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ERA Architects


Flashback Friday: A Jane’s Walk Down Memory Lane

by ERA Architects

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ERA loves the Jane’s Walk festival. Not only do the walks encourage citizens to share stories, explore communities, and connect with neighbours, they also provide platforms for discussing important urban, suburban, and rural issues that affect communities across the world. The Jane’s Walk festival is a global event that is celebrated in over 200 cities, and we’re excited that it’s just around the corner! From May 6-8, join in this worldwide event and lead or join a walk.

ERAers love the Jane’s Walk festival so much that we can’t help but lead our own walks. Here is a list of some of the cool walks ERAers have helped lead over the years. 

Jess and Dan Eylon: The Clinton Years: Love and life in a 5-block radius

Last year, ERA’s Dan Eylon and his wife Jess co-led a walk titled “The Clinton Years: Love and life in a 5-block radius.” This walk ruminated about the home-neighbourhoods people develop when moving to Toronto and beginning to build their new lives. Jess outlined memorable areas in the 5-block radius that surrounded Clinton Street, where she first lived when arrived to Toronto, while Dan shared facts and figures about these Toronto sites. Matters of the heart and matters of the city were explored as the Eylons hit up friends’ houses, cafés, and city streets around Clinton Street.

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Jasmine Frolick: Drag Kings

In 2014, ERA’s Jasmine Frolick and friend Robyn Visheau teamed up with the exquisite drag kings, Trevor Wood, Flare Drag King, and Titus Androgynous to lead a walk titled “Drag Kings.” Starting at the beloved Buddies in Bad Times Theatre where the history of male drag in Toronto was explained, walkers then visited the Statue of Alexander Wood to learn about the specifics of gender performance. Over the course of the walk, over sixty citizens learned about drag king culture, exchanged baseball cards of historical drag kings, and danced and sang along with the kings as they preformed at Zipperz Cellblock.

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Graeme Stewart: Tower Renewal

Graeme Stewart, one of ERA’s Principals, led a Jane’s Walk back in 2009 about Tower Renewal, an initiative that aims to rehabilitate tower neighbourhoods across Canada. The group met at the North Kipling Community Centre and traversed the areas surrounding the apartments, where they met fences that barred their entrance from the neighbourhood’s ravine. Stewart explained this was just one way the zoning regulations worked against residents, and just one aspect of what the Tower Renewal project aims to change.

Image via Paul Terefenko at

Rui Felix and Ya’el Santopinto: Offline Stories of Fort York

The Jane’s Walk, “Offline Stories of Fort York,” was led by a group of architects, landscape architects, and urban designers. Marisa Bernstein, Nicolas Koff, Ya’el Santopinto, Rui Felix, and Kaari Kitawi made up the walk team that took walkers on an exploration of Fort York. While the walk team observed such sites as The Drum, Salty Waters, Bedrock, and Purple Trees, stories about the many histories of Fort York were shared, instigating people to think about Fort York’s preservation as we move into the future.

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Jomar Manzano and Carl Shura: Sidewalk Design 101

ERAer Carl Shura helped his husband, Jomar Manzano, lead the walk “Sidewalk Design 101: Accessible and Approachable Neighbourhoods” (2014) all the way in Winnipeg! Jomar is an engineer who is concerned with the design of pedestrian facilities. The walk traced a path along Broadway Avenue, Main Street, and Portage Avenue, where the group investigated such questions as: What makes a Pedestrian Facility (a sidewalk) a Universal Design? What is Universal Accessibility? And why is it important? The team was encouraged to think about challenges to pedestrian accessibility in downtown Winnipeg and to envision solutions regarding universal and accessible design.

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Feeling inspired? Find out how to lead your own walk or join a walk here:

Read Shawn Micallef’s insightful article on leading Jane’s Walks.

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