A previous post is entitled:
By way of sharing the next steps that are involved, in the staging of a Jane’s Walk, below is a draft of a text that I’ve developed, in consultation with Peter Milczyn’s Office:
Tentative title: Evolution of Long Branch Park (Starting 1884)
Starting at Lake Shore, Peter will lead us south along Long Branch Ave. toward the Lake Ontario shoreline. We will traverse the site of Long Branch Park, serving summer visitors arriving by boat from Toronto starting in 1884. Along the way, we will pass by many heritage houses from a previous horse-and-buggy era, and will encounter the neighbourhood’s constantly evolving built form.
Join Peter on this walk to understand the transformation of this late-1800s Cottage Country summer resort to a pedestrian friendly neighbourhood at the heart of the Village of Long Branch.
[End of draft for Jane’s Walk poster]
In my experience, capturing the essence of what a walk is about, by creating a short description of it, as has been done in the above-noted text, is tremendously helpful in setting the stage for the next steps that follow.
I want to add, however, that I’m just sharing some anecdotes based on my own experience as a walk organizer. There are many ways to organize a walk. What I describe is but one way among many.
Stops along the way, and speaking notes
The next step, then, in my particular approach to organizing a Jane’s Walk, involves deciding where the stops will be, along the walk route.
After that, I start to work on the speaking notes, for each of the stops. A key consideration is to ensure that all information, that I prepare, is accurate, balanced, and concise. With local history, fact-checking is always essential, as I have noted through sharing several examples at a previous post.
By way of example, a Feb. 19, 1958 Toronto Daily Star article makes it clear that the Long Branch Hotel burned down in 1958, but you will still find many accounts – including allegedly authoritative online accounts and a book on local history (p. 28) that you can borrow at the Long Branch Library – claiming that the event occurred in 1954.
We owe thanks to Bill Zufelt of Long Branch for sharing a scanned copy, of the above-noted Toronto Daily Star article, with us. The first-hand accounts, from several people who had seen the fire first-hand, are another source that I have used, as documented at previous posts, to ascertain that the event occurred in 1958.
At all times, I much appreciate corrections from site visitors, regarding any statements, that appear at this website, where I have not met the highest standards of accuracy. Fact-checking is in many cases a collaborative process.
When I begin to write the speaking notes, for the May 5, 2018 Jane’s Walk, I will review previous history-related posts at my website. I will also refer to transcripts, that I have prepared, of recent public meetings.
From the above-noted material, I will develop a large amount of text, which I will (at the conclusion of the writing process) condense into a few key points, for each of the stops.
The name of the game is to highlight key, high-interest (that is evocative, and compelling) points, rather than to create an endless grocery list of facts and figures, which nobody would want to spend endless amounts of time listening to.
Book about local history
The work I am doing, in such a writing process, ties in with a parallel process, which involves the writing of a book about local history along the Mississauga and Etobicoke waterfronts.
The book has a particular focus. It’s based above all on original material gathered during the past couple of decades in Long Branch. The material includes oral history interviews with long-time local residents, and recordings of public meetings on either side of the Mississauga-Toronto border.
The above-noted draft, of a text for a May 5, 2018 Jane’s Walk poster, outlines a particular narrative arc, speaking in terms of the language of filmmaking.
Into such a narrative arc, stories related to each of the stops along the walk are inserted, as you would insert a series of scenes into the script, for a movie.
The beauty of a walk of this nature, is that instead of looking at an imagined cinematic scene, at each stop you are looking at an actual, real-life physical location. In each case, the physical space has been there for about 10,000 years (that is, in its current physiographic profile), since the end of the last Ice Age.
At each of these locations, actual scenes from history have been enacted, and a Jane’s Walk has the potential to bring selected aspects, of such a history, to life.
By way of conclusion, planning a walk is similar to planning a conference or any other public event. Good planning ensures the event, whatever form it takes, goes smoothly and everybody has a good time.