Jane’s Walk 2010 was held on the weekend of May 1-2, 2010. in 68 cities around the world. This was my third year in a row attending, only missing the inaugural edition in 2007.
There were more walks than ever in Toronto this year, but I managed to pick out 4 with non-conflicting event times:
Starting at 401 Richmond, this was a discussion of the history of the zoning changes that occurred in 1996 and the impact it had on the area, the buildings and people. During the walk, I was introduced to some inconspicuous looking former industrial warehouses and factory buildings in the King West area that were redevleoped into vibrant mixed use commercial and residential buildings.
Continuing with the theme from King-Spadina, this walk discusses the redevelopment of the King-Parliament area as a result of the same 1996 zoning change. The walk leaders, apparently proud architects, pointed out their work everywhere as we moved east from Yonge/Queen and ended at Distillery District.
Official Toronto historian Bruce Bell once again led an entertaining walk discussing all the glorious buildings that used to stand on Toronto Street (now mostly replaced by cold concrete, glass, or steel). The walk also included bonus coverage of King Edward Hotel and the mass burial site beside St. James Cathedral.
Most importantly, I now know the exact security cameras that caught Conrad Black removing boxes from his 2nd floor window at 10 Toronto St., the original No. 7 Post Office!
Toronto Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone led the walk through most buildings in Exhibition Place, starting from Princes’ Gates and ending near Dufferin Gate.
The highlight is the unique opportunity to see an Direct Energy Centre exhibition hall. That place is huge!