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St. John's Featured during 'Jane's Walk on High Park' Event

St. John's West Toronto and the history and development of the High Park Ave. & Humberside Ave. intersection was highlighted during the "Jane's Walk on High Park" event on Saturday, May 4, led by members of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society, including myself.


The walk, from High Park & Bloor up to High Park & Dundas St., attracted a diverse group of 30-40 people with an interest in the unique history, development, architecture, and vitality of High Park Ave. There were many young people, new Canadians and old Canadians, including a 90-year-old man with plenty of vivid memories and observations of things past in the neighbourhood. Many were veterans of many Jane's Walks. 


As outlined on the Jane's Walk website, https://www.janeswalkfestivalto.com/


Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. With a keen eye for detail, she wrote eloquently about sidewalks, parks, retail design and self-organization. At the core of her work and thinking was the need to get out and walk your city and observe how people, through their actions and interactions, create communities with a strong sense of belonging. Jane’s Walk was founded in Toronto in May 2007 as a living, walking commemoration of Jane and her legacy. Annually, tens of thousands of people all over the world take part in Jane’s Walk during the first weekend in May to coincide with her birthday. Jane’s Walk is a grassroots movement to city building that uses volunteer-led walking tours to make spaces for people to observe, reflect, share, question, and re-imagine the places in which they live, work and play; giving agency to and championing the voices of everyday people.


When the group got to the intersection of High Park & Humberside, I was given the opportunity to talk about St. John's 100 years on Humberside, its distinctive character and impact on the neighbourhood, and also the story of "The Priory" next door, the this heritage building's long history in the Junction, and its rich relationship with St. John's.


Included here a few photos taken during the Jane's Walk on High Park by the leaders of the walk, Alex Taranu, Dan Leeming and Diana Fancher.


Learn more about the West Toronto Junction Historical Society via:






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