Jane's Walk: Why Cheap Parks Are More Fun

May 6 2012 15:00
May 6 2012 18:00

Campbell Park - Soup on the Campfire: Onion soup and toasted croutons on the campfire. Campbell Park Friday Night Skating Party. Photo by Vic Gedris, 2011-01-28Campbell Park - Soup on the Campfire: Onion soup and toasted croutons on the campfire. Campbell Park Friday Night Skating Party. Photo by Vic Gedris, 2011-01-28

Started in 2007, Jane's Walk is an annual event honouring the late urban thinker, activist, and writer Jane Jacobs. On May 5 and 6 2012, free walking tours will take place in cities all over Canada, the USA, and other countries around the world.

On Sunday May 6, starting at 3:00PM, the Why Cheap Parks Are More Fun walking tour, guided by Jutta Mason, will start at MacGregor Park, widing its way via Lansdowne, the Railpath, and other places to finish at Campbell Park for a campfire.

This walk is all-ages, with neat stuff for kids both at the beginning and the end. The two parks at the beginning and the end will show what can happen when public space is put under neighbourhood protection through a ‘parks conservancy.’ MacGregor Park will have a cooking fire with roasted potatoes, and a kids/adults art activity: making finger labyrinths, led by the park’s artist-in-residence Kristen Fahrig, and by former Spiral Garden director Jan MacKie. The recently renovated 1930’s-era clubhouse will be open, with a little exhibition of the Irish history of the area and of the more recent flourishing of arts in the park.

The walk will go north up Lansdowne Avenue, with show-and-tell of various kinds: the divisive street narrowing, the local murder mysteries (censored for the kids), the houses of questionable repute… then, at the Lansdowne/Bloor intersection, a 360-degree turn looking toward the busy railway tracks (and the ‘Railpath Park’) to the west and then the wonderfully mixed ethnic food shops/starving-artist-galleries/pawnshops/vintage clothing shops to the east.

Then the walk will carry on northward to Campbell Park for the destination campfire. Part-time city staff Marina DeLuca Howard and Michelle Webb will be there in costume, with campfire treats and kids’ games from another era. They want to showcase the long history of the park as a lively gathering place for working class and immigrant families.

More info is available on the Jane's Walk website. Also, check out the complete list of other Jane's Walks happening in Toronto on the same weekend.

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