Jane's Walks are happening all across Canada.
Jane's Walk. It's a wonderful concept about making cities more livable. Get out of the car, off the bus, and walk the walk. Learn to discover hidden and unknown secrets about the city and neighborhoods we live in.
I spent Saturday in the Riley Park neighborhood where a total of four Jane's Walks were being organized by Think City.
Ned Jacobs, Jane's son, has lived in Vancouver for many many years, and loves the Riley Park Neighborhood. At 12 noon, he met a group of walkers at the Little Mountain Neighborhood House on Main @ 24th Ave, to take them on a personal walk through the neighborhood he loves.
I couldn't go, because I was working at the Riley Park Branch Library. But on my lunch hour, I walked up the street and had lunch at Tonina's Deli. It's a wonderful little Italian deli that serves great pasta lunch specials.
Across the street is Windsor Meats, where I check out the weekly specials. The Grind Coffee is where I often grab a cup of joe, or over at the Saltspring Coffee Co. Last week I had lunch at Splitz, a new hamburger joint that was famous in Whistler, before the owners sold out, and decided to move to Main St. Further down the street is the Cafe Monmarte that hosts live music in the evenings. Main St. is well known for an abundance of antique stores, but there are also some really funky clothing stores, like the Barefoot Contessa, Legends and many more.
And then around 32nd Ave. and Manitoba St. is the Nat Bailey Stadium where my father used to paint all the building signs, and the ads on the outfield walls. We got to see lots of baseball games free, but I probably spent more time painting walls in the stadium then actually watching ball games.
Maybe next year, I can organize a Jane's Walk for Vancouver Chinatown, where my parent's grew up, and my great-grandparents had a house and once had a jewelry store on Main St. Strathcona is also very interesting, because my great-great-grandfather Rev. Chan Yu Tan used to minister at the Chinese United Church at Pender and Dunlevy Streets. I always take friends and relatives down to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Gardens designed by my architect cousin Joe Wai, who also designed the Chinatown Millenium Gate, Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives, the Chinatown Parkade and just last week received a special jury award from the Architects Institute of BC for his restoration of the Chinese Freemasons building.
Similar to a Jane Jacobs-assisted protest against the proposed Spadina Expressway in Toronto, there was a neighborhood protest that rose up to stop a proposed freeway through Strathcona and Chinatown. Mary Lee Chan was one of the leaders of this protest, assisted by her university daughter Shirley Chan who also became a champion for community activism. A young lawyer named Mike Harcourt also offered his services.
Ned Jacob's Big Questions for Little Mountain (Riley Park) Tour Code: F-NJ2
Ingrid Steenhuisen's Little Mountain Housing (Riley Park) Tour Code: A-LMH