News from Canada's walking movement.
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January 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: 

Winter Walk Day
WINTER WALK Day, 3 February, offers a great opportunity to promote bundling up and enjoying a brisk walk to school. Walking to school can be exhilarating and fun and lay the groundwork for improved academic performance.

Tips for a safe and comfortable winter walk include:

• Keep hands and head covered to prevent heat loss.
• On really cold days wear a scarf over your face and mouth.
• Wear warm, waterproof boots.
• Wear a warm coat that deflects the wind.
• Wear woolen clothing to help retain heat.
• Wear clothing or carry knapsacks with reflective material – it’s important to be seen.
• If possible, change wet clothes at school – tuck an extra pair of socks and mitts into knapsacks.
• Avoid outdoor walking when the temperature falls below -25oC. It’s too cold.  Move your walk indoors or select another day for outdoor activities or walking to school.

Canada Walk’s Active and Safe Routes to School website offers suggestions for celebrating Winter Walk Day and events for students who can’t walk to school.

You can download posters and find more information about this annual event by clicking here.

We’d love to hear about your Winter Walk Day 2016 experiences – please send quotes and photos of your celebrations to


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.


Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard

CANADA WALKS Director Jacky Kennedy served on the judging panel for Canada’s Favourite Crossing Guard contest, an initiative of Parachute and FedEx Express Canada.

Students, teachers, parents and community leaders across the country nominated their favourite crossing guards who were scored on evidence of support, safety record, proactive initiatives, and level of community involvement.

And the winners are:

• Gisele Young, age 93, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Public School, Brampton, ON. Since taking up the position after retirement, Gisele has been a crossing guard for 28 years and has never missed a day.

• Swaran Singh, Bedford-Park Junior Public School, Toronto, ON. Mr. Singh has won countless service awards and citations, including recognition for his efforts in saving a six-year old from injury.

• Linda Roach, New Maryland Public School, New Maryland, NB. Students can always depend on Miss L to safely guide them, especially when high snow banks obscure crossings.

Winners receive a crystal maple leaf and $500. Their schools receive $500 from FedEx Express Canada.

WALK 21 call for papers

THE XV11 International Walk21 Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities takes place in Hong Kong, 3-7 October. The Call for Papers is now open and abstracts for the conference will be accepted until 29 February.

Active transportation directory

THE CANADIAN Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) launched a new and easy way to find active transportation policies in Canada, the Prevention Policies Directory. CPAC offers a free, one-hour webinar on how to use the directory and other CPAC resources to support work on active transportation policy. 20 January, 1:30-2:30 ET. Register.

100 reasons to walk 

IF WE are short of reasons to walk, here’s a list of 100 very good ones. Among many other benefits, walking reduces blood pressure, increases metabolism, and reduces the chances of developing colon cancer.


Fit cities have wealthier, happier citizens

ACCORDING TO this study, cities with high fitness scores also score highly on income, wage, and education scales. They also score highly for overall happiness and well-being. Fitness levels are positively associated with the number of commuters walking to work, suggesting a connection between fitness and walking. The study also found cities’ fitness levels have no statistical relationship to how cold it gets, but are negatively affected by summer heat.

Seniors' Hiking Initiative

HIKE ONTARIO has developed a new program for adults 55 and older to provide training and build a support system for novice hikers and walkers. The Seniors’ Hiking Initiative will introduce seniors to the skills needed and the benefits of hiking and walking. Hike Ontario is looking to partner with Seniors’ Community Centres and Seniors’ groups across Ontario to offer the initiative. If your group would like to foster a hiking program, contact Hike Ontario at
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.