I had the privilege of taking part in the 5th annual Jane’s Walk – on Sunday May 6th – right here in Liberty Village. For those who are unaware of Jane’s Walk, the annual event, named after renowned urban planning thinker and writer Jane Jacobs, first began in Toronto in 2007 following Jacobs’ death and has since spread to 85 cities in 19 countries.
The event gives people a chance to explore and learn about their neighbourhoods, and talk about what people can do to make their city more livable – about 5,000 tour leaders and participants hit Toronto’s streets and one of those tours was right here in Liberty Village.
Hosted by the local legend Jaymz Bee of Jazz FM91, participants were given a backdoor insider’s look at many of Liberty Village’s most interesting sites. As part of the tour Jaymz shared colourful stories and rich insight into a neighbourhood he has lived and work in for many years.
Perhaps the most fascinating part of the tour was the VIP access we got to one of Liberty Village’s hidden movie production
buildings. The 100 year old building hosts a number of well-known TV, music video and movie shoots and when you look at the photos, you will quickly realize why the makers of “The Saw” movies liked to film there so much! Down-right spooky place.
After that, we were treated to a glimpse into the inner-workings of the
Jazz FM91’s Liberty Village studio, which is not only a non-profit radio station dedicated to Jazz but also a charitable organization dedicated to maintaining arts and art education.
If you haven’t taken part in this or previous year’s Jane Walk, I highly recommend that you do in the future. I guarantee that you will have a whole new perspective that goes well beyond Metro, Good Life Fitness and the condos on the east side of Liberty Village.
As Jane Jacobs said in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.”