Canada Walks
TOPApril 2011 Walkolution e-News
In this issue
Ontario Schools Register Now for Spring into Spring
Put a Spring in Your Step With the iCANwalk Pledge
Active Healthy Kids After School
Parents and students speak up for walking and biking to school
Halton Region's ASRTS Project wins an IABC Award of Excellence
The Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card is coming!
Downtown Brantford Transformed into an Urban Campus
Sustainable Happiness
Use Your Senses on the School Journey
SPARKING Life: Power Your Brain Through Exercise
Walking Around the World

Ontario Schools Register Now for Spring into Spring:

April 21 - June 8


Spring is 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.

 Image-3 kids-Colour


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




Put a Spring in Your Step With the iCANwalk Pledge


Spring is in the air! You could watch the season unfold from your car window while you sit in traffic OR you could enjoy the smells, sounds and sights of spring that can only be experienced while walking. Not only will you benefit from the physical activity, but the environment will be a healthier place as well. If every Canadian left their car at home just one day a week, we would save about 3.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year - the equivalent of taking about 800,000 cars off the road.


iCAn walk spring


You can do your part by taking the iCANwalk Pledge and identifying locations in your community that you can easily and safely walk or bike to. So far 21,421 kg of green house gases have been saved through pledges. Put a spring in your step and take the pledge today!









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Active Healthy Kids After School caasp logo


Green Communities Canada is representing the Canadian Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) partnership on an exciting initiative - Active Healthy Kids After School.


The project is led by Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) and is a collaboration of nine national organizations:

  • Active Healthy Kids Canada
  • Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability
  • Boys and Girls Clubs Canada
  • Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity
  • Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute
  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association
  • Green Communities Canada
  • Physical and Health Education Canada
  • YMCA Canada


The objectives of the Active Healthy Kids After school project is to enhance the delivery of quality after-school programs that involve increased access and opportunity to engage in physical activity and healthy living and nutrition programs. The Canadian ASRTS partnership's role is to provide support and guidance on active travel to after school programs.


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Parents and students speak up for walking and biking to school:


Stepping It Up Videos on Youtube:


See parent testimonials, based on interviews conducted across Canada by Green Communities in March 2011.


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See the article Skip the Car: Walk, Cycle, Rollerblade or Skateboard! in the March 2011 issue of People for Education's newsletter. Also visit their online community discussion to share your walk to school experiences and views.


pple for Education logo







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Halton Region's ASRTS Project wins an IABC Award of Excellence.


The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) awarded Halton District School Board's ASRTS project with an Award of Excellence. The judging of the project's communication deliverable resulted in a high score and feedback that reflected an "excellent lineup of objectives against results which were measurable and key messages customized to each audience".


The award signals the combined efforts of the ASRTS Project Manager, HDSB's Communications Manager and Graphic Artist and a Halton Region Communication Specialist. Click here to learn more about Halton's ASRTS project.



Charles R. Beaudoin's WSB

Charles R. Beaudoin's Walking School Bus


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The Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card is coming!


Mark your calendar for April 26. That's the day that the 7th annual Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth will be released to the public.

 Active haetlhy Kids logo

 Established in 1994, Active Healthy Kids Canada works to passionately advocate the importance of accessible, quality, and enjoyable physical activity for children across the nation. The annual Report Card is a much-anticipated release that shines the spotlight on physical inactivity among kids, drawing national attention to this crisis.



How will the physical activity levels of our nation's children measure up this year? Stay tuned ....

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Downtown Brantford Transformed into an Urban Campus


Brantford, Ontario continues to show leadership in creating active, walkable communities. Here is another Brantford update.


Some 16 years ago, in a Toronto Star article, Brantford's Downtown was declared 'the worst downtown in Canada.'  It was a ghost town, suffering a slow decay when business and commerce abandoned the downtown, and city blocks were desolate and boarded up.

Brandford Harmony

Brantford Harmony Square

Ten years ago, Brantford City Council negotiated a partnership with Wilfred Laurier University to start an urban campus in the former Carnegie Library building which sat empty for a decade or so.  It began with 39 students. Fast forward to today and 2,900 students are enrolled in the Laurier-Nipissing campus.


The development of this downtown campus inspired the re-development of the downtown with the building of Harmony Square and the recent demolition of the south side of Colborne Street with the proposed joint YMCA/Laurier Athletic complex.  The Brantford Active Transportation Group (formerly the Brantford Walkability Task Force) has been involved in ensuring this redevelopment has made pedestrians a priority.  This is especially important when you consider that a majority of post-secondary students are active transportation and public transit users. 


The economic impacts created by thousands of young people downtown are enormous and the streets have become alive with the vibrancy of the campus.  Harmony Square and Victoria Park now host numerous student activities and events, restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops have become focal points and downtown Brantford is once again "a people place."


For more information on the transformation of downtown Brantford, visit


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Sustainable Happiness


Green Communities Canada's Active & Safe Routes to School program is pleased to announce the launch of the Ontario Sustainable Happiness Teachers' Guide for grades JK-6. This ground-breaking resource is available in English and French directly from the Sustainable Happiness website. It includes lesson plans designed to meet the Ontario health education curriculum outcomes.


Sust. happiness drawing

Sustainable Happiness is defined as "happiness that contributes to individual, community and/or global well-being and does not exploit other people, the environment, or future generations."(Dr. Catherine O'Brien, 2005). The concept merges principles from sustainability and happiness studies, encouraging individuals, communities and organizations to reflect on opportunities to leave a legacy of sustainable happiness.


Sustainable happiness concepts have been incorporated into the Children's Mobility, Health and Happiness: A Canadian School Travel Planning Model project now underway in every province and territory. 


See Dr. Catherine O'Brien on YouTube:


C. O'brien


View our videos on YouTube 












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Use Your Senses on the School Journey


Two Bristol, U.K. primary schools, working with their Bike It officers, are part of a Sensory Journeys project to encourage students to evaluate their school walking routes by their senses of sight, smell and sound.


Students recorded and drew their experiences and sensory maps were created for each school. To see the results and learn more visit and click on Christian Nold.


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SPARKING Life: Power Your Brain Through Exercise


sparkDr. John Ratey, MD, gave a rousing keynote address at the PARC Symposium in Toronto on March 22.  His message is that exercise, such as walking, is "Miracle Grow for the brain" that not only improves mood and attention, lowers stress and anxiety, staves off addictions, but also guards against the effects of aging.  


Sparking Life is a U.S. based non-profit organization that has undertaken the mission to share the word that physical activity literally changes the way we think.  Dr. Ratey is the author of the recently published book: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. For more information visit:



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Impressive Global Support For Promoting a Culture of Walking

The Global Advocacy for Physical Activity Council of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health released a document in February 2011 that builds on the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: Global Call to Action (May 2010).  This release outlines seven "best investments" for improving physical activity across the globe. Canada Walks' mission of creating a culture of walking across Canada directly supports 5 of the 7 best investments for improving physical activity.



Landmark Jury Award in USA

On a section of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., a person travelling on foot was killed where there was a gap in the sidewalk. The State of Maryland was found liable for not providing safe infrastructure which would have prevented the fatality.


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Jane's Walks will be taking place across Canada on May 7 and 8.  Jane's Walk invites you to lead a walk in your neighbourhood in an area where you live, work or play. It simply involves planning a route, thinking through the stories, places and people you want people to hear about and discuss, then walking your participants through it.



We are pleased to announce that registrations are now being accepted for the Metro Vancouver Walk21 Conference, Oct 3-5, 2011.  Click here to register now.

walk 21 

For updated information on confirmed speakers and preliminary program visit the conference web site. 


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Our Partners
OntarioOntario Trillium FoundationCLASP - Public Health Agency of Canada
Heart & Stroke Foundation - Finding answers. For life.8-80 CitiesUrban Poling