News from Canada's walking movement.
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February 2017

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: 

Winter Walk Day a huge success

SCHOOLS ACROSS the country marked Winter Walk Day, 1 February, in a variety of ways, including handing out hot chocolate and stickers, raffling off amazing prizes and holding assemblies. Check out a round-up of events, along with photos, here.

Schools celebrating Winter Walk Day this year can register their event online and receive a certificate of participation from Canada Walks:

More than 250 schools have registered so far and the survey remains open until the end of February 2017.

Inspiring winter walking photos

THE INSPIRING shot pictured above, taken by P. D’Amore, St. Joseph Elementary, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board, was chosen as the January feature photo in our #winterwalkphoto contest. We love that these students are “getting their feet wet” trying out winter walking and having a fun time doing it.

We received many lovely photos of your winter walking, and also wanted to share the pic below submitted by Maggie Plyvas.

Keep sharing your winter walking celebrations and stories with us. Whether you’re new to winter walking or a long-time walking superstar, we’d love to hear and share your stories in our #winterwalkphoto contest. Enter by posting one or more photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #winterwalkphoto. You can also submit entries by e-mail to under the subject heading #winterwalkphoto contest. We welcome photos from across Canada.

We made the news

OUR ACTIVE & Safe Routes to School program was cited in a recent Toronto Star article profiling school programs that encourage active school transportation.

A different take on outdoor education

STUDENTS AT an Ottawa school have a new hands-on way of learning about traffic and helping to improve safety.

With clipboards, pencils, and hand-held speed detector at the ready, Grade 7 students at Queen Elizabeth Public School set out last fall to study traffic on St. Laurent Boulevard, a busy four-lane arterial road in front of their school that is a major barrier for walking to school. 

The students collected and analyzed data including traffic speeds, vehicle occupancy rates, driver behaviour, and the surrounding built environment. The students are now using the data to write a report to share with decision-makers.

The project is supported by school travel facilitator Jessica Sheridan, who works out of the Ottawa ASRTS office of Green Communities Canada.

"This activity provided a great opportunity for my students to collect some real-world data in their community,” says teacher Amy Charlton. "They found it meaningful and engaging to practice curriculum-linked skills like analyzing and representing data and making persuasive arguments in the context of issues that affect them."

On the right foot

GREEN ACTION Centre, in Winnipeg, offers a new monthly e-newsletter dedicated to active school travel in Manitoba. Subscribe and view the Winter 2017 edition of Off on the Right Foot here. GAC is a Green Communities Canada member organization.

Making Toronto streets safer

TORONTO’S Vision Zero Road Safety Plan outlines 45 new measures that will be introduced this year to make roadways safer. Many of the measures, including School Travel Planning and Active and Safe Routes to School, are being undertaken to increase the safety of pedestrians, school children, older adults, and cyclists. Last year there were 43 pedestrian deaths in Toronto, up from 38 pedestrian fatalities in 2015.

Graffiti highlights sidewalk hazards 

A GROUP of senior citizens in Manchester, UK is using biodegradable spray paint to mark sidewalk hazards. Their goal is to force the local government to fix the wonky pavement and potholes that prohibit walking by the elderly.

Webinar series

AMERICA WALKS presents an exciting 2017 webinar series. Path to a Walkable Future (8 February) explores the coalitions and partnerships that have worked best to create walkability. More information and the full webinar line-up here.

Ways to promote walking and biking

THE AMERICA Safe Routes to School National Partnership fact sheet provides tips and best practices for effective messaging to promote walking and biking. Also included is a media inventory of campaigns promoting walking and biking.

Join the Walking College

GAIN THE skills and knowledge needed to make your community more walkable through The Walking College, and interactive, online educational program offered by America Walks
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 © 2017 Green Communities Canada, All rights reserved.

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Canada Walks is a department of Green Communities Canada.