This weekend I participated in a Jane’s Walk led by HiMY SyED who has created over 100 labyrinths across Toronto using a tactical urbanist approach. Tactical urbanism is the act of making low-cost, often temporary changes to the built environment to improve public places, frequently without formal approval from authorities having jurisdiction. When these interventions are in place and demonstrate their value, they are likely to remain in some form.
Unlike mazes which tend to be frustrating puzzles, labyrinths can clear your head and provide fresh perspective.
Toronto may have more public labyrinths than any other city in the world.
I also discovered this weekend that Toronto is where the world-famous Pumpkin Parade was launched at Soauren Park eleven years ago. This community participation activity has spawned 28 similar events in Toronto, as well as globally. It’s kind of a Boxing Day for pumpkins which occurs on Nov 1.
Labyrinths and the Pumpkin Parade are two grass roots initiatives that add to the therapeutic benefits of urban parks.
UPDATE from HiMY SyED – Toronto is also a pioneer in pumpkin labyrinths!
Behold the Jack o’Labyrinth: