Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau 2018: 
Thanks to volunteers and success of the various events

I would like to thank all our volunteers for the time and effort you contributed to Jane's Walk and to share a summary of the success of this year's walks.  Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau was made up of a number of individual events, beginning with a screening Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (Apr 4) at Saint Paul University, 'Jane's Mob,' our kick-off for the walk weekend (May 3), the weekend walk festival (May 5 – 6), and Après-Jane, our wrap-up party (May 6).

This year's event was the result of the work of more than 130 volunteers, including eight organizers, 75 walk leaders, 37 marshals, nine speakers, five musicians, and many others who helped with postering & other promotion, information and registration tables, photography, setting up of audio-visual equipment, web site maintenance, social media, etc. 

Luciano Pradal, leading the Iconic Buildings walk, 2018.
Photo by Leigh Thorpe.

I'm sure there are people who pitched in without waiting to be asked that we may be unaware of, but you know who you are and we are grateful for your assistance.

Attendance this year was excellent. We had over 2600 people at the walks, and combined with the attendance at the film, Jane's Mob, and Apres-Jane, we had more than 3000 people overall. This is about 50% more than our previous best attendance.  

NAC Walk, led by Barry Padolsky, 2018.  Photo by Leigh Thorpe

This year, Jane's Walk had financial support from Awesome Ottawa, the Wellington West BIA, and from Councilor Tobi Nussbaum's office. These funds made it possible for us to put on a more elaborate kick-off event than we had done in previous years. We also received a great deal of in-kind support which is just as important to a successful Jane's Walk. We want to thank the School for Social Innovation at Saint Paul University, the National Arts Centre, Ecology Ottawa, Bridgehead, Starbucks, Panago Pizza, Metro Carleton Ave., Haunted Walk of Ottawa, and more as listed in the individual events below.  A tip of the hat as well to Environment Canada for the perfect weather we enjoyed for the whole weekend.

Thanks for helping us make this the best Jane's Walk ever,

Leigh Thorpe
for the 2018 Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau organizers

Angela Plant
Courtney Symons
Ioana Cialacu
Aileen Duncan
Sarah Simpkin
Laura Mueller
Louise Renauld-George
Leigh Thorpe

Below is a list of events that were part of Jane's Walk in 2018, followed by a summary of the details for each event

  • Citizen Jane:  Battle for the City    April 4,  12:00 noon – 2:00 pm   
    Saint Paul University, Amphitheatre, Room G1124, 223 Main St.
  • Jane's Mob   Thursday, May 3, 6:00 – 8:00 pm in Parkdale Market Park. 
    8:00 pm – on, Jane's Mob after-party at the Carleton Tavern (corner of Parkdale & Armstrong)
  • Walk weekend:
    Saturday, May 5 8:45 am – 5:30 pm, Walking tours at various times and places
    Sunday, May 6, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Walking tours at various times and places
  • Après-Jane wrap-up event    Sunday, May 6, 3:30 – 6:30 pm,  Drop-in in the new NAC 'City Space' Public Atrium


Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
 April 4, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm

This engaging documentary explores the challenges Jane Jacobs led against New York City Planning Commissioner Robert Moses in his effort to extend Fifth Avenue through Washington Square Park, and later to build the Crosstown Expressway through Greenwich Village in Manhattan.  

Élisabeth Bruyère School for Social Innovation/École d’innovation sociale Élisabeth-Bruyère.

Attendance (film):  15

Jane's Mob
Thursday, May 3, 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Parkdale Park in Hintonburg.

Jane's Mob was conceived as a kind of reverse Jane's Walk, where instead of taking a group on a walk to visit points of interest, we bring the 'items of interest' to the group at a given location. Jane's Mob featured fourteen 'items of interest' including history, stories, unusual businesses, community, music, etc., at different stations or 'hot-spots' in the park. Participants were given a map showing the locations of the various hot-spots and the schedule of speakers at each location over the course of the evening..

(Each performer spoke for fifteen minutes, repeated three times over the course of the event at one of our seven 'hot-spots')

  • Linda Hoad (Hintonburg resident and past president of the Hintonburg Community Association), 'Early Days at the Parkdale Market'
  • Colizza Bruni (the architecture firm that designed the Parkdale Park fieldhouse), 'Ask the Architects' presentation and Q & A.
  • Ken Clavette (historian and film maker), 'A Working Class History of Parkdale,' including a screening of the film Made In Ottawa, an oral history project collecting interviews from workers from early Hintonburg industries.
  • Dennis Van Staalduinen (Executive Director, Wellington West BIA), 'What's in a Name? or What's this neighbourhood called again?'
  • Alison Smedley (mobile librarian, Ottawa Public Library), Jane's Walk Books and the Ottawa Public Library's Bibliobike
  • Brad Campeau (partner in Brew Donkey), 'Microbrewery Trends (and why microbreweries are choosing Hintonburg).'
  • Sam Fulton (retired urban planner; Sam is visually impaired and uses a Guide Dog), 'Meet Etta The Guide Dog.'
  • Jacqui Du Toit (storyteller), story time in the park
  • Kate McNamara (date planner and owner of A Date by Kate), 'Dating in Hintonburg.'

(Each musician played for fifteen minutes once during the event, from the stage at the south end of the park. Live music was presented between the speaker rotations.)

  • Alexander Enkerli, Electric Jazz
  • Mathieu Mazur-Goulet, Children's Sing-along
  • Ken Hoffman, Bytowne Ukelele Group
  • Phil Jenkins, A Song for Parkdale (a new song Phil wrote, which he premiered at Jane's Mob)

As well as those listed above, a photo scavenger hunt was organized in collaboration with the anonymous artist 'Street Art Miniatures,' engaging people to search for miniature sculptures hidden around the park. Sidewalk chalk, jump-ropes and other urban toys and games were available, and pizza, popcorn, Camino hot chocolate, and other snacks were provided free to attendees.

Wellington West BIA, Ecology Ottawa, Synapcity

Awesome Ottawa, Wellington West BIA, Panago Pizza, Camino Chocolate, Councilor Tobi Nussbaum's office, Panago Pizza, Brew Donkey, Hintonburg Public House, Metro Carleton Avenue, Street Art Miniatures.

Attendance (Jane's Mob):The weather leading up to Jane's Mob was rainy off and on, and in fact, it was raining as we were setting up in the park. But the rain cleared off about 6:00, and we had a good turnout. We counted 95 people in the park near the peak time, and people were moving in and out during the event. We estimate that there were about 150 people attending. We had eight organizers and a number of other volunteers, including those listed above as speakers, performers, and musicians.

About twenty people came along to the after-party at the Carleton Tavern.

Walk Weekend
May 5 & 6, all day

The walk weekend featured 61 walks (62 were planned, but one walk was cancelled because the NCC closed the trails in Gatineau Park).

The full walk schedule for 2018 is on-line here, with links to the individual walk descriptions including the names of the walk leaders. The schedule is also available as a timeline here, which gives much less detail, but shows the activities over the weekend by time of day and duration of each walk. There is also a map on the schedule page that shows the starting location of all the walks.

100in1day walk:  Citizens as co-creators, led by Christine Earnshaw and Brianna Lees
Photo by Maurice Rainbow.

Walk topics ranged from food shops along a downtown street to changes to downtown landmarks, from the danger that city buildings pose to migratory birds to a visit to the workings of a sustainable farm in the greenbelt, from the 'social lives of statues' (who knew?) to a new round of 'urban renewal.'  One of the 'walks' was actually a bicycle tour.

We had walks across Ottawa from Stittsville to Orleans, and from Parliament Hill to south Nepean, as well as five walks in Gatineau. There were nine walks in French. Walk leaders ranged from subject experts to neighbourhood enthusiasts and from seniors to elementary school children. Two walks were led by city councilors, and at least two other city councilors attended walks.

Ecology Ottawa, Wellington West BIA

Awesome Ottawa, Haunted Walk of Ottawa, Councilor Tobi Nussbaum's office.

Attendance (the walks):Weather on the weekend was warm and sunny, and that combined with some excellent media coverage resulted in a record turnout for Jane's Walk in Ottawa-Gatineau. We had nearly 2700 people at the walks.

Après-Jane Drop-in
May 6, 3:30 – 6:30 pm, NAC  'City Space'

The drop-in was a coffee party rather than a structured program, but we did have a video looping in the background showing an 'alternative history' of the the heart of Ottawa, where the canal passes the NAC and the old railway station approaching the Sapper's Bridge and the Chateau Laurier. The video models a 'fly-over' of the area layout and building design that was proposed by the Parkin Plan, but never built. The drop-in gave walk participants a chance to discuss their experiences on the walks with other participants, as well as to share ideas with the organizers. There was also a draw for door prizes.

The National Arts Centre, Ecology Ottawa.

Awesome Ottawa, Gong fu Bao, Bridgehead, Starbucks.

Attendance (Après-Jane):It is more difficult to estimate the attendance at Après-Jane than the other events, because of the continuous participant turn-over over the course of the event. Based on head-counts at various times during the event, we settled on a conservative count of about 100, but it could easily have been higher, depending on the turn-over of attendees between one count and the next. In any case, this was our best attended wrap-up party ever.