Jane’s Walk: How to tell your neighbourhood story

The following text is from the Jane’s Walk website. This quick overview offers a good way to get started in thinking about what a Jane’s Walk entails:

Telling a story about a place

Leading a tour simply involves planning a route, thinking through the stories, places and people you want to get people thinking and talking about, then walking participants through it – you decide what’s important.

Use our Social Mapping Exercises available on out website to brainstorm potential tour stops. Take a walk around your neighbourhood, and think about what stories you want to tell about the places that you live and play in. The stories do not have to be limited to history, architecture or urban planning. But the stories do have to be entertaining… So how do you tell a good story about where your neighbourhood?

Jane’s Walk is about how YOU see your neighbourhood. Anyone can research the history or architecture of a neighbourhood. What Jane’s Walk offers is a chance to hear YOUR point of view.

[End of excerpt from the Jane’s Walk website]

Planning a Jane’s Walk

Mike James (who was co-leader with me of a Jane’s Walk in South Long Branch last year) and I will be organizing a couple of walks in Long Branch in 2013.

We encourage other people to organize walks in their respective neighbourhoods. The Jane’s Walk website has extensive information about how to organize a walk. Mike James and I are also happy to compare notes with other Walk Leaders or potential Walk Leaders. Feel free to contact us through this website.

We’re planning two Jane’s Walks in Long Branch because (a) we found that, for purposes of timing, it’s better to have two walks rather than trying to cover everything in one walk, and (b) some people mentioned that a Sunday morning walk got in the way of their attendance at religious services; this year we’ll have walks on both Saturday, May 4, 2013 and Sunday, May 5, 2013 so that people have a choice of days.

Other people are encouraged to organize walks on the same day in Long Branch as well, as was the case last year. It’s great to have more than one walk in a community on a given day.

A Jane’s Walk is in the nature of a conversation

The walks are in the nature of a conversation.

I’m already starting to rehearse what I will say as a Walk Leader. I like to start planning such an event several months ahead. My aim is to research my topics thoroughly, and to discuss them in a way that’s brief and to the point.

Mike James is different. If he knows, thirty minutes before a presentation, what he’s supposed to talk about, that’s all the time he needs.

I would say that’s one of the great things about a Jane’s Walk. Different people approach it in different ways.  As in any interesting conversation, a wide range of views and ways of seeing get expressed.

More information related to the Jane’s Walks in Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey) can be found here.

We welcome your comments.

Publicity photo for one of this year’s Long Branch walks

Below is a photo we’ll be using for publicity purposes this year. We’re keen to find out the exact location of the photo, as we’ve noted in a previous blog post.


Harold Snelgrove, age 2, Long Branch, Ontario, July 1915. Photo © W.J. Snelgrove family


A March 27, 2018 CBC article is entitled: “This man started a magazine while living in a Toronto homeless shelter: ‘To have a platform where people are listening … it means everything,’ Joel Zola says.”


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