Jane’s Walk 2018 Celebrating Ottawa

Guest post contributed by Angela Plant, Jane’s Walk Ottawa Organizing Committee.

Every year Jane’s Walk convenes close to 2,000 Ottawa residents (May 5-6, 2018) to walk their city in a festival of over 60 community-led, free walking tours that put people in touch with their city.

Jane’s Walk began in May, 2007 in Toronto, and spread quickly. it was founded in honour of the ideas of Jane Jacobs.  Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to understanding, organizing, designing, and building cities. She had no formal training as a planner, and yet her 1961 best-seller, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and her later books introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve, and succeed or fail.

In 2008, the festival was held in ten Canadian cities: here in Ottawa, as well as in Charlottetown, Halifax, Toronto, Guelph, London (ON), Thornbury-Clarksburg (ON), Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. Over 6000 people across Canada took part. It is now international.

We welcome you to attend one or more of our walks on the weekend of May 5-6! We promise that you will learn something, meet new people and come away feeling energized with ideas. Visit our website to view an interactive map of the walks!

We especially invite you to our Launch Event, a Jane’s Mob, May 3rd, Parkdale Park!

Check out the full schedule of walks on the Jane’s Walk Ottawa website!

Jane’s Walk Ottawa 2017

It’s Jane’s Walk time!

This annual series of walks explores and celebrates well-known and not-so-well-known public spaces, connects people with the built and natural environments around them, and sheds light on what makes for a liveable city.

Update: Jane’s Walk Ottawa is still on despite the rain, but check the Jane’s Walk Ottawa website to make sure the walk you want to attend hasn’t been cancelled due to wet conditions or flooding.

What makes Jane’s Walk particularly compelling is that the walks are led by local residents: storytellers, historians, scientists, community organizers, neighbours and others who volunteer to share their perspectives on parts of the city they know. The walks are free and open to everyone.

This year, Jane’s Walk in Ottawa-Gatineau takes place May 6-7. The 50+ local walks happen at the same time as thousands more around the world, all commemorating the ideas of writer and activist Jane Jacobs. Jacobs advocated for people-centred urban planning, building on the “intricate sidewalk ballet” of informal neighbourhood activities, for example, and for vibrant, accessible neighbourhoods.

There are so many great walks this weekend that it’s hard to list them here, so check out the full schedule at janeswalkottawa.ca. Here’s just a sample of what’s available to discover:

  • Envision Elgin St., Stittsville Main St., Rideau St. or Bank St. as redesigned lively, walkable community streets;
  • Take a foodie tour focused on local, organic food in Centretown;
  • See downtown through the eyes of an Indigenous woman, or from the points of view of people who have experienced homelessness, or from other perspectives;
  • Examine the past, present and future of Lebreton Flats; land use in the Central Experimental Farm; or the shift of a disused railway line into a green corridor;
  • Learn about Indigenous people’s relationship with the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers, colonialism, industrialization, urban planning, resistance and resurgence;
  • Find wild, edible plants growing in the heart of the city;
  • Check out Little Free Libraries in the Glebe;
  • Discover how downtown buildings can be made more bird-friendly;
  • Explore the connections between urban design and health in the Carling/Merivale area;
  • Learn about the ecology and restoration of the Pinhey Sand Dunes.

Also see the Jane’s Walk Ottawa and Jane’s Walk websites for more information about Jane Jacobs’ life and work. (Check out Ten Big Ideas drawn from Jane Jacob’s work.)

Hope to see you on a walk!

Posted by Denise Deby.

 

 

Putting Yards to Good Use: Capital Greens

Image courtesy Capital Greens Urban Farm https://www.facebook.com/pg/CapitalGreensUrbanFarm/photos/

If you’d like to enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables, make better use of your yard or garden and contribute to a local, sustainable food system in Ottawa at the same time, here’s an opportunity.

Capital Greens is a local business that transforms space in backyards into pesticide-free vegetable gardens. They do all the gardening work, and in exchange, yard owners receive some of the harvest every week. Capital Greens sells the rest to neighbours and local restaurants.

Capital Greens owner-operator Mathew Levinson started operations last summer in the Westboro/McKellar area, converting sections of lawn in area yards into gardens to grow leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets, herbs and more.

Interested? Not sure? Capital Greens will provide a free yard appraisal to make sure the conditions and space will work. There’s more information and a contact form on their website. Some great pictures, too.

Let us know if you check it out!

 

Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Mathew Levinson, Capital Greens Urban Farm for the information.

Sustainable Cities Community Classroom

Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to David Mazur-Goulet, OREC, for information.

https://www.facebook.com/events/222239941478660/
https://www.facebook.com/events/222239941478660/

How can cities, with their significant environmental footprints, be sustainable?

The Ottawa Renewable Energy Coop (OREC), Octopus Books and delegates of the EU-Canada Municipal Cooperation on Urban Policy are addressing that question in a discussion on cities and climate solutions.

They’ll share “real world examples of people coming together with the common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

It’s on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 7-9 p.m. at Octopus Books’ Centretown location (251 Bank St.), $5 or pay what you can.

For more details and to register, see OREC’s or Octopus Books’ websites.

Jane’s Walk Ottawa-Gatineau 2016

Written by Denise Deby.

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Jane’s Walk Ottawa-Gatineau Launch Party, Friday May 6, 2016 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/our-space-janes-walk-ottawa-gatineau-2016-launch-tickets-6464791365

This wonderful weekend to discover the city is happening on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2016.

Jane’s Walk Ottawa-Gatineau is a weekend of walks that explore and create conversations around the history, culture, ecology, design, politics and communities of Ottawa.

The walks this year include edible plants in the city, the potential of Stittsville Main Street, the turtles of Petrie Island, an Indigenous perspective on Lansdowne Park, the Poets’ Pathway in the Sawmill Creek wetlands, the history of the Deschenes Rapids, the parking lots of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa tool and seed libraries, conservation in the Pinhey Sand Dunes, l’art et la nature sur l’Île-de-Hull, and many more. All walks are led by knowledgeable and engaging volunteers.

Check out the full program and more about Jane’s Walk at http://www.janeswalkottawa.ca/.