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Friday, May 5, 2017

Jane's Walk Halifax goes the extra mile this weekend

Citizen-led walking tours return to bring the city's history, architecture and urban planning down to street-level.

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 3:42 AM

Rain or shine, HRM residents will be out this weekend to see their city in a new light. - VIA JANE'S WALK
  • Rain or shine, HRM residents will be out this weekend to see their city in a new light.

This weekend you’ll be able to stretch your legs with fellow residents all throughout Halifax and Dartmouth.

Pick any of the 15 different jaunts which are a part of the internationally known and citizen-led neighborhood walking tours known as Jane’s Walk.

The event is named in commemoration of American-Canadian journalist, author and urban activist Jane Jacobs, who passed away in 2007.

Throughout her life, Jacobs was a strong advocate against “slum clearances” and neighborhood development that opposed the needs of the people who lived in cities.

She first gained notoriety in the 1960s, when she fought against New York City planner Robert —who wanted to scrap landmark neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, SoHo and Little Italy to build the Lower Manhattan Expressway. Due in part to Jacobs’ activism, the construction project never came to be.

In 1968 Jacobs moved to Toronto, where she opposed the Spadina Expressway proposal and continued to support people-friendly urban development.

Throughout her life, Jacobs championed the idea of cities being for people and not for cars, and it is with that notion in mind that Jane’s Walk first got started in Toronto.

Organized locally this year by architectural enthusiast and blogger Peter Ziobrowski, the walks are intended to be fun, educational and for people of all ages, classes and cultures.

If history is your thing, then you’ll love the Edward Cornwallis-themed tour with author Jon Tattrie. Starting at 10:30AM on Saturday, May 6, Tattrie will take walkers from Murphy’s Cable Wharf, through Parade Square and on up to Citadel Hill—telling stories along the way about the divisive founder of Halifax.

Wondering about all the latest development projects happening on the peninsula? Let local urban planner and sustainable development consultant Kourosh Rad show you around. He’ll give walkers the skinny on all the biggest, boldest and newest buildings popping up all over the downtown core. Participants will want to meet at the Garrison Grounds, on the corner of Sackville and South Park Streets on Saturday at 1pm.

Further north, Jenny Luger will take walkers around what the Canadian Institute of Planners dubbed one of the “Great Places in Canada.” Luger will talk all about the famed Hydrostone neighbourhood, including its history and how it’s been a dynamic and changing part of the city since its inception after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The meeting place for this tour will be on the corner of Agricola and Young Street, by the Oland’s brewery, on Saturday at 2:30pm.

If those don’t do the trick, you can find the full list of walking tours on the Jane’s Walk website. Each and every walk goes ahead, rain or shine, so considering this weekend’s forecast you may want to bring an umbrella.

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