Guest post submitted by Laura Mueller of the Jane’s Walk Ottawa organizing committee.

Mooney's Bay - Denise Deby photo

Mooney’s Bay – Denise Deby photo

Discover Ottawa neighbourhoods’ hidden gems during Jane’s Walk, May 3-4

Have you ever wondered where to find Centretown’s foodie hangouts? Have you discovered Ottawa’s rare urban sand dune or toured its many hidden inner-city gardens? Have you hoped to explore the art of Japanese “forest bathing” or wondered about where to forage for wild foods without leaving the city?

If you like to get outside and you’re enthusiastic about learning about the city you live in, come along on a free neighbourhood walking tour with Jane’s Walk Ottawa on May 3 and 4!

The weekend-long festival of free walking tours is held to celebrate the work of urban thinker Jane Jacobs, who promoted livable cities, street-life vitality and attractive, uplifting places where people feel safe. It’s a pedestrian-focused event that improves urban literacy by offering insights into planning, design, local history, and civic engagement through the simple acts of walking, observing, and discussing.

This year, Jane’s Walk Ottawa expects to offer more than 50 free walks to choose from as the local event celebrates its seventh edition.

With walks on a range of topics offered across the city, from the Torbolton Forest in Constance Bay to the Maplewood Forest surrounding the Montfort Hospital and all the urban delights between, Jane’s Walks offer something for everyone.

Visit www.janeswalkottawa.ca for the ever-growing lists of walks that offer insights into local history, planning, design, and civic engagement.

A typical Jane’s Walk Ottawa tour is given once during the weekend, takes about an hour, and covers around one to two kilometres. The walking tours are given by local volunteers who are eager to share their experiences of the city.

Jane’s Walk began in Toronto in 2007 to celebrate the birthday of its namesake, Jane Jacobs, and a year later the event expanded to 10 Canadian cities, including Ottawa.

The first local event featured 14 walks and last year, Jane’s Walk Ottawa presented 54 tours. In 2013, more than 2,000 local participants were amongst the people who took part in the Jane’s Walk movement in more than 100 countries across the globe.

JANE’S TALK

The festival of walking tours kicks off with a night of storytelling for the 2014 Jane’s Talk on Thursday, May 1.

The theme for the event is “Neighbourhood Narratives” and it will take place at Arts Court, 2 Daly Ave., starting at 7 p.m.

CBC host Adrian Harewood will host the event where local storytellers explore the intersection of memory, emotion, and change in neighbourhoods across Ottawa.

The same evening, come experience “Ottawa in One Room,” a video installation by local artists Jessica Aylsworth and Jon Booth. Their work evokes the shared memories of strangers as viewers are immersed in a whimsical space filled with scenes of Ottawa neighbourhoods projected onto floating panels of translucent fabric.

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