Eight Canadian cities will be presenting free neighbourhood walking tours on the May 3-4 weekend in the second annual Jane’s Walk celebration.

In Ottawa, walks range from a tour of ByWard Market to a look at the history and architecture of the East Glebe neighbourhood. And in a different take on the city, several homeless and formerly homeless people will point out shelters, drop-in centres and places to sleep outside.

In Vancouver, author and historian John Atkin will host a tour of Strathcona, described on the event’s website as a model for “how livability, heritage and density can coexist in one neighbourhood.” In Guelph, Ont., Mayor Karen Farbridge and several city councillors will be among those leading tours.

Other participating cities include Charlottetown, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary, as well as Salt Lake City in the U.S. Last year’s cities were Toronto and New York. The walks celebrate the legacy of Toronto author and urban activist Jane Jacobs, who died in 2006.

“Jane’s Walk is about raising urban literacy” and giving insights into urban history, planning and design, according to the website. It’s an initiative of the Centre for City Ecology, a Toronto-based group.

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