JANE'S WALK: Exploring Culture and the Living Cemetery in Mississauga

The late urbanist Jane Jacobs was a pioneer in the way North American society, and the world in general, thought about living in cities. She was about preserving urban areas from “slum clearance”, most notably known for opposing the Spadina Expressway in Toronto that would have demolish existing neighbourhoods in favour of more expressways through downtown Toronto.

Although she passed away in 2006, Jacobs’ legacy inspired what has been known for years as “Jane’s Walk”: free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers.

In the month of May, Mississauga plays host to a number of Jane’s Walks around various areas of the city. “Exploring Culture and the Living Cementery” will focus on urban cemeteries as spaces of memorialization and cultural value. The walk promises to explore the cultural expressions of memorialization in the silent city, to understand how death takes up space and place in our communities. We often don’t think about the spaces where we put our deceased loved ones, and how that affects the long term health of the community as space becomes more scarce. 

This Jane’s Walk is being led by Nicole Hanson, an urban planner working for the City of Vaughan, but in her spare time she researches cementaries and their place in the urban enviornment. You can learn more about Nicole and her thoughtful approaches to space and memory here.

People who are interested in participating will meet at the Streetsville Public Cementery starting at 10 am, Saturday May 27. 

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