Two years ago, I took a Jane’s Walk lead by local architect John MacDonald around Kitchener’s Warehouse District and it changed my life.
I had just started this blog and the walk inspired my first in a series of posts about how the former Lang Tannery had the potential to be a great district for people. That walk sparked in me a desire to be involved in urban planning to develop vibrant neighbourhoods and to be an advocate for public spaces–themes that continue to resonate strongly in my posts here.
A Tour of East Downtown Kitchener
So I invite you to join you on a Jane’s Walk that I am leading. I can’t promise you it’ll change your life, but coming may help provoke change in east downtown Kitchener.
Here are the details:
Sunday, May 6 at 1:30 p.m. for up to 1 1/2 hours
Meet: Speaker’s Corners (King & Benton)
End location: Either City Cafe or Dairy Queen depending on the wishes of the group
We’ll start where most people consider to be the eastern edge of the downtown core and walk towards King and Ottawa (of course!)
Along the way, I’ll indicate points of interest such as restaurants that may be new to you. We’ll also look at the opportunities that exist in the area as a result of its new mixed use zoning and the LRT line.
While we’ll end near King & Ottawa (where based upon the group’s interest either City Cafe or Dairy Queen), you are encouraged to continue the walk further east towards Montgomery including Rockway Gardens.
The walk will be like experiencing a living version of my posts:
- East downtown Kitchener requires a Community Improvement Plan
- How should east downtown industrial area be transformed?
- Specific ideas for the future of downtown Kitchener
Who knows? Maybe we’ll squeeze in a few more such as an Update on Auditorium parking.
Please join me!
What is a Jane’s Walk?
Jane’s Walk’s are held annually to remember the work of urban activist Jane Jacobs.
Jacobs described four elements found in every thriving neighbourhood that worked together to generate a neighbourhood’s economic and social diversity. No one factor was enough to produce an economically healthy or active place. Jacobs considered each essential to a city district’s vitality. The relationship between mixed primary uses, short blocks, aged buildings and a concentration of people is complex; subtract any one and the neighbourhood suffers.
The four factors–also known as Jane’s Big Ideas–are: 1) Mixed Use, 2) Short Blocks, 3) Aged Buildings, 4) Concentration.
Jane believed these factors created the diversity required for successful cities.
Join Juanita, Sue & Karen on their Jane’s Walk
There are other local Jane’s Walks that you may be interested in including several in Kitchener.
I highly recommend the walk lead by Juanita Metzger, Sue Weare and Karen Kwiatkowski called “Community to The Power of 10” based on the concept of successful public spaces from the Project for Public Spaces.
If you have any special requests for places, issues or questions that you’d like covered in the walk, let me know here and I’ll see what I can do to work them in.