News from Canada's walking movement.
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JUNE 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: 

Join the national action strategy

ORGANIZATIONS ARE invited to support the National Action Strategy for Walking, a new initiative that will establish a pan-national voice for walking and pick up the pace of action for creating walkable communities.

To date, 34 national, provincial, and local organizations have provided a letter of support endorsing the vision statement and declaring their interest in participating.

See sample letter of support.

The National Action Strategy for Walking is a collaborative campaign coordinated by Green Communities Canada (Canada Walks). Membership is diverse, including national organizations like the Heart and Stroke Foundation and local groups from across the country.

“Every other mode of transportation has a collective voice. It’s time for us to step up and ensure effective representation for Canada’s walking movement,” said Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada.

The National Action Strategy for Walking will:
  • engage government decision-makers in adopting supportive policies and infrastructure investments
  • help local organizations promote walking and walkability in their communities
  • facilitate information-sharing and networking
  • address research and resource needs
  • hold Canada’s first national walking summit in September 2017

Ontario supports active transportation

ONTARIO'S MINISTRY of Municipal Affairs and Housing Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2016) includes increased support for active transportation. Municipalities are directed to adopt a Complete Streets approach when designing new streets and rebuilding existing networks. The public has until 30 September to provide feedback on the plan.

Feds push active transportation

IN A letter to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister (see the paragraph titled: The Public Transit Infrastructure Fund), Infrastructure Canada encourages the Premier to “…work with municipalities and transit agencies to promote targeted investments in active transportation."

GCC backs photo radar in school zones

GCC IS one of many organizations supporting the City of Ottawa’s request that photo radar be deployed in school zones.

“Our experience in the community confirms that speeding is a major safety concern for parents and a barrier to active transportation in many neighbourhoods,” says Wallace Beaton, Active & Safe Routes to School Program Manager – Ottawa. “Photo radar can provide an important, cost-effective supplemental tool to address speeding and make streets safer.”

Students share concerns with municipal politicians

STUDENTS FROM Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Toronto, ON travelled to City Hall in May to share their concerns about walking to and from school. Students Ralph Bautista, Nicole Nyamayaro and Ali Mohammed Javed, aided by STP Facilitator Armi De Francia, put together a presentation featuring photos to illustrate their concerns with litter, loiterers, and other issues students face on their daily walk to school.

Bike safety week: ready to roll

THE SEVEN Toronto schools participating in Project LifeCYCLE got ready to roll during Bike to School Week thanks to cycling safety workshops prepared and delivered by GCC and CultureLink.

The workshops, given since April and attended by hundreds of elementary students, focused on bicycle inspection, accessories to aid in being visible and heard, bicycle storage, and cycling safety rules for riding on the sidewalk and road.

Bike rodeo round-up

PIERRE LAPORTE Middle School's first ever bike rodeo was one to remember. The event was supported by Green Communities Canada, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), Toronto Police Services, Toronto Public Health, City of Toronto, Toronto District School Board, and Toronto Student Transportation Group. Students learned how to put their bike on a bus - an activity many people are intimidated to try for the first time. 
GATEWAY PUBLIC School's annual bike rodeo took place on a hot, sunny day. Hundreds of students brought their bikes and helmets to practice, learn, and have fun. Local Councillor Jon Burnside came to run the slow bike race and cheer students on. Toronto Public Health engaged students in interactive displays and games about helmet safety, while parent volunteers led the students through cycling stations organized by Green Communities Canada and Toronto Police.
VALLEY PARK Middle School held its second annual bike rodeo as part of its Bike to School Week celebrations. Toronto Police led the on-bike stations, while mechanics from the Toronto District School Board's Cycling Education program (a partnership with CultureLink Settlement Services) helped tune up students' bikes and teach them some cycling "ABCs" (airs - brakes & bars - chain & crank).
KING EDWARD Junior and Senior Public School, Toronto, ON held its third annual bike rodeo featuring presentations by the school bike club, Toronto Police Officer Gribbon and triathlete Ellen Morgan. Students visited a series of bike safety stations to learn important cycling skills, and those who managed to visit all the stations had their names entered into a raffle. Ride on King Edward!

Female relay team
conquers Bruce Trail 

IN EARLY May, Green Communities’ Katie Wittmann was one of 15 young women who set the record for the first all-female relay run of the entire Bruce Trail, uninterrupted. The relay covered 897km of trails from Tobermory to Queenston and was completed in 5 days, 17 hours, and 56 minutes.

The event, called the Nous Bruce Project, was the first initiative launched by the storytelling platform The Nous Adventure Co.

“I think the most impressive part about what we accomplished is that we’re just a bunch of every day women, not elite athletes. We had a couple of teammates who’ve run marathons or triathlons, but we also had many members who were completely new to running. I hope that in sharing our story we encourage other women to take on challenging, physical adventures and recognize that we’re all stronger than we think,” said Katie.

Mayor recognizes school travel planning

CARDINAL NEWMAN Catholic Elementary School, Niagara Falls, ON held a walk to school event as part of Catholic Education Week in May. The Mayor of Niagara Falls and the school's Superintendent and Trustee greeted families walking to school. Students were thrilled to hear the Mayor recognize their school travel planning efforts during morning announcements.

Taking the heat off sidewalks

THE CITY of Taipei, Taiwan is trying to make walking and cycling more comfortable by making sidewalks and bike lanes cooler. The city is experimenting with permeable pavement after discovering that the daily peak temperatures on sidewalks and bike lanes is between 2 to 3.5º less than those with non-permeable surfaces.

Kits promote walking

THE PHYSICAL Activity Resource Centre (PARC) offers the Walk this Way Kit (English and French) and the Walk this Way First Nations Kit. Available in hardcopy and electronic format, the kits include a pedometer, a calendar to track progress and tips on safety and stretching. Free; only available in Ontario.
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.

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 Jacky Kennedy 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.