Canada Walks
TOPMarch 2011 Walkolution e-News
In this issue...
1. Ontario Walkability Award of Excellence Winners - Aldershot
2. iCANwalk Pledge Campaign Prize Winners
3. Ontario Communities walkON : Train-the-Trainer
4. Ontario Communities walkON: Thunder Bay
5. Reminder for Ontario schools: Spring into Spring
6. Ontario Healthy Schools Initiative
7. Active School Travel Success in Halton Region
8. Green Communities' Tricyle Project in the Media
9. People for Education's online forum: School Travel Planning
10. Bridgewater's Active Transportation Committee Makes Strides
11. Cross Country Skiing in Canmore
12. St. John's Grand Concourse
13. Walking in the Halls in Grey and Bruce Counties
14. Footprints of Delight. by Dr. Catherine O'Brien
15. Injury Prevention and the Built Environment (archives)
16. Earth Hour- March 26

anchor1Ontario Walkability Award of Excellence Winners 


In the last two issues we highlighted the accomplishments of two of our three Walkability Award winners, Brantford and Haliburton-Minden. This month we bring you an update on the third award winner - Aldershot, our suburban award winner. The award recognized their work to improve the conditions for pedestrians along Plains Road - the historic heart of the Village of Aldershot.


Over the past decade the Plains Road Village Vision Group (PRVV), the City of Burlington and the Aldershot Business Improvement Area have worked collaboratively to re-develop Plains Road and create a walk friendly space. The collaboration resulted in exciting new urban designs for buildings along Plains Road and with these developments came a unique destination with wider sidewalks, street furniture and places for people. Even better, stores, services and other destinations are within walking distance of residences, which reduces dependence on cars, the need for parking lots, and encourages more walking and cycling. 

Award Dinner-Aldershot-Nov 2010

From left to right: Karen Donaldson-Howden, (judge) Panache Life Inc.;

Leah Bisutti, project leader with the City of Burlington's Transportation Services

Department; Kate Hall, project coordinator with Green Communities Canada;

and Dan Leeming, (judge) The Planning Partnership.


Improvements to walkability in Aldershot align with air quality, physical activity, injury prevention and transportation demand management objectives of several organizations in Aldershot, Burlington, and Halton Region. In 2009, PRVV partnered with environmental organizations, schools, physical activity groups and the Halton Regional Health Department to plan and deliver a local iCANwalk campaign to promote walking in Aldershot. Walkability workshops were also held in order to engage the public and stakeholders in further planning for a walkable community. In addition, the City of Burlington endorsed a local pedestrian charter, while the Region of Halton endorsed the International Charter for Walking.



  "Plains Road is Worth Celebrating" 



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anchor2Congratulations to all iCANwalk Pledge Campaign Prize Winners 

  iCANwalk in Winter

Thanks to everyone that participated in the iCANwalk Pledge campaign to walk and bike to places instead of driving. The following are our prize draw winners:


Winners of Urban Poles: Marie Folino, Oakville; Ann Fenton, Orangeville; Rob Narejko, Burlington


Winners of Canada Walks backpacks and umbrellasShelley De Jager, Smithville; Nynka Greer, Orillia; Sally Dollar, St. Catharines; Bernadette Hymus, Belleville; Doreen Do Couto, Pickering; Charles Small, Moffat; Sue Carduelis, Oakville; Pam McRae, Picton; Cathy Powell, Sarnia; Michele Rich, Collingwood.


We also gave prize packages including a StepsCount Pedometer Kit, Canada Walks backpacks and umbrellas to groups that wrote in to tell us their stories about how they've worked to improve the conditions for walking in their communities:  

  • Organizers of a World Town Planning Day Event with Grade 10 Civics Classes in Grey Bruce: Scott Taylor, Senior Planner, County of Grey; Sheena Harrington, Junior Planner, Municipality of Grey Highlands; Amy Caan, Planning Assistant, City of Owen Sound; Jennifer Croft, Health Promoter, Grey Bruce Public Health Unit ;Crystal Ferguson, Health Promoter, Grey Bruce Public Health Unit; Jason Weppler, Health Promoter, Grey Bruce Public Health Unit.
  • The Pelham Active Transportation Committee for their work in addressing infrastructure changes by provided input during the planning of several major route reconstruction projects in the area.
  • Halton Region for having the most people take the pledge and complete the follow up survey.


To read these community stories and testimonials from individual prize winners visit 


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anchor3Green Communities' Mandy Johnson

will be delivering an

Ontario Communities walkON Train-the-Trainer session

at the Ontario PARC Symposium

on March 23, 2011 



anchor4Ontario Communities walkON

  Gil in Grey Bruce

The Ontario Communities walkON project will be visiting Thunder Bay this spring, with international expert Gil Penalosa scheduled to speak on April 23. 


School Travel Planning is one action that Thunder Bay hopes to implement and stakeholder meetings will be held during our walkON visit.


Green Communities Canada is still able to accommodate one more health unit or regional partnership to participate in the walkON project. If your organization is interested, contact Mandy Johnson. 



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Green Communities Canada and Share the Road collaborated on a booth at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities February Sustainable Communities conference in Victoria, BC.


 FCM Booth-Feb 2011


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Ontario Schools - Reminder: Spring into Spring


 Image-3 kids-Colour

Register at


Spring is almost here! Get active and Spring into Spring; and why not team it up with 'iCANwalk to school...can you?'.


Register your pledge and track kilometers walked by your students and staff, both to school and at school here.





iCANwalk to school...can you? 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


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Ontario Healthy Schools Initiative
Apple Healthy Schools

The Active & Safe Routes to School program is an integral

part of the Ontario Ministry of Education's Healthy Schools initiative. You can download the Foundations for a Healthy School document here.


To register for the program online go to 

then record your ASRTS activities through the Ministry's

web site. See the following stories for examples of how

schools are getting active in their communities with ASRTS

and are qualifying for Healthy Schools ranking.


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Active School Travel Success in Halton Region


Halton District School Board recently completed a 16-month Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) project. The goal of the project was to implement ASRTS activities in 20 of their schools.  The full report can be downloaded here. .


 Here are some of the highlights and successes: PL Robertson-WSB

  • 23 HDSB schools implemented the ASRTS program and walking school buses. Three Principals/Vice-Principal's moved schools during the pilot but they brought the ASRTS program with them to their new schools; one of the new principals maintained the program.
  • 13,037 students and staff experienced active transportation messaging (34% of the board's elementary students).
  • Approximately 940 students utilized walking school buses (after seven weeks of implementation).
  • Schools reported many students using active transport outside of the organized walking schools bus (older students like to walk independently).
  • Traffic counts discovered a decrease in car traffic on Walking Wednesdays (24-31%).
  • Case studies reported both parental and student satisfaction with the program; especially the walking school bus.


Student surveys at the project schools showed an increase in active transportation.


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"At this school, they encourage parents not to bring in

McDonald's for their children for lunch.

They should encourage the Walking School Bus in the same way.

Overall, the healthier kids are, the better off they are.

Even though parents are busy, developing healthy behaviours,

either through walking to school or enrolling kids in other activities,

it provides bonding time with the children.

You get to know who your kids are,

know where they are and know who they hand out with." 



Green Communities' Tricyle Project in the Media


Étienne Brulé's December 15 Tricyle event received great media coverage from L'Express de Toronto and Le Métropolitain. The event promoted active transportation to students from Étienne Brulé's middle and secondary school, supported by York University's Glendon Campus French language Community Practicum teacher candidates.


Etienne Brule-Dec 2010


In anticipation of the Ontario Society for Environmental Education's (OSEE) EcoLinks' annual spring conference, Étienne-Brűlé teacher Mounir Ferrag, CSViamonde's representative at the 2010 EcoLinks conference, was invited to write an article featuring Canada Walk's Tricycle Project that will appear in EcoLinks' publication 'Interaction'. 






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anchor9pple for Education logo  


Check out People for Education's online forum

with comments from parents about active school travel. 


anchor10Bridgewater's Active Transportation Committee Makes Strides


The Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, is committed to implementing its new community Active Transportation and Connectivity Plan (ATCP). This commitment was instigated by the vision of the Bridgewater Active Transportation Committee of a healthy, sustainable and vibrant community.  See their interactive website and their detailed plan. 

 Bridgewater Banner


The Bridgewater Active Transportation Committee is implementing a 3-year public engagement and education campaign. 


Projects include a "School Travel Planning" initiative to get more children walking/cycling to and from school, and a pilot project with local workplaces to encourage greater employee participation in active modes of commuting.




Please feel free to contact the Bridgewater Planning Department if you would like to know more about the Active Transportation and Connectivity Plan, or contact the Bridgewater Active Transportation Committee: Eric Shaw, Director of Planning, Town of Bridgewater, 60 Pleasant Street, Bridgewater, NS B4V 3X9, 902-541-4368 or  

Bridgewater Screen 
















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Cross Country Skiing in Canmore


While most Canadian towns remove snow from their downtown streets, Canmore, Alberta's main street was track set snow for their March 11-14 cross country ski action and community celebration. 


Canmore Skiiers

The 2011 Haywood Ski Nationals, the Canmore Destination Marketing Fund, the Canmore Downtown Business Association and the Canmore Nordic Centre expanded on the overwhelming success of community activities surrounding last year's World Cup event.  The community celebration included a repeat of last year's poplular events - Jack Rabbit Races, dog sled races, welcoming and awards ceremonies for the Nationals, Chandra Crawford's (Olympic gold medalist) "Fast and Female team," street hockey,

and public use times. 


New for 2011 was a block party and availability of free ski equipment loans for public ski times.   This is definitely one of the most unique "open streets" events we have discovered.  Way to go, Canmore, Alberta!  For more information visit: 


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anchor12St. John's Grand Concourse


The Grand Concourse is an award-winning integrated walkway network spanning the metropolitan area of the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Capital, St. John's, and its neighbouring communities of Mount Pearl and Paradise. Check out this fantastic approach to creating a "walker's paradise!".


Grand Concourse Logo


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anchor13Walking in the Halls in Grey and Bruce Counties


Last fall an intrepid team of half a dozen Town of the Blue Mountain (TBM) community members, supported by PLAY in Bruce Grey (, dawned their running shoes and gathered at the local community centre with the intention of increasing their physical activity through walking. Fast forward five months later and the numbers of TBM walkers has increased to over fifty participants!





Between 9:30 and 11:00 every Monday and Thursday mornings, at least 30 participant's gather to complete their laps with many increasing their laps week over week. "Every person is encouraged to sign in and track his or her successes", says Eileen Gamble, the program's chief volunteer organizer.


PLAY Bruce Grey is also supporting the Township of Meaford who recently started a similar club with over twenty-five persons walking twice a week! "The program is very straight forward to start and keep going", says PLAY in Bruce Grey's Cathy Smart. "Community Centres and arenas exist in every community in Bruce and Grey and sit empty for much of the week. This is an excellent opportunity for community members to take advantage of a warm and safe facility. Once set up, the program runs independently with support of volunteers like Irene Gamble. The walkers are committed to the program and to each other. That is the key ingredient to its current success. The walkers look forward to meeting one another every Monday and Thursday morning. As far as the TBM group is concerned this program will never end!!"


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anchor14Footprints of Delight


Dr. Catherine O'Brien of Cape Breton University, responsible for creating the concept of "Sustainable Happiness" and a Canadian expert in planning child-and-youth friendly communities, wrote this "delightful" article in 2006.  It discusses what contributes to individual and public happiness in the natural and built environment and how designing walkable communities should be integral to the creation of enjoyable places to live, work and play. Based on surveys of individuals from around the world, it asks the interesting questions:


  • Do we know what kinds of communities, cities, and towns contribute to sustainable happiness?
  • Are we aware of how current planning may be supporting unsustainable happiness in an effort to meet the public's insatiable need to consume and travel more quickly?
  • What are the top descriptors of a delightful place?


For the answers and a fascinating discussion on the connections between happiness, health, and planning this article is a must read.


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anchor15 Archive of Injury Prevention and the Built Environment:


The Evidence and Strategies for Action,

presented by Kim Bergeron: 

listen to the webinar or see the slideshow (pdf). 



anchor16Reminder: Earth Hour 2011 - Saturday, March 26 at 8.30 PM


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OntarioOntario Trillium FoundationCLASP - Public Health Agency of Canada
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