Skip to content Skip to main navigation
STORIES / Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs

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.

A portrait illustration of Jane Jacobs.

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.

Explore more women who transformed Toronto.

Further Resources
Learn about how Jacobs’ mission lives on through The Center for the Living City
Explore Toronto’s free walking tour festival inspired by Jacobs’ work
Learn about the continued relevance of Jacobs’ perspectives on urbanism and democracy

Myseum is your
Toronto museum.

Our engaging programs and experiences showcase the history, spaces, culture(s), architecture, and the people, that represent Toronto’s unique place in the world.


Sign up and be the first to hear about upcoming events and experiences presented by Myseum.