News from Canada's walking movement.
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September 2015

WELCOME TO our new monthly format for CANADA WALKS NEWS, featuring updates and resources from our own work and Canada's growing national movement for walking. Includes the latest on walkable communities and active school travel. Got news? Let us know ... Subscribe, and share with a friend. It's free ... Canada Walks is a department of Green Communities Canada. See our websites: 


New Canada Walks website

CANADA WALKS' shiny new website is now online. Check it out!

IWALK 2015

International Walk to School Day:
Wednesday 7 October
IWALK Week: 5-9 October
Or walk-wheel to school all month!

iwalk-iwheel club

The iwalk-iwheel club is an encouragement activity for students and their families. Students receive their iwalk-iwheel club card and check off the circles each time they travel actively to/from school. Schools can award class prizes for the most active travel trips.


Footloose Fridays

FOOTLOOSE FRIDAYS kicks off School Travel Planning at St. Kevin Catholic School in Welland, Ontario.

St Marguerite named Canada's Greenest School

ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE Catholic Elementary School, in Hamilton, ON,  has been awarded Canada's Greenest School by the Canada Green Building Council. The announcement was shared with students and staff at a Live Green assembly where the school community celebrated not only its 10 years’ association with the Ontario EcoSchools program, but its new designation as Canada’s Greenest School. St. Marguerite d'Youville has also been a proponent of active school travel, with the school community being awarded the City of Hamilton’s School of the Year/School in Motion for three years running, and has won numerous Smart Commute awards for its Walk and Roll to School Yellow Days. Congrats to the whole school! Read more.


Healthy Candidates campaign

THE HEART and Stroke Found is promoting active transportation planning and infrastructure as part of its Healthy Candidates campaign. Candidates for federal office are asked to sign on to policy priorities to address childhood obesity, which also include nutrition labelling “to make it more simple and understandable for parents and children.” Other campaign priorities including tobacco control, research and prevention funding, emergency defibrillators.

Fact sheet

SEE NEW Ontario government fact sheet, Quick Facts for Parents: Learning about Active Transportation. Worth sharing with schools and parent councils.

WALK Friendly applications now accepted

APPLICATIONS FOR WALK Friendly Communities designations are  now open. Applications will be accepted until 30 September 2015. Apply now! 

WALK Friendly Showcase

LOOKING FOR Walk Friendly inspiration? Check out our Showcase of highlights from communities that have achieved a WALK Friendly Community designation between 2013-15.

Survey endorses national walking collaborative

CANADA NEEDS a national collaborative of organizations that support walking and walkability. That’s the top finding of a recent survey of Canada’s walking movement.The survey of local and regional organizations was conducted earlier this year by Ryerson University in association with Green Communities Canada (Canada Walks). A total of 128 responses were received from community advocacy groups, walking clubs, public health ... read more.


  • The 2015 Complete Streets Forum, 1 October, Hart House, St. George Campus of the University of Toronto. Register or learn more.
  • National Walking Summit, 28-30 October, Washington DC. Learn more.
  • PHO Rounds: Built environment elements on healthy eating, physical activity and health equity in rural, remote and northern communities: A scoping review. In person and webinar. 9 October, 12 pm to 1 pm. Toronto. Details.
The 10th Annual Greg's Ride,
27 September, Milton, Ontario.
Register or learn more.

Let's Get Canada Standing

GET CANADA Standing is a national campaign to grow awareness of the multiple dangers caused by sedentary working and prolonged sitting (heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer). Check out the Sitting Calculator to find out how long you actually sit during the day. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.

US Surgeon General issues walking call to action

US SURGEON GENERAL Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued Step It Up! A Call to Action to promote walking and walkability. The report offers strategies and recommendations to increase walking and walkable communities for people of all ages and abilities. Step It Up! also identifies opportunities and actions that multiple sectors - including health care, education, and industry - can take to support these efforts. Learn more

New international pedestrian website

THE INTERNATIONAL Federation of Pedestrians (IFP) recently launched a new website. IFP is a network of non-profit associations and individuals from all over the world, working for pedestrians and livable public space. IFP was founded as is an UN-accredited NGO founded in 1963 and has been promoting the rights of pedestrians ever since. Canada Walks is a voting member of IFP and Jacky Kennedy will be attending the IFP's General Assembly held during the October Walk21 conference in Vienna. 

WALK21 Vienna

THE WALK21 conference is coming up on 20-23 October. Jacky Kennedy, director of Canada Walks, will present a paper co-authored by Canada Walks, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Metrolinx. The conference will also feature the Walking Visionary Awards which highlight individuals, collectives and organizations who have been champions for liveable communities.

GPS uses child's voice for navigation

The Slow Down GPS, from If Insurance out of Sweden, is a free app that works like a regular GPS, providing real-time audio directions for the driver. The difference? The GPS switches to a child's voice any time the vehicle is near a school, daycare, or other area heavily populated with children. Since most people inherently care for children, this causes a visceral, physical, cognitive and behavioral reaction in the listener — prompting them to pay closer attention to the road.

Active heath journal devotes issue to walking

The Journal of Physical Activity & Health recently released a special issue focusing on walking and walkability, entitled "Walking and Walkability: Approaches to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health." The articles lookat at various strategies to increase walking in the U.S., and fall under two main categories: improving the physical enviroment; and recognizing the role of personal motivation when it comes to walking. The complete issue is available free to read or download.
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.

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Canada Walks is a department of Green Communities Canada.