News from Canada's walking movement.
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1 March 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: 

Opportunities and challenges for active transportation

ONE OF the largest public transit infrastructure projects in Toronto is the building of Metrolinx’s Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT). It aims to create better connectivity for public transit users and take cars off one of the city’s busiest streets.

In recognition of some of the unique opportunities and challenges the project presents, Metrolinx has partnered with Green Communities Canada to facilitate active and sustainable school travel in schools affected by the building of the Crosstown LRT.

Once completed, the Crosstown LRT will give students who live too far away to walk to school the option of travelling by public transit part of the way, and parents who currently drive their children to school on their way to work the option of travelling with their children via public transit.

However, in the interim, construction brings about its own challenges to the school journey, as traffic patterns change and new safety concerns arise in nearby school zones.

GCC and Metrolinx will work together with city planners, traffic engineers and local school communities to ensure any potential negative impacts on school travel are minimized, while working toward healthy changes in how students and other members of school communities get around.

The project is a pilot test of best ways to engage school communities in transit construction projects. The project team looks forward to sharing the outcomes of this exciting work as it gets underway.
For more information, please contact Laura Zeglen, School Travel Planning Facilitator for the Eglinton Crosstown schools,

Niagara Regional Summit
aims to increase active travel to school

INCREASING ACTIVE travel to school was the focus of the Active and Safe Routes to School Regional Summit held in Niagara. Forty-five participants representing school boards and schools, municipal staff and elected officials, public health, police, members from active transportation citizens’ groups, non-profit groups and business came together to exchange ideas.

Jacky Kennedy, Green Communities Canada, spoke about national advances. Panelists from planning, engineering, public health, school and transportation provided information on local successes and challenges.

Schools and municipalities leading the way for active and safe school travel in Niagara received a Golden Shoe Award in recognition of their contributions.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation will use information gathered at the summit to help inform next steps for Niagara, and information gathered at similar events across Ontario will be discussed at a provincial summit in May.

Thank you to host partners, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Green Communities Canada, Niagara Region Public Health, District School Board of Niagara and Niagara Student Transportation Services for making the summit possible and to the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 

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.

Project LifeCYCLE
Workshop teaches movement skills

TEACHING CHILDREN fundamental movement skills was the focus of the Fundamental Movement Skills Workshop held in January as part Project LifeCYCLE, GCC’s cycling education program. A facilitator from the Coaches Association of Ontario instructed parents, teachers, Toronto STP facilitators and a Public Health representative on stages of development and how to observe and enhance children’s fundamental movement skills.

Workshop participants created games to teach balance, throwing, catching, jumping and running skills, which enabled them to practice and share different teaching strategies. Parents and teachers will use these skills to coach students to apply these fundamental movements while wheeling to school and playing sports.

Winter Walk Day 2016

STUDENTS ACROSS Ontario enjoyed spring-like weather for Winter Walk Day 2016, 3 February, while students on the “wet” coast of British Columbia embraced the day by walking in the rain.

More photos and details here.

Guide to safer streets

KATIE WITTMANN, Canada Walk’s School Travel Planning Facilitator, Toronto, is working with other concerned practitioners, researchers and students to develop a Guide to Safer Streets near Schools. The goal is to improve the health of communities by making neighbourhoods safer for students to walk, cycle, and roll to school.

Once completed, the guide will outline how school communities can work with local Councillors and City staff to reduce speed limits and implement safe intersection protocols and traffic calming to increase active transportation.

The guide will be presented at the International Conference on Transportation & Health, 13-15 June, San Jose, California.

Walk 'n Roll Hfx 

WALK ‘N Roll Hfx is a recently formed pedestrian advocacy group that promotes the benefits of walking as a key indicator of healthy, efficient, socially inclusive and sustainable communities. Walk 'n Roll’s goal is to make every walking route in Halifax safe, comfortable and interesting.

In 2015, Walk 'n Roll Hfx advocated for updates to the Downtown Plan, traffic calming, crosswalk safety and recreation capital expenditures.

Calgary unveils walking master plan

CALGARY’S PEDESTRIAN Strategy, Step Forward, is a master plan for improving walking. The strategy focuses on:
  • Improving pedestrian safety
  • Reducing pedestrian-vehicle collisions
  • Providing universal accessibility
  • Improving the quality and experience of the pedestrian realm
  • Promoting a culture of walking
  • and furthering walking as a safe, convenient and viable part of Calgary’s multi-modal transportation system
The strategy is divided into four areas with a list of 50 actions items to be carried out in the short, medium and long term across the city. The goal is to encourage more Calgarians to walk more often, while making it easier and safer to do.

School travel around the world

CHILDREN AROUND the world face extreme obstacles getting to school. The documentary On The Way to School shows the difficult journey students in Kenya, Patagonia, Morocco and India take every day. Watch the trailer.
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.