Participants taking part in the Jane’s Walk in The Quarters. City of Edmonton
Urban enthusiasts of all ages braved wind and sub-summer temperatures to gather in Boyle Street and walk a mile in its children’s shoes. The Quarters: Your Community, Your Home, Your Choice took place August 30, drawing 18 participants who came to learn about, or share their own experiences of, family life in the area.
The group visited four key sites noting assets, opportunities, and challenges encountered by those working to make this urban renewal district a safe, welcoming, and fun environment for children. Stops on the walk included the Five Corners intersection at Jasper Avenue and 95 Street, where participants discussed perceptions of child friendliness in the area; the Armature to identify signs of progress, as well as pitfalls, in becoming a more child-friendly urban hub; the Boyle Street Community Plaza, for a discussion of community strengths, such as walkability, and trends that have drawn families to the area; and an off-the-beaten-path stretch of 103 Avenue that has been successful in attracting families with young children.
“Jane’s Walks, such as the one held in The Quarters, help in learning about the places and spaces that are assets for children and the families in the community,” says Beckie Boutilier, Coordinator of Child Friendly Edmonton, which organized the walk. “It’s one thing to walk through a community and another to experience it through the eyes of a resident,” she adds.
Named after urban planning pioneer, Jane Jacobs, a Jane’s Walk is a citizen-led walking tour meant to examine a neighbourhood up close and learn from that experience.
Child Friendly Edmonton is an Edmonton City Council Initiative geared toward engaging children in civic participation and making our city a better place for them to live and play. For more information on this initiative and its upcoming events, visit edmonton.ca/childfriendly.
Joelle lives in Boyle Street and led the Jane’s Walk.