News from Canada's walking movement.
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November 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: 

GCC supports funding for active transportation

ACTIVE transportation infrastructure needs $694 million in dedicated annual funding from the federal government, according to a submission from the Federal Active Transportation Coalition (FATC).

As an active member of the Coalition, we agree. In a letter to infrastructure minister Amarjeet Sohi, Green Communities Canada endorsed the establishment of a dedicated federal fund that will match municipal and provincial spending on improvements to sidewalk networks, crossings, bike routes, street lighting, and other walking and cycling infrastructure.

“It’s a big ask,” said GCC Executive Director Clifford Maynes, who represents us on FATC. “But governments are spending tens of billions on transportation infrastructure in the coming years, and active transportation needs to get its fair share.”

Maynes is hopeful of a positive response. “Infrastructure Canada actually invited a formal proposal from the Coalition.”

Champions of walking and cycling are invited to write to Minister Sohi in support, with a copy to Clifford Maynes.

Making streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists

GREEN COMMUNITIES Canada has offered to assist a new federal task force examining measures to reduce casualties involving pedestrians and cyclists.
In a letter to Transport Minister Marc Garneau, GCC Executive Director Clifford Maynes pointed out that pedestrians account for almost 15.7 per cent of traffic fatalities in Canada and 14.3 per cent of serious injuries. 

Pedestrians account for almost as many casualties as vehicle passengers, more than 
motorcyclists, and several times cyclists.

GCC asked for details about how pedestrian safety will be addressed by the task force, and offered help to ensure the needs of road users on foot are fully addressed.
The task force will explore the use of cameras, sensor systems, side guards, and educational safety and awareness programs. In addition, Transport Canada will study how modern technologies can reduce collisions between pedestrians and cyclists and heavy trucks.

School Travel Planning returns to Nova Scotia

NOVA SCOTIA'S School Travel Planning program and other active transportation initiatives were renewed in time to be up and running for IWALK Month. 

Funding cuts put the programs on hold more than a year ago. Ecology Action Centre, the provincial program delivery agency, said momentum to get more people active as part of their daily routines led the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada to fund the program this year.

 “We’re thrilled, once again, to be able to work with all the stakeholders from municipal, provincial departments and organizations across Nova Scotia to advocate for and implement safe, active transportation options for all,” says Ecology Action Centre Youth Active Transportation Coordinator, Natalia Diaz-Insense.

Mark your calendars - Walk21 is coming to Calgary

THE Walk21 International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities will be held in Calgary, AB September 2017, hosted by the University of Calgary and the City of Calgary.
See the five key conclusions of Walk21 Hong Kong, which took place last month.

Pop-up calms traffic

COMMUNITIES IN Action staged a pop-up traffic calming demonstration in Haliburton, ON.
The pop-up created a temporary installation around the entrance to a municipal parking lot, which was identified through community consultations as a problem area for pedestrians. Pylons, white and yellow duct tape, pots of flowers, and straw bales defined the entrance and slowed traffic as it approached the parking lot.
The pop-up is part of a larger project between Communities in Action and Active Neighbourhoods Canada, which is examining how the main thoroughfare in the village can better accommodate active transportation.

International Walk to School Month (IWALK) celebrations

Thousands of school children celebrated IWALK 2016 this October with events and activities throughout the month. Here are some highlights:

Yellow Day promotes active transportation

MORE THAN 80 per cent of St. Marguerite d’Youville, Hamilton, ON students used active transportation to get to school on Walk and Roll Yellow Day in October.
School Principal Jenny Frappa and Public Health Nurse Debbie Wassell donned yellow banana outfits to promote the day, and Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board representative Mr. Henderson used a drone to capture the photo of 500 people spelling out iWALK.
The school partnered with the City of Hamilton’s Smart Commute and Public Health to stage the event.

St. Raphael starts a walkolution

UNDER THE guidance of physical education teacher Cristian Fazzini and Health Action Team students, St. Raphael Catholic School, Downsview, ON has implemented a year-long plan to increase the number of students walking and wheeling to school. 

The school kicked off the plan by celebrating IWALK-IWHEEL month on the same day as its Terry Fox run. Celebrations will continue on the last Friday of every month during the school year. Mr. Fazzini and grade 8 student Ryan Walsh provided program details for CBC Metro Morning listeners.

Gateway walkers and wheelers cheered

WALKING AND wheeling students at Gateway Public School, North York, ON were greeted by cheerleaders and teachers, including Mrs. Baig (right), handing out stickers when they arrived at school during IWALK Month.

Guide promotes safer streets

In September, the Toronto Board of Health endorsed continued collaboration on initiatives that improve safety for all road users, especially children, and to promote awareness of the Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools: Understanding Your Policy Options in the City of Toronto.
The Guide is a project of Green Communities Canada in partnership with the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, University of Toronto, Toronto Public Health, the Toronto District School Board, and CultureLink. It was funded by Toronto Public Health, The Wellesley Institute, and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. It was also supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs-Accelerate Program.

Getting to school safely

WALKING to school is safer than being driven. Further, children who walk to school are healthier, happier, and less stressed. They also perform better academically. This from University of Toronto PhD candidate George Mammen, who dispels myths and fears about walking to school and outlines the advantages.

Reducing the risk of cancer

CANCER CARE Ontario’s 2016 Prevention System Quality Index encourages active transportation to and from work and school as a way to reduce cancer risk. Our Active and Safe Routes to School website is cited as a comprehensive program promoting active school travel.

Vision Zero summit

CANADA’S VISION Zero Summit takes place 29 November, Toronto. Vision Zero advocates for the elimination of death and serious injury on the road. The summit will examine how this initiative can be implemented in Canada. More information and tickets.
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  | 
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Canada Walks is a department of Green Communities Canada.