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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The 52: Stories of Women Who Transformed Toronto