(Toronto) West Park’s vibrant, welcoming campus has always been a source of serenity and beauty for patients and community members alike, but in May 2012 a special contingent of visitors toured the Centre to enjoy its splendour and learn about the organization.
Jane’s Walk is a free walking tour that celebrates the legacy of the late urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out to explore their neighbourhoods.
For the first time since the inception of Jane’s Walk in 2007, West Park was included in the annual event.
Called “History and Health, a Visit to West Park,” the tour took place Saturday, May 5 and was organized by the Mount Dennis Community Association.
The walk showcased West Park’s grounds and included interpretative areas where the history, current services, and future plans of West Park were explained.
Each Jane’s Walk tour is led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. Since its inception, Jane’s Walk has expanded rapidly. In 2011, 511 walks were held in 75 cities in 15 countries worldwide.
Jane Jacobs championed the interests of local residents and pedestrians over a car-centered approach to planning. Jane’s Walk often takes Jacobs’ ideas to communities unfamiliar with them, in order to advance local engagement with contemporary urban planning practices. The walks help knit people together
into a strong and resourceful community, instilling belonging and encouraging civic leadership.
Being part of the Mount Dennis/Weston community since 1904, West Park has seen many changes both on campus and in the surrounding community over time.
One interpretive area at West Park on the tour was in front of the historical display near Communications, where walkers heard about West Park’s storied past, its current services and its development plans (see picture above).
Artifacts such as an iron lung used decades ago at West Park, were also on display. Walkers also visited the Rehab Gym and learned about the Family Health Team and Rehab Plus.