While many Windsor locals know the names of the city’s streets, few are familiar with the people behind the names. UWindsor alumna Sarah Morris (BA 2012) is determined to shed light on the topic during the 2019 Windsor-Essex Jane’s Walk this weekend.
Inspired by the late urban activist and writer, Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walk is a free, citizen-led, annual event that encourages residents to discover and connect with their communities.
Morris, a passionate activist and graduate of the University of Windsor’s English literature and creative writing program, has been the lead volunteer organizing the event for two years. This year, she plans to incorporate local history and storytelling during her walking tour of the Glengarry neighbourhood.
“My Jane's Walk digs deeper into the stories behind Windsor street names,” said Morris. “There is an opportunity to bring history to life during these walks and I really want to highlight the historical context around the people behind the street names.”
To fuel her stories, she sought resources from Leddy Library’s Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections.
“The information available online regarding the history of our community is rather limited,” explained Morris. “I was thrilled to get access to the archives because I was able to find local resources dating back hundreds of years.”
The diversity of the archive material not only allowed Morris to paint a broader picture of the city’s history, but it also assured her that the information she is providing during the tour is accurate.
Morris’ walking tour, Pierre with an E: History of Street Names, sets out from Fred Thomas Park at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 4. She will lead the same tour in French at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5. It is one of 13 walks taking place across seven neighbourhoods in the city, each hosted by a different organization, group, or resident.
“The local Jane’s Walk is a great opportunity to meet your neighbours, explore the city and share your knowledge about the community,” she said.