Apr 18

Jane’s Walk: Building community through walking

by Downtown Calgary · 1 comment

“Ancient” history, local tall tales, I love stories!

Personally, I’m a bit of a “geek” when it comes to the history of our cities. I love learning about the architecture, the local plant and animal life, the odd facts, best places to visit, local hangouts, the “less-loved” areas, the boring, it’s all interesting to me. It helps me to better understand the city, how it came to be, where it came from, why places are where they are, how it has shaped individuals into who they are today and how individuals themselves have changed it.

Whenever, and where ever, I travel or have lived,  I have made the effort in either taking a bus tour or finding a local of the town or city to learn more (or a new perspective) about the city. Having lived in Calgary for over ten years, I’ve just barely begun to scratch the service of understanding Calgary. So what better way to continue learning than through one or more walks during Jane’s Walk 2017!

Jane’s Walk 2017

May 5 -7, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Jane’s Walk festival in Calgary. In the past decade, over 250 volunteers have led over 200 distinct walks in 88 Calgary and nearby neighbourhoods. These citizen-led walking tours were inspired by urbanist and activist Jane Jacobs to get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities and connect with their neighbours.

While Jane’s Walk’s mission is to develop urban literacy and a community-based approach to city building, it’s also about creating a space to share beyond just the physical space. For many, the observations, reflections, imaginations, histories, personal memories and intimate connections are most important in understanding what “makes a city a great place to live”. As Jacobs wrote in her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

With at least 65 events currently scheduled across Calgary, there is surely a walking tour to be found in or near your neighbourhood or one that you would like to know more about. Over the course of the festival, you can find at least 11 walks occurring within the downtown and area from one hour to two hours.

Jane’s Walk: Downtown Calgary

May 5

+15 Skywalk from SAIT to Udderly Amazing (1.5 hours)

May 6

Downtown Alley Tour (1 hour)

Bow River Baseball (2 hours)

Uncovering the +15 Network (1 hour)

From “Vandal-Proof” to Brilliance: The Changing Role of Architecture in Calgary  (2 hours)

Skate the City (1  hour)

*This “walk” is suited for those with a skateboard. 

May 7 

Cities 101: Theory and Practise (1.5 hours)

Dérive Calgary: an experimental urban cultural walk (1 hour)

Eat and drink your way down the cycle-track network (2.5 hours)

The Calgary that could have been  (2 hours)

If you would like more information on the Jane’s Walks happening downtown Calgary and surrounding or would like to plan and lead your own Jane’s Walk, be sure to visit janeswalk.org.

I hope to meet some of you during the festival!


Editor’s note: This post was written by Nicole MacDougall to promote Jane’s Walk 2017. If you would like to promote your Downtown business or event, please email [email protected]


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