News from Canada's walking movement.
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March 2017

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: 
Photo: Carol Sartor, STP Facilitator North Vancouver

Ottawa Winter Walk Day roundup

Alta Vista Public School’s Eco Club made posters and used announcements to promote the school’s second Winter Walk Day. Ms St. Laurent’s grade 2 class (above) had a 65 percent walk rate.
St. Clare Catholic Elementary School held a school-wide community walk with local partners and almost doubled its Winter Walk Day walk rate.
From left to right, Ottawa STP Facilitator Jessica Sheridan, Ottawa Public Health representative Kimberly David, St. Clare Catholic Elementary School Principal Martine Mitton, and School Resource Officer Marc Leroux joined Active Transportation mascot Phyz for Winter Walk Day fun.

Way to winter walk, Ottawa!

Snapshots of winter walking

WE ARE pleased to highlight these two snapshots as our feature photos for February.

Our own Jessica Sheridan, Ottawa School Travel Planning Facilitator, took the photo above of students at Century Public School. The day after a huge snow storm, students trudged through unplowed sidewalks and cold temperatures on their walk to school. The school, which is part of Ottawa’s Walking School bus program, has recorded an increase in walking of 12 percent over last year – an impressive feat considering many of the school’s students are immigrants who are experiencing their first Canadian winter.

Kulvir Mann, Executive Chair of the North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council, snapped the snowy Vancouver scene below.

Keep sharing your winter walking photos and stories with us. You can enter photos in our #winterwalkphoto contest by posting one or more photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #winterwalkphoto. You can also submit entries by e-mail to under the subject heading #winterwalkphoto contest. We welcome photos from across Canada.

More support for walking strategy

THE CANADIAN Cancer Society (CCS) is the latest organization to endorse our vision statement for a National Action Strategy for Walking.

The Society has been a long-time supporter of walking as a way to reduce the risk of cancer, and notes that about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by being active, eating well, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

The National Action Strategy for Walking aims to restore everyday walking as a routine part of our lives by creating conditions in which walking is a positive experience. Learn more about the Strategy and supporters here. Join us!

We've been busy advocating for walkable communities

WILL THE impending federal budget include a dedicated fund for active transportation infrastructure? The Federal Active Transportation Coalition (we’re a member) has been meeting with Infrastructure Canada about establishing a dedicated fund to match municipal and provincial spending on improvements to sidewalk networks, crossings, bike routes, street lighting, and other walking and cycling infrastructure. See proposal.

Also at the federal level, we’ve been in discussions with Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change about helping to develop an federal active transportation strategy. Green Communities Canada is collaborating with Canada Bikes and the National Active and Safe Routes to School Working Group. 

At the provincial level, Canada Walks recently met with Ontario Ministry of Education staff about a proposal to roll-out an Active and Safe Routes to School program across the province.

Stay tuned for updates on these ongoing efforts.

Active transportation is achievable in small rural communities

WHILE IT may be challenging, implementing active transportation in small rural communities is achievable. This blog looks at what the County of Haliburton, which covers an area of approximately 4,500 sq km, has done to improve walkability and make cycling safer.

These efforts have resulted in a cultural shift that recognizes health, economic, and other benefits of active transportation. Official Plans now include policies specific to cycling, active transportation, healthy communities, and walking.

Building a better street

THE CITY of Edmonton has reconstructed nearly five city blocks, resulting in a street with pedestrian-oriented stone walkways, a roadway designed to accommodate cyclists, and a streetscape that captures rain and uses it to water side street trees and vegetation.
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.