News from Canada's walking movement.
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September 2016

CANADA WALKS NEWS is published by Canada Walks, a department of Green Communities CanadaGot news about walking and walkability? Let us know ... Subscribe, and share with a friend. See our websites: 

Order you IWALK stickers and posters

SCHOOL COMMUNITIES across Canada celebrate International Walk to School Month (IWALK) throughout October. Be sure to follow @CanadaWalks on twitter for IWALK inspiration and updates.

If you are organizing a Walk to School event you can share and celebrate news of your activities with school communities worldwide using #walktoschool. You can also register your school’s event to receive a Certificate of Participation from Canada Walks.

The ASRTS website has lots of activity ideas and resources to help with planning and promoting IWALK events; colourful stickers and posters are now available for download and to order in print!

Survey says: School Travel Planning works

THE RESULTS of a recent survey at four Ottawa-area schools highlight the many strengths of School Travel Planning (STP).

Respondents, who included principals, teachers, parents and public health nurses, unanimously agreed that:
  • School Travel Plannin had improved traffic and safety and made a positive impact on active transportation;
  • time on STP was well spent;
  • they would recommend STP to other schools.
In the words of one participant:
“(School Travel Planning) gives us the opportunity to meet with members of the school community, school board, and outside school services to cover all aspects of active transportation, then plan and follow through. It also helps to have someone to remind us of our plan and focus on our goal.”

The survey also highlighted certain limitations including lack of parent engagement, language barriers, and delayed follow through by some stakeholders.

STP was first introduced to Ottawa in early 2010 as a three-school pilot project. It has grown into a program that has helped improve safety and increase levels of active transportation at almost 30 schools in all parts of the city. The program is coordinated by Wallace Beaton and supported by Jessica Sheridan, of Green Communities Canada, with funding from the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority and the City of Ottawa.

Canada Walks bids farewell to Katie Wittmann

KATIE WITTMANN, Toronto District School Board  & TCDSB School Travel Planning Facilitator with Green Communities Canada, will spend the next year participating in the City of Toronto’s Urban Fellows program. Katie joins other talented new professionals receiving an intensive introduction ot the governance, operations, and administration of Toronto through a combination of full-time work experience and a series of seminars, tours, and workshops. Best of luck, Katie.

Walk and wheel back to school

by Carol Sartor, HASTe STP Facilitator
PARENTS PREPARING for back to school will find something new this year when they check the school and school district websites in North Vancouver. The top of the home webpage photo gallery includes an infographic on is the benefits of active school travel. This sends a strong message that walking and wheeling is the preferred method of travel to and from school. The school district has also pushed this link to the parent pages of every school in district 44.

New communications manager Deneka Michaud worked with municipalities, HASTe, North Shore Safe Routes Advocates, Travel Smart, North Shore Safety Council, and ICBC to gather the tools to start the walk and wheel program.

Follow @NVSD44 on twitter for the amazing AT stories.

On-line discussion: zero carbon transpo

JOIN THE on-line discussion of how walking and cycling can be mainstreamed as zero-carbon transportation options, 8 September, noon ET. Hosted by the Low Carbon City Forum, this event will feature Walk 21’s Development Director Bronwen Thornton and Pedestrian Activist Superhero Peantonito. More information and link to the discussion here.

Rural areas need Complete Streets too

TRANSPORTATION IN rural areas has traditionally focused on motor vehicles as the most viable option because of sparse populations and vast distances. However, within this framework there are many hamlets, villages and towns where a Complete Streets approach would make active transportation a viable option.

A report from the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, a project of Clean Air Partnership, outlines the unique challenges rural communities face in adopting and implementing Complete Street policies and shares some rural success stories.

Better street design saves lives 

RESEARCH SHOWS better street design, coupled with smarter, automated speed enforcement, is the best way to make streets safer. For example, shortening pedestrian crossing distances and wide avenue redesigns that offer pedestrian refuges dramatically reduce pedestrian accidents and fatalities. Read the report by the American National Association of City Transportation Officials here.

Making walking attractive for seniors

OLDER ADULTS are more likely to walk for transportation if the sidewalks are even. Other enhancements that increase the number of senior pedestrians are the addition of benches, and planning modifications – like hedges and bicycle lanes – that separate them from traffic.
profiles actions to help create communities where walking is safe, easy, enjoyable, and inviting. Donate to the Green Communities Foundation to provide vital support for this work. Just click on the DONATE button and indicate in the comments section that you'd like your gift to go to the work of Canada Walks.

Join the IWALK/IWHEEL Club

SIGN UP for the IWALK/IWHEEL Club, a great way to encourage students and families to leave the car at home and walk or cycle to school all year long. Students receive their own “club card” to track their active travel trips throughout the year and classes can engage in friendly competition. Register and receive iwalk-iwheel waterless tattoos to use as student incentives.

Your ideas please

If you have story ideas or walking news you'd like to share, please send to us at Be sure to include your contact details. 

Canada Walks workshops and services

CANADA WALKS offers a variety of customized services, including webinars, half- and full-day on-site workshops, and intensive community visits. School Travel Planning training is also now available. Training is offered in a modular format so that each community can learn about topics relevant to their current level of experience with active school travel. Contact Kate Berry to learn more.

Our partners

Green Communities’ Canada Walks is a member of the International Federation of Pedestrians  | 
Copyright © 2016 Green Communities Canada, All rights reserved.

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Canada Walks is a department of Green Communities Canada.