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Jane’s Walk returns for a second year in Oshawa

A series of walks through Oshawa and Durham Region will look at the past and perhaps spur discussions around the city’s future. (Photo submitted)

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

An initiative aimed at getting people more in touch with the streets they call home is returning to Oshawa for the second straight year.

The made-in-Canada Jane’s Walk initiative, created in 2006 in honour of the late Jane Jacobs, an author and journalist world-renowned for her work in urban studies, returns to Oshawa the first weekend in May.

The event will see walking tours taking place across Durham Region with the goal of getting people talking about what they like, and perhaps what they don’t like, about the communities they live in.

“A Jane’s Walk is a unique story about how you see, interact with, and feel about a place or topic,” says Jane Clark, the Durham organizer of the event. “Jane Jacobs believed that getting to know your neighbourhoods and each other is the foundation of community building.”

Clark notes this type of walk may be of particular interest in places like Oshawa where residents may not have as many opportunities to get out and explore the city.

“Residents of a community like Oshawa and other ‘commuter towns’ can spend much of their lives in their cars and may appreciate the opportunity to slow down, get out, and walk to connect with their neighbourhood and neighbours and to learn more about their communities.”

This year, walks will be taking place throughout the weekend starting on May 4 with options for residents across Durham.

In Oshawa, the walks begin on May 4 with a Haunted Oshawa tour, which will take residents to some of the city’s supposed haunted locations. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. outside the Oshawa Public Library McLaughlin Branch. A similar walk will also run on May 6 starting at 3 p.m.

Also in Oshawa, “Discovering Oshawa’s Historic Downtown” will run on May 5. Led by Lisa Terech from the Oshawa Museum, the tour will explore the Four Corners area in the city centre and participants will have the chance to learn about some of the city’s historic properties and the stories of those who built them.

Other walks include a tour visiting the homes of some of Oshawa’s fallen World War I heroes, led by the Home Fires Burning group (May 6, 1 p.m. starting at the Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Armoury), and for local cyclists, a bike tour called The Urban Loop will take people on a ride from the city’s downtown to the lakeshore and Oshawa’s Second Marsh.

Events will also be taking place in Whitby, Ajax, and Bowmanville throughout the weekend.

For further details, timing and meet-up places for the events, visit