News from Canada's walking movement.
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May 2016

CANADA WALKS NEWS is published by Canada Walks, a department of Green Communities CanadaGot walking news? Let us know.
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Learn about School Travel Planning

CANADA WALKS presents a walk-through of the updated School Travel Guide and Toolkit and an overview of recent research on reducing pedestrian collisions and increasing active school transportation, 12 May, noon-1:30 p.m. EDT. Free.

Jacky Kennedy, Director of Canada Walks, and Dr. Linda Rothman, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Health, School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, will present.

Space is limited. Register here.

Making streets safe for kids

THIS INFOGRAPHIC presents a summary of recent research on making pedestrian environments safe for children. Click on graphic to enlarge.

Be a part of Jane's Walk 2016

JOIN OR lead a Jane’s Walk on 6, 7 or 8 May. Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours where people get together to explore, talk about, and celebrate their neighbourhoods. The walks are held in memory of Jane Jacobs, an urban thinker who believed in walkable neighbourhoods. For a listing of walks scheduled in your area, or information on how to organize or lead a walk, click here.  

Let's increase active school travel

THE DECLINE in active school travel can be reversed, says Jacky Kennedy, Director of Canada Walks. Speaking on CBC Metro Morning, Jacky said schools can work with organizations like Green Communities Canada to implement school travel planning, which addresses barriers to walking and cycling.

Jacky was responding to a recent Metrolinx report that found troubling increases in the proportion of students getting a ride to school over the last 25 years - a tripling in some areas. The decrease in active school travel is linked to higher youth obesity rates.

Over the last 18 months, GCC has worked with 10 Toronto schools to reduce car trips by an average of 4.3 percent – an impressive statistic for such a short time frame. 

Minimizing construction impacts on pedestrians

HALIFAX REGIONAL Municipality is proposing new regulations to minimize the impact of construction projects on pedestrian routes. The proposed regulations address temporary sidewalk access for all ages and abilities and include improved notification, way-finding signage, and noise and dust control. More information here.

Get on the Trottibus

TO INCREASE the level of physical activity among children and youth, the Canadian Cancer Society launched Trottibus, the Walking School Bus. Primary school children walk to school in groups with organized adult supervision instead of being driven by bus or car.

The program began in Quebec in 2010 with 300 students and has grown to 3,000 students today. Trottibus will be in 300 primary schools in Quebec by 2018 and will expand into Ontario later this year.

To help encourage schools launch their own Trottibus, the Society offers customized guidance and support including:

•    training  on road safety and implementation of the program
•    assistance with volunteer recruitment
•    promotional tools - posters, brochures, community open-house
•    tips and advice from our experienced development staff

Trottibus gives children an opportunity get an extra 15-20 minutes of physical activity each day. Encouraging an active lifestyle for children improves the chances they will continue an active lifestyle later in life. About one-third of cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight, 

Trottibus, the Walking School Bus, is a project of the Canadian Cancer Society made possible by the financial support of the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information, contact: Nancy Wirtz,, 705.670.1234 x 3713.


Improving streets for all users

THE TORONTO Centre for Active Transportation is holding a book launch for Complete Street Transformations in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The book showcases nine redesign projects in the region that have improved streets for pedestrians, cyclists, or transit riders.

The event features a presentation by the book’s research team, a panel discussion with participating municipalities and a networking reception.

5 May, 6-7:30 p.m.105 Bond St, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON.

Miniota walkers step'n out

THE MINIOTA Step’N Out walking group covered about 645 miles – almost the distance between Miniota to Winnipeg and back – walking indoors during the first three months of 2016. The group of 20 walked for one hour three times a week while avoiding the harsh conditions of a Manitoba winter. 

Policy aims to increase sidewalks

IN A big move for accessibility and pedestrian safety, Toronto plans to build more sidewalks. As roads come up for reconstruction, the city is proposing a new policy to install sidewalks if they don't already exist on. Under the current policy a new sidewalk can only be installed after consultation and neighbourhood buy-in, allowing many neighbourhoods to successfully block new sidewalk construction.


Webinar reviews walkability audits

PAUL YOUNG, Urban Designer and Health Promoter at Public Space Workshop, reviews three examples of walkability audits conducted in Southern Ontario and outlines the different audit frameworks and methodologies in this webinar given as part of a speakers series for the Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC). 

The benefits of walkable neighbourhoods

THIS REPORT from the Pembina Institute outlines the benefits of compact, walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods. Benefits include the ability to make more trips by walking, cycling or transit, thereby lowering green house gas emissions and infrastructure costs.

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.
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.