Jane's Walks - St. John's Edition

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A Jane's Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that get people out on the streets to discover unseen, under celebrated and unique stories about their city.

The free walking tours are held on the first weekend of May each year all around the world, and are led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. As always, St. John's is doing things a bit differently, time-wise: our walks are taking place on May 10th and 11th

Want to lead a walk? Just drop us a line at admin@happycity.ca and we'll sort it out!

There have been many interpretations of the event as its changed hands from year to year: from dog walks to bike rides, from local lore to historical reenactment. By discussing what makes a city great, and what makes it tick, walk guides and participants are empowered to be better citizens, better stewards, and better neighbours.

The walks are as varied as the people taking part, and they usually last about 90 minutes. We ask each walk guide to offer their perspective along the route, and to encourage the public to weigh in. Through the simple act of walking and talking, Jane's Walks create ways for people to connect, share, and develop ideas about where their communities and cities are at and where they are headed.

 

So far, we have 2 walks lined up (you can still sign up to lead one!):

Sunday, May 11th

Walk # 1 - Escape! A walk in wartime St. John's

Within hours of war being declared in September 1939, the first German ship captured in North American waters was seized in Botwood.  A few days later the crew was interred in the Seaman's Institute on Water Street in St. John's.  In mid October, the captain escaped.  Based on the available records, the walk will follow a route likely used by the captain. Stories related to historic and interesting places along the way will be told.  The walk will be interactive and participants will be invited to imagine themselves as escapees and to share their views at various route choice points.

The walk will be led by storyteller Gary Green who has published articles and contributed to books on WWII St. John's and the Battle of the Atlantic.

Level of difficulty:  moderate to difficult - climbing at least one steep hill

Approx time:  1 1/2 hours

Approx distance:  2.7 km

Start time: Sunday, May 11th, 3:00pm

Start place:  Water Street sidewalk in front of the National War Memorial

 

Walk # 2 - I wish this was...

This walk will be a chance to talk about what the city could be, rather than what it is. We'll take a tour of some of the spots in the city people have been dreaming about doing something cool with, as identified on Happy City's "I Wish this Was" map. The walk will start at the old Grace Hospital site, wander downtown through the fast-changing area around the bottom of Springdale, and end up down on Water Street, where there are lots of spots with potential.
We'll hear what the ideas for those spaces were and, more importantly, participants in the walk will be encouraged to suggest their own ideas for under-used or mis-used spaces in the city; we'll make sure those ideas get up on an online map for public discussion. This walk will be led by Josh Smee, chair of the board at Happy City St. John's. 
Level of difficulty:  Moderate. Sticking to streets, but a reasonable distance is involved. Mostly downhill, at least!

Approx time:  1.5 hours

Approx distance: 2.5 Km

Start time: Sunday, May 11th, 1:00 pm

Start place:  Pleasant St. & Lemarchant Rd, empty corner (next to the old Grace Hospital site)

 

 

Written by Happy City at 13:34

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