We are inviting you to lead a Jane’s Walk! Anyone can be a walk leader, because everyone is an expert on the places they live, work, and play.
Step 1: Think of a place you’d like to explore or a topic you’d like to discuss.
Step 2: Grab a friend and go for a walk. Look, listen, smell, feel, and observe. Make eye contact. Talk to people. Hear what they have to say. Be active and present in the city around you. Take notes.
Step 3: Plan a route and sign up to host your walk here.
Step 4: Invite your friends, family, and community. We will help promote all the walks in your city, but you should help get the word out, too.
Step 5: Show up. Walk. Have fun!
For 2022, we are returning to in-person walking tours that must follow updated Health and Safety guidelines. Depending on what's happening in May, this may mean limited tickets, masks, and distancing. We will keep hosts updated on any changes.
Everyone experiences space differently, so think broadly and empathetically about how others might feel along your route and try to find ways to accommodate different needs wherever possible. Be mindful of terrain, curbs, staircases, gates, and other barriers that could hinder someone’s ease of movement. Think about whether there are portions of your walk with dim lighting, underpasses, strong odours, excessively loud noises, traffic, or large crowds.
Also consider how you will speak. Avoid jargon and brainstorm ways of speaking and asking questions that will engage a wide range of participants.
Go for depth over breadth.
The best Jane’s Walks are those that dive deep and draw out a city’s stories, details, secrets, patterns , and rhythms. Keeping your walk focused on deep, local knowledge will help participants feel engaged and energized.
Keep the conversation going after the walk.
Think about ending your walk at a local park where participants can gather afterwards to connect. You never know what kinds of new ideas, initiatives, and relationships will emerge on a Jane’s Walk!
Arrange for a photographer or writer to document your walk.
Walk documentation helps ensure that your walk will live on outside of the brief period of time you’re actually walking. Photos, videos, and stories help thread together the narrative of your community. You can share photos and writing with us to showcase your work!
Tips for the Day
Make sure you have good walking shoes, drinking water, and anything else you might need. Jane’s Walks happen rain or shine except in cases of serious weather, so check the forecast and prepare accordingly.
Don’t do all the talking.
Resist the temptation to talk the whole time. Press people for their own stories and perspectives. Sometimes it can take a little while for a crowd to warm up, so think about ways to help break the ice. Hold the silence after you ask a question for a good long while. Without fail, somebody will speak up to fill the silence!
Find a way to be heard.
If you can get hold of a megaphone or microphone, great! If you can’t, there are lots of ways to help make sure people can be heard. Standing on a bench and projecting over the crowd, moving onto a quieter side street, and encouraging people to move in close can often be just a good as a megaphone.
Let it go!
Anything goes on a Jane’s Walk. Expect things to go a little sideways. Last minute changes, emerging contingencies, and serendipities are all common. Embrace spontaneity. Perhaps the weather isn’t great. It’s ok! You’ll have a very different but equally fascinating experience of walking the city in the rain as in the sunshine. Perhaps the conversation goes in a different direction than you planned. It’s ok! See where the discussion takes you and, if necessary, gently reroute it.
City Organizer Contact:
Sign up to host a walk: https://forms.gle/8UFAgxZKau2eEkGV9
More information: Facebook.com/JanesWalkYQG