Finding belonging: stories in and around Parkdale
By Celia Beketa
Saturday, May 6
3:30pm - 5:30pm
Theme: Advocacy and Politics, Arts and Culture, History and Community
Accessibility: Breaks encouraged, Busy sidewalks, Dog-friendly walk, The total amount of walking will be about 2.5 km and we will go at a pace that works for everyone. While the walk is listed as 2 hours, the length will largely depend on how much discussion we have as a group—feel free to stay for as little or as long as you like! There will be time for a short break in the middle, and at least one stop has a seating area.
Belonging is a feeling. When we say we feel like we belong, what do we mean? How are these feelings influenced by the people and space around us?
In this walk, we explore questions like these by using the neighbourhood of Parkdale as a starting point—a neighbourhood known for many things including its ability to mobilize in the face of gentrification and exploitation, create connections across difference, and provide a sense of home for those in need. At each stop, we discuss a different component or interpretation of belonging and how it shows up in different sites across Parkdale. This walk is rooted in stories on community and belonging from Parkdale locals, the walk leader, and each other.
In the true spirit of Jane’s Walk, this will be a walking conversation. While each stop will be accompanied by information from the walk leader, there will be time and space for those attending the walk to share their thoughts and experiences and discuss amongst each other.
The walk begins at Lisgar Park and travels west through Parkdale and Little Tibet as we visit sites like Gladstone House, the Toronto Collegiate Institute and the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre before heading south to finish the walk along the waterfront. The different components or interpretations of belonging we will explore are varied, including emotions of belonging, politics of belonging, belonging as more-than-human, and belonging amid diversity.
The walk will be led by Celia Beketa, Co-Chair of Jane’s Walk, who is currently completing her Master’s thesis on how community organizations might influence individuals’ feelings of belonging in diverse cities like Toronto. This walk is being led in part to help inform her thesis research, but mostly because she is passionate and curious about the topic. Pictures may be taken on the walk.
If you are planning on attending the walk, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/c21THF1hACXw9osa7. This is mostly to better predict how many people will attend and understand any requests related to accessibility or otherwise. I hope to see you there!
Walk Start Location: Lisgar Park (Lisgar and Queen). I have blonde hair, will be wearing green pants, and will have a Jane's Walk sign.
Walk End Location: Waterfront, near Lakeshore Boulevard Parklands