Thousands of people are expected to hit Ontario streets this weekend for Jane's Walk, a series of neighbourhood tours that aim to improve urban literacy.

The free event is named for activist and thinker Jane Jacobs, who was interested in urban planning and decay. Jacobs believed that people should get to know their cities by walking through them. She died in 2006.

Each neighbourhood walk is led by someone who knows the neighbourhood and can share its story. Sometimes the walk focuses on history and sometimes it's more about recent change.

In Ottawa, Jane's Walk got started at 9 a.m. in Little Italy on Saturday. The first day was scheduled to end in Old Ottawa South along Sunnyside Avenue at 3 p.m.

Sunday will begin at Parliament Hill with a visit at the stray cat sanctuary at 9:30 a.m. and will end with a wrap-up party at Lieutenant's Pump on Elgin Street.

A detailed schedule can be found here.

The first Jane's Walk took place in Toronto in 2007 and quickly spread to New York City and other Canadian cities.

According to its website, the event attempts to encourage civic engagement, leadership, debate, discussion and interest in urban planning issues.