News from Canada's walking movement.
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December 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: 

Let's include walking in Ontario climate plan

ONTARIO’S CLIMATE Action Plan calls for increased walking and cycling, but the action steps listed in the Plan ignore walking. Further, Ontario’s Transportation Ministry is developing a cycling commuter strategy with $150-$225 million in funding for cycling infrastructure, but there is no equivalent strategy or financial commitment for walking.

“It’s great to see all the support for cycling, but walking deserves at least equal attention,” says Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada. 
In a letter to the Ministry Transportation, Maynes pointed out that walking has a higher modal share than cycling, and even greater potential for growth. Neighbourhood walkability is also a major determinant of transit success. 

Further, fatalities and injuries for walkers are several times the casualty rate for cyclists, another reason for Ontario to develop a pedestrian strategy.

The Climate Plan says the province will support walkable communities by providing guidance to municipalities. We have been referred to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Grants to municipalities and large employers will support implementation of transportation demand management (TDM) plans. 

Winter Walk Day posters available

WINTER WALK Day 2017 takes place Wednesday 1 February. Posters are available on the Active & Safe Routes to School website to help with planning a fun day of winter walking.

Student well-being input requested

THE ONTARIO government wants feedback on how to support students so they reach their full potential. Add your voice to the mix, and highlight the important role active school travel plays in contributing to the physical and mental well-being of students.Learn more about the student well-being framework and submit your feedback through the Ministry of Education’s engagement portal, available until 15 January.

Photo radar to make walking safer

IN RESPONSE to a request by GCC and several other organizations, Ontario is planning to allow photo radar in school zones. Under new legislation, municipalities will be able to install safety cameras in school zones to curb speeding and make the walk to school safer. The legislation will also protect pedestrians by allowing for the introduction of more reduced speed-limit zones.

Support walking this holiday season

YOU CAN help create communities where walking is safe, easy, enjoyable, and inviting with a donation to the Green Communities Foundation in support of Canada Walks.
Donations will support our work to restore everyday walking as a routine part of our lives by creating conditions in which walking is a positive experience – practical, pleasant, and attractive.
This holiday season donate to the Green Communities Foundation. 

Walk to School Month makes a comeback in Nova Scotia

MORE THAN 10,000 students from over 50 schools spanning all seven school boards in Nova Scotia took part in this year’s International Walk to School (IWALK) Month.
"We are very excited to see IWALK making such a great comeback,” said Stephanie Johnstone-Laurette, Youth Active Transportation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre. ”Last year our child and youth Active Transportation programs dealt with funding cuts that halted much of our work and delayed our start until mid-September. Despite this, we were able to engage, in a very limited time, a great number of students and schools."
IWALK activities included daily morning walks to school, new walking school busses, hikes, and walks around soccer fields. Schools that registered for IWALK and completed a survey afterwards were entered into a prize draw. Pictured above is Jordell, the lucky prize winner of a $350 gift card from Cyclesmith, with St. Catherine’s School (Halifax) principal Mrs. Bona.

Athlete promotes cycling at LifeCYCLE schools

CYCLERY OPUS athlete Miriam Brouwer visited two Project LifeCYCLE schools to talk about how much fun cycling is and share tips on cycling in all types of weather.
At Cassandra Public School, North York, ON, Miriam shared information about Canada’s athletic achievements in cycling with grades 4-5 students. She talked about cycling over different geographical conditions, and covered the cool things you can find by biking in your neighbourhood. The presentation also gave students a chance to share their cycling knowledge and experiences with Miriam.
Miriam also spoke with grades 4-6 students at Rolph Road Public School, North York, ON. While there, she demonstrated how cyclocross athletes dismount and remount their bikes.
Project LifeCYCLE is a cycling education program coordinated by GCC that aims to increase the number of students in grades 5-8 cycling to school by providing safety skills training, strategies to address community barriers, recognition of achievements, and improving cycling proficiency.

Campaign promotes physical literacy  

YORK REGION Public Health produced a physical literacy video and a social media campaign to encourage increased physical activity, noting that only nine per cent of Canadian children and youth meet the recommended 60 minutes per day, every day, level of physical activity.
Children who are physically literate have self-confidence, physical competence, are motivated to make healthier choices, and stay active for life. Children who are physically active do better in school, have stronger bones and muscles, reduced anxiety, healthier body weights, enhanced social skills and leadership abilities.

New walking promotion resources available

TOOLS OF Change offers new and newly-updated walking promotion resources, including the following case studies:
  • The Girls Learning Energy and Environment Program (GLEE): girl scouts significantly increased their transportation energy-saving behaviours by 7% by making changes to the way they travelled to and from school.
  • The King County in Motion case study used community-based social marketing techniques to persuade Seattle-area travelers to drive less.
View these and other resources on the Tools of Change Transportation Topic Resources page.
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.