Walkable Planets Community Art Project ReviewThere are so many cool and interesting things to do and places to explore in Toronto. So many that even Torontonians don't know about them all or haven't visited them, like the Toronto Public Labyrinth. A great way to explore and learn about this amazing city is to take part in organized tours.
There are a lot of city and site specific tours that cost money, like The Steam Whistle Brewing Tour. But a unique and economical way to explore Toronto is to take advantage of one of the many free walking tours, both guided by volunteers or self-guided, organized by Jane's Walk. Jane's Walk was founded in Toronto by a group of friends and colleagues of Jane Jacobs, who "believed in walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy, and cities planned for and by people." Jane's Walk organizes free locally led walking tours "in which people get together to explore, talk about, and celebrate their neighbourhoods" in over 100 cities across the globe. Please visit Jane's Walk to find out more information on walks around Toronto and other cities.
Last week, a friend and I decided to take advantage of one of the self-guided walking tours and explore our Galaxy without leaving downtown Toronto. The tour, called Walkable Planets, was created by artist Jode Roberts, as a part of the 100-in-1 Day Festival. Walkable Planets is a series of 9 planetary wayfinding signs along Grace Street and Gore Vale Avenue, starting at Bloor and Christie Streets and ending at Queen Street West. At a scale of 1-to 5 billion, we learned a little more about our solar system and were amazed at the scale and distance between the eight planets (no Pluto:) in a very charming neighbourhood.
I love the idea of community art projects. Not only did my friend and I learn more about our planet and the others in our solar system, but we also explored an area of Toronto that we might never have, and found a new Little Free Library and beautiful parks to visit. I will definitely be taking part in other Jane's Walks and 100-in-1 Day interventions in the future! These types of events make me love this city even more than I already do! The only sad part of the walk was the graffiti that was scrawled across some of the planet signs. Why someone would deface public art pieces is baffling. I hope organizers will try to remove the graffiti soon, or you might see me on Grace Street soon, scrubbing away!
Have you participated in any of the Jane's Walks or the 100-in-One Day Festival interventions? I would love to hear about your experience!
P.s!: 100-in-1 Day is a festival celebrating citizen-driven actions or interventions throughout the city of Toronto, that began on June 7, 2014. Please visit 100-in-1 Day to learn more about interventions and future events to participate in. Also, there are plans to bring scale solar systems to other neighbourhoods, so keep your eyes open for more wayfinding signs!