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Jane Jacobs

Image: Museum of Toronto.

Jane Jacobs devoted her life’s works to fighting for cities that are designed for people and quality of life. Her advocacy and academic accomplishments shaped Toronto’s social and physical landscape as we know it.
1916 - 2006 | Urbanist, Author, and Activist

In the 1960s, Jane Jacobs staunchly opposed urban renewal projects that threatened historic neighbourhoods, championing community-led urban planning. Her groundbreaking book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” challenged conventional wisdom and promoted vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhoods. In 1968, Jacobs and her family moved to Toronto in opposition to the Vietnam War. In the early 1970s, she played a leading role in the Stop Spadina Campaign, preventing the construction of a major highway through lively Toronto neighbourhoods.

Jacobs’ lasting impact on Toronto can be seen in its thriving neighbourhoods, pedestrian-friendly streets, and grassroots engagement – solidifying her status as a pioneer in urban revitalization and a champion of livable cities.

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