JANE JACOBS (1916-2006), urbanist, writer, activist and grassroots organizer, lived for 38 years at 69 Albany Avenue in TORONTO’s Annex neighbourhood. Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania Jane spent more than half her life in Manhattan, but moved to TORONTO with her family in 1968. She became a Canadian citizen in 1974, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996.
“I live at 69 Albany Avenue in Toronto,” she said
at the first Ideas That Matter conference, “but I also live in the universe.”
Among the many achievements of Jane Jacobs: saving a swath of New York City from Robert Moses’ crosstown Lower Manhattan Expressway; writing “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, her best-known work; fighting to cancel TORONTO’s inner city Spadina Expressway and its parasitic entrails; influencing the development of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood; opposing the amalgamation of the old city with its inner suburbs; and making herself available for media interviews, conferences, speaking engagements, this, that and the other. Upon her death in 2006, her family’s statement said: “What is important is not that she died, but that she lived, and that her life’s work has greatly influenced the way we think. Please remember her by reading her books and implementing her ideas.”
<Jane Jacob’s 100th birthday card on Google, May 4/2016>
<PHOTO – Ron Bull, Toronto Star/Getty Images>