Canada WALKS

Happy New Year from the team at Canada Walks!

We thought this photo from the UK was perfect for our first issue of 2011!

Canada WALKS January 2011 Walkolution e-News

Ontario Walkability Award of Excellence Winners - Brantford

In our Fall 2010 issue we announced the three winners of the first Ontario Walkability Award of Excellence: Brantford, Aldershot and Haliburton/Minden. In this issue we are highlighting the accomplishments of Brantford, the winner in the Urban community category.

Left to right: Karen Donaldson-Howden, judge (Panache Life Inc.); Larissa Kaminskyj, Health Promoter, Brant County Health Unit; Meghan Radford, co-chair, Brantford Walkability Task Force (IBI Group); Kate Hall, Green Communities Canada; and Dan Leeming, judge (The Planning Partnership).

In 2007, the City of Brantford participated in the Canadian Walkability Roadshow (see Case Study), and presented the results of the Roadshow at the Walk21 conference in Toronto. That same year Brantford also organized an amazing World Record Walk for their community. In 2008, Brantford’s City Council unanimously signed the International Charter for Walking, which solidified Council’s interest in creating a more pedestrian friendly city.

The award application was submitted by the Brantford Active Transportation Group, which has worked collaboratively with a variety of partners including city staff from transportation, planning, parks and recreation, and the Brant County Health Unit to revitalize the City’s downtown core and generally improve walkability.

The advocacy efforts of this group have proven successful in gaining the political support of council, who passed a resolution in June 2010 stating that all future city development plans must adhere to the eight principles of the International Charter for Walking.

The Charter has served as an effective framework in Brantford for their “top-down and bottom-up” approach to sustaining walkability initiatives in the city. The newly elected city council recently re-confirmed their commitment to walkability by once again signing the International Charter for Walking.

See an inspiring article about New York City and Janette Sadik-Khan: Urban Reengineer,.

iCANwalk ... can you?

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. These recommendations will assist researchers, policy makers and practitioners involved in promoting physical activity.

Congratulations to our prize winners in the iCANwalk campaign!

Nettie Froese from Aylmer, Ontario was the lucky winner of the Walkability Checklist draw for an iPod Nano. “Alymer is a beautiful small town with great sidewalks that have seen some recent improvements, so it’s easy to walk around town”, said Nettie. Inspired by the iCANwalk posters and Walkability Checklists displayed in her office, Nettie, who often walks on her lunch hour, decided to complete the checklist on one of her walks. “Using the checklist allowed me to see my community in a different way. I noticed things that I hadn’t noticed before”, explains Nettie.

iCANwalk pledge participant Maria Folino from Oakville, Ontario, won a set of Urban Poles by being the 50th person to complete the follow up survey to the pledge. Maria is a walking enthusiast who is part of a weekly walking group known as the ‘Glow Girls’ because they walk at night with flashlights. “There are many benefits to walking instead of driving”, said Maria, “getting physically active, cost savings and a healthier environment”.

Here’s how you can win prizes: Take the iCANwalk Pledge for one month and walk to destinations that you would usually drive to. Then complete the brief follow up survey at the end of your pledge to tell us how you did and we’ll enter you name into our draw for Canada Walks backpacks, umbrellas and Urban Poles. Share your story (community and individual stories welcome) about your walking pledge, and you could win a set of Urban Poles or a Steps Count pedometer kit.

So ... put on your winter boots, bundle up warmly because iCANwalk in winter...can you?

Take the iCANwalk Pledge today! Click here to download a checklist on the iCANwalk website. Once you have completed the checklist, go on-line to add your information to the database for your region.

Calling all Ontario Schools – Winter Walk Day

Visit for an update on active school travel in the U.K.

Winter Walk Day is fast approaching – Wednesday, February 9, 2011. We are continuing our theme for this school year of ‘iCANwalk to school...can you?’ so we are encouraging schools to take part in this fun event, through Winter Walk Day activities. You can easily track the kilometers walked by your students and staff, both to school and at school, here. Remember, we are offering super prizes at the end of this school year, donated by our partner, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Schools that log their kilometers on the web site are eligible for prizes selected from the Heart and Stroke Foundations HeartSmartTM Points.

Green Communities will provide promotional posters for your school and stickers for your students for Winter Walk Day. If your school has not registered then do so now!

This initiative is brought to you by Green Communities Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. The Heart and Stroke Foundation believes that every child deserves to grow up healthy and is committed to helping schools create healthy community environments. Spark Together for Healthy Kids, Jump Rope for Heart and the Heart Healthy Kids tool kits are three unique resources to help our children be active and healthy. Get involved and be informed at

Brother Andre School, Ajax, leads the way in active school travel

An exciting event was held at Brother Andre Catholic School in Ajax on October 27 with Ontario’s Minister of Health Promotion and Sport, Margarett Best, walking with students. Although it was a chilly day, students, staff and guests had a brisk walk followed by an outdoor assembly with congratulations from Minister Best and Ajax Mayor Steve Parish, along with representatives from Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and Green Communities Canada.

Later that day a walkabout was conducted at the school to assess the active travel routes.

Tricycle Project (formerly HEAT)

New report from the Clean Air Partnership and Ontario Public Health Association - School Buses, Air Pollution and Children’s Health: Follow-up Report.

The Canada Walks’ Tricycle Project and the Eco-responsables team at �tienne-Br�l� secondary school in Toronto held a fantastic active transportation themed event on December 15. Thanks to teacher M. Ferrag’s grade 10 science class, with assistance from the grade 12 health class, who worked collaboratively with some York University Glendon teacher candidates. The Tricycle Project is linking �tienne-Br�l�’s middle school students and will serve as a launch for the regional cultural projects in the CSViamonde school board at �tienne-Br�l� and Coll�ge Fran�ais next semester.

International Walk to School Facebook page

Holy Family School in Paris, Ontario, celebrates IWALK.

Be sure to check out the International Walk to School Facebook page. Post stories on your IWALK experiences to share with others from around the world.

Walk21 Metro Vancouver 2011:
Transforming the automobile city: walking steps up!

October 3-5, 2011. Call for papers now available at

At the 2010 Walk21 conference, held in The Hague November 17-19, the work of the Pedestrians’ Quality Needs (PQN) project was presented. PQN, supported by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), involved 20 countries and has produced several important reports, downloadable at and the Executive Summary COST 358 – PQN Final Report, November 2010 . Of particular interest are the sections dedicated to the mobility needs of children, older adults and people with mobility challenges. This work is changing the face of pedestrian needs across Europe and Canada Walks would like to see a similar PQN assessment take place in Canada.

PQN Authors: Rob Methorst, Hector Monterde I Bort, Ralf Risser, Daniel Sauter, Miles Tight and Jim Walker

Canada Walks at the Fresh Outlook Foundation’s Building Sustainable Communities Conference

This conference, held Nov 15-18 in Kelowna, BC, attracted more than 500 speakers and delegates from 77 communities across Canada and the U.S. to learn, discuss, and debate a wide range of topics to “kindle a fresh outlook that inspires sustainable ways at home, work, or play.” It was inspiring to see the important role that walkable communities has in the overall sustainable communities movement and to learn that community engagement is the most vital tool to effect change in all aspects of building sustainable communities. The most highly rated speaker of the conference was Dr. Bill Rees, Professor (UBC School of Community and Regional Planning), Author and Speaker. Dr. Rees is best known as the originator of the “ecological footprint analysis” and appears in this five minute video clip which nicely summarizes many of the themes of the conference. For a primer on what is community sustainability see: What is Sustainability? and

Injury Prevention Webinar, presented by Kim Bergeron (DATE CHANGE)

Please note date change for the Injury Prevention and the Built Environment: Evidence and Strategies for Action webinar has changed from January 27 to February 22, 9:30 – 11:00 am. This is a repeat of the overwhelming successful session held October 28. This session is also filling up fast so register today here.

Risk Management and Active School Travel

Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS), now operating in many municipalities across North America, has tremendous benefits for dealing with issues of the safety and security of children, but unfortunately fears around liability often prohibit such programs from getting off the ground. Green Communities Canada has partnered with Municipal Risk Services Limited to offer Reducing Risks Through Safe Routes to School workshops across Canada. Here is your chance to bring a practical workshop to your area that will show how to reap the many rewards of Safe Routes to School programs, while reducing the overall risk to children, school boards and municipalities. To learn how to bring this workshop to your community, please contact Jacky Kennedy at [email protected].

Champions at King’s Masting Public School, Mississauga

Here’s an inspiring example of using active travel to raise funds and awareness while keeping fit! A dedicated group of 200 students at King’s Masting Public School walk or run at every morning recess and by November they had travelled a combined total of 1,444 kilometers. Students are rewarded for every 4 kms completed with charms for a fitness bracelet and several students have completed their first marathon of the year. Their overall objective it to walk or run the flight path to Nairobi, Kenya, 12,192 kilometers, where they are raising funds for a school through Free the Children’s Brick by Brick initiative.

The First of the Baby Boomers Turn 65 This Month!

January 2011 marks the beginning of a new era as the first of the baby boomers 65 years of age, officially entering the ranks of senior citizens. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care website, recent estimates project the seniors' population to double in the next 16 years. It is therefore vitally important to ensure that there are resources available to assist those who wish to remain at home. According to the World Health Organization: “Making cities age-friendly is one of the most effective policy approaches for responding to demographic ageing” As a result, the World Health Organization has created a Global Network of Age Friendly Cities.

Walkability is a key element of an age-friendly community. For more information on age-friendly initiatives in Canada please visit here. In Ontario visit here.

Sidewalk Winter Control – What Happens in Your Community

What do you think of this idea, being tested this winter in Winnipeg?

Sidewalks that are cleared of snow and ice in a timely fashion are a huge motivator to winter-time walking. Conversely, piles of snow created by road clearing and unmaintained sidewalks can making walking difficult and dangerous while rendering the use of strollers, wheelchairs and walkers impossible. In Copenhagen, the sidewalks are cleared BEFORE the roadways. What happens in your community? Canada Walks would like to know. Please share your stories – the good, the bad, and the ugly, via our Facebook page or by emailing [email protected].

Open Streets Hamilton wins Smart Commute Award:

The 2010 Smart Commute Champion award was Open Streets Hamilton, a collaborative team of community-focused groups, NGOs, city departments and entertainers that came together to plan a series of events aimed at creating an urban park on a street closed to car traffic and open to cyclists and pedestrians. Let's open the streets in every town, village and city in celebration of the power of walking to create community, economic activity, improve the environment, and contribute to individual health, happiness, and quality of life! For more information, including an excellent video or visit the Canada Walks Facebook page.

When the Hamilton Pedestrian bridge over the QEW is completed it will provide a great connection to Hamilton’s stunning waterfront from the Waterfront Trail.


No Car Left Behind – an interesting take on the journey to school.

Follow my family bike blog on with weekly updates through Momentum Magazine.

From Vancouver: Walking Home Projects


Canada Walks is now on Facebook: be sure to visit our page, “like it” to add it to your news feed, and suggest it to all your contacts.

Our Partners

Ontario Ontario Trillium Foundation CLASP - Public Health Agency of Canada
Heart & Stroke Foundation - Finding answers. For life. 8-80 Cities Urban Poling
StepsCount ParticipACTION fesfo