Congratulations to all our organizers and volunteers for a wildly successful 2019 Jane's Walk festival!  Thanks to everyone for the time and effort you contributed to make Jane's Walk happen for 2019. 

Participants from the Intersections of History walk listen while seated on the steps of St Theresa's (Cartier & Somerset).

The organizers have spent the month since Jane's Walk gathering and compiling data and feedback on this year's event.  Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau 2019 comprised several events, beginning with a screening and discussion of the movie Demain (Apr 16, held in the Atelier at the School for Social Innovation at Saint Paul University), Jane Jacobs Birthday Party and story reading (May 4), the weekend walking tour festival with 61 walks that took place in different neighbourhoods all over Ottawa and Gatineau (May 4 – 5), and the 'Après-Jane' wrap-up party, held this year in Aylmer (May 5).  You will find a detailed summary of these events following this message.

This year's Jane's Walk for Ottawa-Gatineau was the result of the work of more than 160 volunteers, including 14 organizers, 85 walk leaders, 52 marshals, along with event speakers, moderators, and many others who helped with postering, promotion, information, set-up and clean-up at the events, photography, audio-visual, web site maintenance, social media, and all the other tasks that make these events a reality.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your time and effort!  Please forgive me (and let me know!) if I've forgotten anyone, and I am sure there are some I don't know about.  You know who you are and we thank you for your contribution.

One of the Jane's Walk marshals on the Montreal Rd Revitalization walk. John Woodhouse (centre) led the Walk Audit 101 walk.

Attendance this year was similar to last year.  About 2800 people participated in the walks, and combined with the attendance at the film, the Birthday Party, and Apres-Jane, there were well over 2900 altogether. 

Félicitations à tous nos organisateurs et bénévoles pour le succès éclatant de La promenade de Jane Ottawa-Gatineau 2019!  Merci à tous et toutes pour le temps accordé et les efforts déployés pour que La promenade de Jane voit le jour.  Vous trouverez ci-dessous un résumé de certains des événements qui faisaient partie du festival.  En plus des promenades, La promenade de Jane Ottawa-Gatineau 2019 comprenait la projection et une discussion du film Demain (le 16 avril),  à l'Atelier de l'École d'innovation sociale (Université Saint Paul), une fête d'anniversaire pour Jane Jacobs (le 4 mai), le festival de la fin de semaine avec plus de 60 visites guidées à Ottawa et à Gatineau (du 4 au 5 mai), et la clôture "Après-Jane," qui a eu lieu cette année à Aylmer (le 5 mai).

L’événement de cette année est le fruit du travail de plus de 160 bénévoles, dont 14 organisateurs, 85 guides, 52 porteurs de fanion, et de nombreuses autres personnes qui ont contribué à l’affichage, à la promotion, à la manutention de matériel audiovisuel, aux réseaux sociaux, et à l'entretien du site web.

One of my favourite things about Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau is that we can put on an event of this size and scope without resorting to a huge government or corporate sponsorship arrangement.  Jane's Walk depends on a wide range of participation, and a lot of small contributions, most of which are in-kind.  This year's bills were paid with funds donated by Park People, the Wellington West BIA, and Gatineau City Councilor Audrey Bureau, a gift card donated by Giant Tiger, all combined with the remainder of our Awesome Ottawa grant that was left from last year.   The in-kind donations came from many sources, and included:  poster printing (Ottawa city councilors), walk leader and marshal training videos (Haunted Walk of Ottawa), coffee and tea for the Birthday Party (Bridgehead), coloring materials for the Birthday Party (Ottawa in Colour), a venue for Apres-Jane (L'Autre Oeil Bistro), and door prizes for Apres-Jane (Aylmer Heritage AssociationStarbucks, Restaurant l'Aubergiste). The range of in-kind support we receive is an indication of the breadth of support for Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau across our communities.  We especially want to thank Ecology OttawaHeritage Ottawa, and the Élisabeth Bruyère School for Social Innovation at Saint Paul University.  Additional donors are listed in the summary below.  

A tip of the hat as well to Environment Canada for their part in bringing us the perfect weather we enjoyed for the entire weekend.

Again, thanks to all for making Jane's Walk 2019 a memorable weekend for all, 

Leigh Thorpe
for the 2019 Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau organizers:

Angela Plant                 Elissa Unrau
Courtney Symons         Tyrell Alexander
Laura Mueller               Pablo Vallejo
Kat Barrett                   Lynne Rodier
Sandra MacPherson       Laila Abada
Jessica Stark                Louise Renauld-George
Jane Macleod                Leigh Thorpe


Below is a summary of Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau for 2019, giving details on the content, attendance, and partners and donors for each of the constituent events:

  • Film Night:  Demain (Tomorrow)  April 16, 7:00  – 9:00 pm 
    Saint Paul University, Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop, 95 Clegg St, Ottawa
  • Birthday Party for Jane Jacobs,  Saturday, May 4, 4:00 – 7:00 pm at The Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St W
  • Jane's Walk weekend: 
    Saturday, May 4 9:00 am – 6:30 pm, walking tours at various times and places
    Sunday, May 5, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, walking tours at various times and places
  • Après-Jane wrap-up event Sunday, May 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at l'Autre Oeil Bistro, 152 rue Principale, Aylmer.

Film Night:  Demain (Tomorrow) 
April 16, 7:00 –9:00 pm at the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop

The film Demain (Tomorrow) offers a new vision for the future, documenting visits to ten countries in search of solutions to the existential problems the world is facing today. IT goes beyond the gloom and doom, however:  Demain has specific suggestions for how to design the cities and other social institutions to resolve many of our most significant problems.

Les cinéastes Cyril Dion et Mélanie Laurent ont enquêté dans dix pays pour rencontrer des pionniers qui réinventent l’agriculture, l’énergie, l’économie, la démocratie et l’éducation. Le film nous présente des initiatives positives et concrètes pour concevoir les villes de demain.

The film was followed by a thoughtful discussion on the problems discussed in the film, the solutions people are trying out, and possible ways forward.  Our moderator for the evening was Prof. Jonathan Durand-Folco from the School for Social Innovation.

Élisabeth Bruyère School for Social Innovation / École d’innovation sociale Élisabeth-Bruyère
Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop / L’Atelier d’innovation sociale Mauril-Bélanger

Attendance (film):  28

Walk Weekend 
Saturday & Sunday, May 4 & 5, all day both days

Sixty-five walks were planned for Jane's Walk weekend.  In the end, four walks were cancelled because flooding in several areas near the Ottawa River, leaving us with 61 walks over the two days.  Unlike the rainy weeks on either side of the weekend, the weather for the walk weekend was warm and sunny!  

Re-purposed Buildings walk.  Walk leader David Jeanes points out features of the new Senate of Canada building (originally Union Station and later the Government Conference Centre).

The full walk schedule for 2019 is on-line here, with links to the individual walk descriptions including the theme of the walk, background, the approximate route, the length of the walk (time, distance), names of the walk leaders, etc.  The interactive map at the top of the schedule page shows the starting location of each walk.

Walk topics ranged from re-purposed buildings in the downtown core to the Skateboarding facility in McNabb Park, a number of walks on designing cities and neighbourhoods both for people (Creating Cities for AllJane Jacobs 101Booth Street Re-developmentHeron Park:  It Could Happen HereIn Plain Sight: Lower Bank St.Secrets of Stittsville Main StreetBuilding an Accessible CityLe Depanneur Sylvestre et Wrightville) and for sustainability (Follow That Raindrop!, UOttawa Campus Sustainability, Beetbox Cooperative Farm, Just Food Farm, Birds & Buildings, Waterfront Reconciliation), including three walks focused on specifically on our urban forest (Trees You Need To See, Six heritage trees in an urban 'hood, and Tree Walk In Carlington).  Similar to last year, one of our 'walks' was a bicycle tour:  Buildings by JWH Watts

Participants on this year's bike tour view Fleck-Patterson House on Wilbrod St. near the Rideau River, now part of the Embassy of Algeria.

We had walks across Ottawa from Stittsville to Orleans, and from Parliament Hill to Manotick, and walks in Gatineau from Aylmer to old Gatineau. There were thirteen walks in French. Walk leaders ranged from subject experts to neighbourhood enthusiasts, and many were Jane's Walk veterans.  Two of the walks were led by city councilors.

Ecology Ottawa, Wellington West BIA, Heritage Ottawa, Élisabeth Bruyère School for Social Innovation / École d’innovation sociale Élisabeth-Bruyère, Dépanneur Sylvestre

Ecology Ottawa, Wellington West BIA, Park People, Haunted Walk of Ottawa, Heritage Ottawa

Attendance (the walks):  Similar to 2018, we had about 2800 participants at the walks.

Participants of the walk on Building Accessible Cities note how street furniture such as benches, bollards, and transit shelters are arranged in pedestrian spaces. Dennis Van Staalduinen, Executive Director of the Wellngton West BIA, talks about the history of Wellington Village beside the Ottawa Bagel Shop.


Birthday Party for Jane Jacobs
Saturday, May 4, 4:00 –7:00 pm at The Cube Gallery, 1285 Wellington St West

Jane's Walk is held on the first weekend of May for two reasons:  being still relatively cool, it's a great time of year for walking tours, and May 4 is Jane Jacobs birthday, giving that weekend some personal significance for Jane.  Since this year's weekend includes May 4, we thought it would be a great time to have a birthday party to celebrate Jane's life and accomplishments.  This family-friendly party featured activities for children and adults, including colouring of scenes of Ottawa and other scenes, a photo booth, sidewalk chalk, a reading of the Mayor's Proclamation of Jane Jacobs weekend in Ottawa, snacks, and a birthday cake.  The main feature was a reading of the children's book Walking in the City with Jane by the author, Susan Hughes.  The story is an account of Jane's early life and how she was inspired to think about the way cities work.

  • Master of Ceremonies:  Courtney Symons
  • Mayor's Proclamation of Jane's Walk Weekend, read by Ottawa City Councilor Jeff Leiper
  • Walking in the City with Jane, read by author Susan Hughes
  • Q & A with Susan Hughes, moderated by Courtney Symons

Susan Hughes, reading her book Walking in the City with Jane. Susan Hughes reading her book to the audience at the Birthday Party for Jane Jacobs, with an illustration from the book showing on the screen.

Wellington West BIA

Wellington West BIA, Giant Tiger, Bridgehead.

Attendance (Birthday Party):  People came and went during the event, but the peak attendance was about 75.

Après-Jane Drop-in 
Sunday, May 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, at l'Autre Oeil Bistro,152 rue Principale, Aylmer.

The drop-in was a lively coffee party with no structured program, but there were a couple of informal speakers:

  • Gatineau City Councilor Audrey Bureau made a few remarks and invited Jane's Walk to come to Aylmer again next year.
  • Georgie Bracken (who grew up in the house that is now home to the pub) told us about her experiences growing up in Aylmer. 

There was also a draw for door prizes which had been donated by several local businesses.  Three people who attended volunteered to lead walks in Aylmer/Gatineau for Jane's Walk 2020.

Association Du Patrimoine d'Aylmer / Aylmer Heritage Association

Bistro l'Autre Oeil, Starbucks, Restaurant l'Aubergiste.

Attendance (Après-Jane):  Approx. 40.   

Overall attendance for Jane's Walk Ottawa-Gatineau 2019:  approx 2940