8 Jane's Walks to Take This Weekend

Learn about Calgary's baseball history, find out more about the New Central Library or check out colourful murals in the Beltline. There are no shortage of options to explore Calgary's communities and history this weekend.

You'll see this mural on the side of The Camera Store during the Beltline Murals Jane's Walk.

Photograph by Alana Willerton


Calgary's Jane's Walk event is an opportunity for Calgarians to explore the development and history of their city. Jane's Walks are free, locally organized walks that are held around the world every year. The walks explore city neighbourhoods with knowledgeable tour guides leading conversations on topics that are important to their home city. This year, Calgary's Jane's Walk event takes place from May 4 to 6.

The walks get their name from urban activist Jane Jacobs. She believed cities should be developed using a community-based model, and wrote several books on city development including her renowned (and first) novel The Death and Life of Great American Cities in 1961. Many of the tours organized for these walks here in Calgary explore the history of Calgary neighbourhoods, visit public art spaces, trek through urban green spaces or analyze a specific community's history in the city. We've highlighted eight walks to check out this weekend, but there are almost 80 walks to choose from in total.


I Love YYC Chinatown Walk

When: Friday, May 4 at 5 p.m.
Start point: Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 1 St. S.W.

There's plenty to love about Calgary's Chinatown area, and tour leader Dale Lee Kwong will be sharing some of its tastiest and coolest features on this Jane's Walk. The walk also has some additional optional elements: you can show up early to check out the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum's basement or stay after the walking tour to join others for a Chinese dinner. 


Bow River Baseball

When: Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m.
Start point: Mewata Armoury, 801 11 St. S.W.

Many Calgarians may remember when the city used to have its own professional baseball team, the Calgary Vipers. But back in mid-1900s, there were also local teams like the Brookman Dodgers, Purity 99 and Calgary’s other Stampeders. Jeremy Klaszus leads this tour that explores Calgary's baseball past and future. Attendees are encouraged to wear baseball apparel and/or bring their baseball glove.


Cambrian Heights: A Community in Transition

When: Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m.
Start point: Cambrian Heights Community Centre, 600 Northmount Dr. N.W.

Northwest neighbourhood Cambrian Heights is 60 years old. Naturally, the area has changed a bit over the years, and on this two-hour Jane's Walk, you'll get to see just how much. Tour leaders Jodi Dixon and Pablo Policzer will be taking participants to different spots in the neighbourhood and showing how much they've changed with the help of large format photographs from the past.


The Death and Life of Inglewood

When: Saturday, May 5 at 11 a.m.
Start point: The forecourt at 1212 8 Ave. S.E.

Not familiar with the work of Jane Jacobs, the urban activist that Jane's Walks is named after? You can learn more about her first and final book on this walk with Ward 9 councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, who will take participants through Inglewood and examine how Jacobs' studies and work could be reflected in neighbourhoods like this.


Feminist Walk: Exploring Urban Planning Through a Gender-Plus Lens

When: Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m.
Start point: The Women's Centre of Calgary, 39 4 St. N.E.

This year, the Women's Centre of Calgary examines urban planning and the impact it can have on women on its Jane's Walk. The two-hour walk will touch on subjects like safety, women's usage, and physical and social barriers as it explores parts of Bridgeland and East Village. There will be stops at Reconciliation Bridge, the Wheel of Women and more.


10 Minute Plays for Jane's Walk

When: Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m.
Start point: Theatre Junction Grand, 608 1 St. S.W.

This Jane's Walk integrates six mini plays into its journey. Over the course of an hour-and-a-half, attendees will walk from Theatre Junction Grand to various spots along Stephen Avenue. At each stop, guests will be treated to a 10-minute play. This walk takes place on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.


Beltline Murals

When: Saturday, May 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Start point: Tomkins Park, 7 to 8 St. and 17 Ave. S.W.

The Beltline got a bit of a facelift last year with the launch of the Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP), which worked with local artists to create four new outdoor murals in the area. These colourful murals, which feature everything from funky, squiggly patterns to a howling wolf, will mark the stops during this one-hour Jane's Walk. You'll also learn more about public and street art in Calgary and see where new murals might be popping up this year.


New Central Library Walking Tour

When: Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m.
Start point: Library Experience Centre, Hillier Block, 429 8 Ave. S.E.

Ever since September 2015, Calgarians have been patiently watching and waiting as the New Central Library is built. Now, it's set to open on November 1, 2018, and you can find out more about what it will feature on this Jane's Walk. Christine Gingerick of the Calgary Public Library Foundation will take attendees around the outside of the building to share details about the New Central Library.


For more information on these and other walks, visit janeswalk.calgaryfoundation.org.


[Ed. note: This article was last updated on May 2, 2018]

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