After Jane Jacobs' death in 2006, a group of her friends came up with the idea of Jane's Walk as a way of honouring her ideas and celebrating her legacy. Jane's Walk was inaugurated on May 5, 2007 in Toronto.
At that first Jane's Walk, twenty-seven local guides stepped up to offer their insider's take on neighbourhoods where they live, work, and socialize. Two former mayors offered walks through their old stomping grounds, a blogger retraced the proposed path of the defeated Spadina Expressway (one of the issues Jane Jacobs' took on soon after coming to Toronto), a parks advocate took a group on a walk through the best places in Toronto to cook on an open fire, an urbanist walked his group through the chaos of the club district at night, and so on. Toronto Mayor David Miller declared May 5, 2007, to be Jane Jacobs Day.
Jane's Walk 2007 exceeded all expectations in attendance and media interest (for more details, see the Toronto Jane's Walk website, and scroll down to Our History). After the successful Toronto event, a second Jane's Walk was organized in New York City in Sept. 2007 in Jane's old stomping ground of Greenwich Village.
The following year, Jane's Walk was held in ten Canadian cities: Charlottetown, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, London (ON), Thornbury-Clarksburg (ON), Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver, and in one US city, Salt Lake City (Utah). Over 6000 people across Canada took part in Jane's Walk 2008. In Ottawa, we held our first Jane's Walk, with fourteen walks and about 600 people attending.
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
—Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961.