Walking has figured significantly in Jane’s work as a writer, organizer and community builder. She was the first Executive Director of Jane’s Walk, beginning in 2007, guiding it through its local inception to an international phenomenon. She has also undertaken ground-breaking academic studies of suburban walking environments, under the leadership of Professor Paul Hess (University of Toronto). Her ease with engaging people and asking questions led her to adapt the immersive walk experience into a tool for gathering public feedback – the WalkShop. Finally, she’s researched and led many engaging local walking tours, drawing people in to listen, share and learn about their neighbourhoods and city.
Accolades – The Centre for Active Transportation – 2009 Champion
“Jane Farrow, the founding Executive Director of Jane‘s Walk, received TCAT’s inaugural Active Transportation Champion award in 2009. Jane‘s Walk’s mission is to develop urban literacy and a community-based approach to city building by encouraging citizen-led walking tours that make space for every person to observe, reflect, share, question and collectively reimagine the places in which they live, work and play. The organization is named after the urbanist Jane Jacobs, and its annual walking tours are meant to encourage people to explore and learn about their neighbourhoods and neighbours. During her time as leader of Jane‘s Walk from 2007 to 2011, the organization expanded from a handful of tours offered in Toronto into a global phenomenon. Jane was also the co-author, with Dr. Paul Hess, of several suburban walking studies, the first of its kind in North America, which involved community-led examinations of walking conditions in eight Toronto high-rise neighbourhoods.”
“In five years, Farrow took Jane’s Walk from a slightly eccentric idea – ‘let’s do free walks in honour of Jane Jacobs!’ – to an international phenomenon with walks taking place in 75 cities. She made sure the walks didn’t just stay some cozy downtown pastime. Instead, she extended them to all parts of the city and all kinds of people, making the walks a means of expression for suburbs, for youth, for immigrants, for queer culture – creating a dialogue between all of the elements of Toronto’s cultural kaleidoscope.”
- Spacing Magazine