacobs would approve of, part of a real Walkable City. I was able to talk a bit about the history and also to recount the way a plan to build highrise apartments on an old farm and make a park of a triplex section was beaten back. The farm is now a busy urban park, and on the weekend the street life in the rescued section attested to what people can make of a neighborhood when you give them the chance.

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