Walkolution News Winter 2015

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In This Issue
The year that was 


2014 turned out to be a tough year for the not-for-profit sector here in Canada, and especially difficult for NGOs with an environmental focus. And despite the increased interest in walking and walkable communities, financial support for this work is still hard to find. Canada Walks spent a good chunk of the year seeking out potential corporate partners for our WALK Friendly Communities initiative, which we envision will be part of a much broader national walking campaign, and although many have indicated an interest, at the end of the day it's not a high priority, and doesn't offer the same cache as a specific one-off walking event, like a walk to raise funds for a chronic disease.  


But the irony is that it's the everyday walking that each of us does that will result in a healthier population and provide a good defense against lifestyle diseases. We have been inspired by the collaborative relationship in the United States between America Walks and the health insurance company Kaiser Permanente. Certainly in the U.S. the momentum is building, according to articles like the one that appeared in Yes Magazine, found under the Happiness tab: Walking: the secret ingredient to health, wealth, and more exciting neighbourhoods.   


On a brighter note our work in the field of active school travel continues to gain momentum and we are expanding our reach while working towards a long-term sustainable model for Canada, thanks to many strong partnerships. Some of these successes are presented in this newsletter and we are thrilled to offer congratulations to the most recent successful WALK Friendly communities.  


Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, and active 2015!

The Canada Walks team. 


New WALK Friendly Communities announced

Walk Friendly ON


Canada Walks is pleased to announce that three Ontario municipalities were recognized in December 2014 by an expert panel for their progress toward walkability. WALK Friendly Community designations have been awarded to the City of Mississauga (silver), the Town of Pelham (bronze), and the Town of Minto (bronze).  


l-r: Kate Hall, Manager, WALK Friendly Ontario; Jacquelyn Hayward-Gulati, Manager, Active Transportation, City of Mississauga; Erica Warsh, TDM Coordinator, Mississauga
l-r: Kate Hall, Manager, WALK Friendly Ontario; Bea Clark, Chair, Pelham Active Transportation Committee; Pelham Mayor, Dave Augustyn 
The awards were announced December 3rd at ACT Canada's Sustainable Mobility and Healthy Communities Summit where more than 200 Transportation Demand Management professionals from across the country gathered in Markham, Ontario, to talk about integrated transportation solutions that support healthy communities.


"We're proud to support our partner Green Communities Canada and the WALK Friendly initiative," said Michael Coteau, Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Congratulations to the City of Mississauga, the Town of Pelham and the Town of Minto for building municipalities that encourage healthy, active living for all residents, young and old."   


The WALK Friendly Communities designations encourage communities to take practical steps to make walking safe, convenient and enjoyable. Walk friendly environments are linked to higher rates of everyday walking, help create vibrant neighbourhoods, and increase retail sales and transit ridership. Walking is also being recognized as a "wonder drug" that boosts health and fitness, and combats chronic diseases like diabetes.   


Applications are being accepted now and will close February 20th, 2015. Communities should refer to the Application Guide as they prepare their application.  


Read the full media release here.



Survey: State of the Walking Movement in Canada  

Promoting walking and advocating for policies and improvements to the built environment that support walking are important elements in changing our car-oriented communities into more walk friendly places for people. Much of this work is done by local, regional, provincial, and national not-for-profit organizations as well as community-based volunteer groups and committees. However, the characteristics of these groups, and the scope and nature of their work is largely unknown.


Canada Walks is engaging with students from Ryerson University in the School of Urban and Regional Planning to conduct a national survey of local, provincial, and national walking organizations to find out who is working to promote and advocate for walking in Canada, what they are doing and how we can work more effectively together towards a walk friendly future for Canada. The project will result in a State of the Walking Movement in Canada report based on the survey findings and modeled after the Local Walking Advocacy Organizations Survey Report recently published in the United States by America Walks.

We look forward to hearing more about the work that you and your organization are doing to promote and support walking!


WALK21 Sydney 2014 

The sun shone at the unique conference venue of Luna Park in Sydney for the inspirational 15th annual Walk21 International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities.


It was great to see close to 30 Canadians at the conference and 10 presentations featuring active school travel and children's mobility through 'speed dating', poster presentations, along with a Pechu Kucha Challenge, and breakout presentations.


Countries and regions presenting on active school travel included: Brisbane; Tasmania; Suwon, Korea; Germany; United Kingdom; Quebec, Manitoba, Ontario from Canada; Vietnam; and Dhaka, Bangladesh.   

The Minister for Health launched the New South Wales Active Travel Charter for Children: government and non-government agency commitments to support active travel for children. 

Conference conclusions by Walk21 Chair Jim Walker are available at walk21/sydney, and the conference presentations will be made available soon, so keep your eye on walk21.com/sydney.

Abstracts are now being accepted for the Walk21 2015 Vienna conference.



Get ready for Winter Walk Day!    

It's Winter! Don't hibernate... walk to school and celebrate! Winter Walk Day is coming up on February 4th, 2015, why not enjoy a nice brisk walk to school? 


For great ideas to celebrate Winter Walk Day, visit the Winter Walk Day Ideas page.


Some tips for Winter Walking:

  • Keep hands and head covered to prevent heat loss.
  • On really cold days wear a scarf over your face and mouth.
  • Wear warm, waterproof boots.
  • Wear a warm coat that deflects the wind.
  • Woolen clothing helps to retain the heat.
  • Wear clothing or carry knapsacks with reflective material - it's important to be seen.
  • If possible, change wet clothes at school - tuck an extra pair of socks and mitts into knapsacks.
  • Below -25 degrees Celsius is considered too cold for walking, so move your walk indoors or select another day for outdoor activities or walking to school.

We love to hear about your events! Please send us quotes and photos of your celebrations at asrts@sympatico.ca


Highlights from International Walk to School, October 2014iwalk 
Lights! Asphalt! Action! 
As schools across Ottawa marked International Walk to School (IWALK) last October, Charles H. Hulse Public School had an extra special reason to celebrate. Students, teachers, parents, principals, school board, and City representatives gathered to mark the opening of a brand new pathway that has made the walk to school safer and more enjoyable for hundreds of students at Hulse as well as two neighbouring high schools.
With asphalt, new lighting, and some serious tree trimming, what had been an overgrown and forbidding dirt trail has been transformed into a safe, all-weather route to school. It will also improve access to transit and shopping for local residents of all ages. The old trail had been a long-standing safety concern at Hulse and a School Travel Planning (STP) survey revealed it was the main reason many parents would not permit their children to walk to school. But in a community with many challenges including language barriers and a high number of special needs students, progress on a solution was slow. So when Hulse partnered with Green Communities Canada in 2012 to begin STP, finding a solution quickly became a top priority.
It takes a village to raise a child and many hands to make a pathway! Special thanks go to Dave Andrews (City of Ottawa - Parks & Recreation Department) and Mohammad Abbas (Ottawa-Carleton District School Board) for their part in making this STP success story happen in record time. Thanks also to Safer Roads Ottawa, Ottawa Public Health, and Ottawa Fire Services for supporting the school's IWALK Day celebration.


International School-to-School Celebration in Guelph   

Students from Ken Danby Public School and Holy Trinity Catholic School marked International Walk to School Month on Friday, October 10, by walking to school with parents, school board staff, trustees, Guelph city staff, Guelph police  

officers, Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, and The Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education. Six schools from Wellington Dufferin Guelph (WDG) are participating in a School Travel Planning pilot project, led by Green Communities Canada, and managed by the WDG Active and Safe Routes to School Committee, to assess different approaches that can encourage families to choose active modes of travel to school (i.e. walking, cycling).


Vernon, BC's first annual International Walk to School (IWALK) event: held Wednesday, October 15, at Ellison Elementary School,
three Walking Schol Buses (WSB) were led by Vernon's former Mayor Dr. Sawatzky, and Council.

The main purpose of the event was to re-ignite the Walking School Bus program that was initially started as part of the school's travel plan in 2010. After the walk to school everyone participated in a school assembly to learn about the benefits of walking and some safety tips for pedestrians.

The results of re-establishing the WSB were encouraging with 46 students participating on IWALK Day with an additional 35% of Ellison's students walking to school. This success was highlighted with coverage on the front page of the Morning Star.

As well as the IWALK program, Ellison ES and the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) are also kicking off the Pace Car program  

for the Ellison neighbourhood. The City of Vernon is one of five Canadian communities to receive a 2014/2015 grant of $1,000 from Parachute, a national injury-prevention charity. Reducing vehicle speed has been proven to be effective in preventing crashes and reducing the severity of injuries. For example, a pedestrian struck by a car travelling 50km/hr is 8 times more likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck at 30 km/hr.


Schools: Start planning now for 2015 International Walk to School!  

IWALK Day October 7

IWALK Week October 5-9

You can find more info and downloadables here.

Pilot Project Test Drives New Walking School Bus Model pilot 



Students at Woodroffe Avenue PS in Ottawa climb on board their Walking School Bus

Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen


While the Walking School Bus (WSB) is well-known as an effective tool for increasing active school travel, traditionally they rely on parent volunteers to organize and lead which often results in reliability and sustainability problems. In Ottawa, Green Communities Canada has been collaborating with Ottawa Public Health, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority, and the Ottawa Safety Council on a new model that addresses this challenge. For 12 weeks last fall, a daily WSB was introduced at 8 Ottawa-area schools for the a.m. journey to school. They featured leaders who were screened, trained, supervised, and paid in much the same way as an adult crossing guard.  


The pilot phase of the project ended on December 19th. Ottawa Public Health is currently evaluating the experience and this will be followed by a case study and webinar hosted by Green Communities Canada later this winter. However, preliminary results have been encouraging enough that the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority has agreed to fund six of the eight initial WSB routes until the end of the current school year.


For more information go to www.ottawaschoolbus.ca/resources/safe-routes.  

Calgary Schools Engaged in School Travel Planning 

With funding support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and RioCan, two Calgary schools are participating in a School Travel Planning pilot project - Scenic Acres Elementary School and Colonel J. Fred Scott Elementary School. As students, parents, and families eagerly participated in the initial surveys, it became evident both school communities were passionate about school travel. Wanting a safe and active school travel journey, parent volunteers displayed interest, and staff- and student-led initiatives rolled out over the fall months. Both schools were able to utilize International Walk to School Week in October as a springboard into the right direction.


The current focus of the project is building community awareness. Scenic Acres Elementary plans to implement "WOW" (Walk/Wheel on Wednesdays), coinciding with Alberta's annual Winter Walk Day on February 4, 2015. The school has decided to involve those around them by considering the greater community, so they've partnered with parents, local businesses, politicians, and the neighbouring school, and together they will focus on a busy boulevard and the infrastructure needed to support more active travel, thus benefiting the entire community.

Colonel J. Fred Scott Elementary continues to build a strong parent support team. Their goal is to educate parents about the rules of parking and respecting the school's neighbourhood, so along with the Alberta Motor Association and the patrol team, students have focused on safety education and proper crosswalk procedures. They are also planning to work with a local junior high school, implement a regular walking program, and celebrate and participate in Winter Walk Day 2015.


Making it easier to walk and bike to school: What four Niagara Region schools have done  

Four Niagara Region elementary schools involved in a School Travel Planning pilot has had positive results:

  • Action resulted in better routes to school -  A mix of stakeholders checked routes for problems and found creative solutions. 
  • Parents liked the results - More students walked or biked to the participating schools after the schools used the program. Parents said they want the program to continue.
  • School staff liked the results - Staff noted that there were fewer cars choking up the school parking lot.


For more information on the Niagara Region School Travel Planning pilots, see their case study  "Making it easier to walk and bike to school; what four Niagara schools did."  


Next steps for Niagara: Organizers are making it even easier for more schools to use this program. Schools can choose activities from a menu of options that worked well during the pilot to customize a program that will work for their needs. To find out more, visit www.healthylivingniagara.com and search school travel planning. 



Walk, bike, bus, or park and walk a block!
During the 2013-14 school year, over 50 York Region elementary schools participated in Walking Wednesday programs. Schools enrolled in the Healthy School program received monthly resources and public health nurse support.

Walking Wednesday: A Step by Step Resource explains how to implement the program using a Healthy School model (using content adapted from Green Communities Canada website). The resource includes ready-to-print posters, newsletter inserts, and student announcements. For each month there are step-by-step guides for special events designed to promote active school travel. 
For February 2015 there are guides for Winter Walk Day and the LOVE of Walking (which uses Valentine's Day messaging). Interested schools can also receive an IWALK Kit. IWALK Kits help promote active transportation messages while making the trip to school fun!
New for 2015:
A Heading to School banner is now available to  be loaned out to schools with an action plan that focuses on Active/School Travel Planning Initiatives. 

Banner reads:

Heading to School?
Choose to walk, bike, bus or park and walk a block... or two!

Children benefit from active, safe school travel each day.

Walk safe. Drive Safe. Be Safe!

Walking - the easy way to stay fit and be healthy! walkthisway 



Walk This Way is an everyday walking initiative from the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). Created to address the reality that students need 60 minutes of daily physical activity, the program provides a certificate and a class set of pedometers for schools that register for the program. Walk This Way, which follows the concepts of the Spark breaks laid out by John Ratey , promotes walking breaks as a way of giving students a ten-minute walk in order to re-energize them if they are involved in a math, language, science, etc., class. The idea being that the positive, oxygenated blood that flows following even moderate activity will in time promote improved cognitive abilities.

The TCDSB's Nick Biagini, Program Coordinator for HPE and the Arts, comments: "I have been practicing this for 30 years and anyone who takes a fitness break can attest to more energy after the workout. Students are sitting for most of the day and in some cases, so are teachers. The Walk This Way program empowers them to take these walking breaks at strategic times during a work period in order to re-energize and stimulate further thinking. If teachers were to encourage three walking breaks throughout the day, coupled with Daily Physical activity, our students would get the required 60 minutes of physical activity.


Walking offers infinite chances for engagement with the outside world. While walking, students learn more about their neighbourhood, socialize with friends, gain independence, and have fun while exercising! When teamed up with active school travel initiatives like Walk/Wheel on Wednesdays, students can easily maintain 60 minutes of physical activity daily, and in many cases exceed it.


Canada's Favourite Crossing Guards: 2014 Winners winners 

Now in its ninth year, Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest encourages schools, students, teachers, and parents from across Canada to nominate exceptional crossing guards in their community. It is part of the Walk This Way pedestrian safety program aimed at reducing pedestrian injuries to Canadian children by raising motorist awareness and making school zones more walkable. Since being launched, 29 exceptional school crossing guards from across the country have been selected as Canada's Favourite Crossing Guards.

Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest winners for 2014 are:

Dale Martin, Jack Chambers Public School, 
London, ON


Gerry Brown, East Lambton Elementary School,
Watford, ON 


Peter Atienza, Oriole Park Public School,
Toronto, ON 


Penny Easter, Brock Collegiate Institute,  Brockville, ON


The winners each receive a crystal maple leaf award, a coat that identifies the winner as one of Canada's Favourite Crossing Guards, and $500.  As well, each school receives $500 provided by FedEx Express Canada.


An initiative of Parachute, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to an injury-free Canada with Canadians living long lives to the fullest, and FedEx Express Canada, Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest honours the extraordinary contributions of dynamic individuals who help keep our children safe.


"Canada's Favourite Crossing Guard Contest allows us to celebrate the important contributions made by these women and men in our communities," said Louise Logan, Parachute President and CEO. "These four individuals, along with crossing guards across the country, go to work every day, rain or shine, snow or slush, to help children make it safely across the road. They deserve to be applauded for their great work." 




Supporting Active School Transportation in Ontario  


Getting students to school safe and ready to learn is one of the Ministry of Education's top priorities and biggest responsibilities. In fact, every day more than 800,000 students use a school bus to get to school. Recently, there has been growing interest in active school transportation, which refers to any form of self-propelled transportation like walking and cycling, as a more sustainable way for students to travel to and from school.


To raise the education sector's awareness about the potential role they can play in supporting active school transportation, the Ministry hosted a workshop in Toronto on November 26, 2014, that was attended by more than 70 participants, including staff from student transportation consortia, school board representatives and municipal public health officials. The workshop featured a diverse group of speakers, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Metrolinx, City of Toronto, and Jacky Kennedy, Director of Canada Walks from Green Communities Canada. Speakers shared their insights, expertise and experience regarding active school transportation. Overall, the event was a big success.


Thank you to all of the speakers and participants for helping to facilitate a productive discussion as well as collaboration within the sector. The Ministry looks forward to further opportunities where we can work together to strengthen our publicly funded education system and continue to support students across the province.


For more information about the workshop or student transportation in Ontario, please contact student.transportation@ontario.ca.


Ontario Launches ACTIVE AT SCHOOL 
The Ontario Government partnered with ACTIVE AT SCHOOL to champion 60 minutes of physical activity for all students throughout the day.


We hope that the initiative is extended to include active travel to and from school, which provides further opportunities for our children to be active in their communities.


Share the Road Cycling Coalition's new Executive Director

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Jamie Stuckless as the new Executive Director of Share the Road. We share experiences with Jamie as she was one of our Ottawa School Travel Planning Facilitators and was instrumental in engaging Ottawa area high schools in active school travel as well as doing an amazing job to create and encourage cycling advocacy for schools. We welcome her to this new position and look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Share the Road.

Share the Road's Founding CEO Eleanor McMahon ran for provincial office last June, and was elected MPP for Burlington in the 2014 Ontario election. We will miss Eleanor's enthusiastic approach to cycling advocacy but we know she'll be terrific as an MPP, bringing her extensive experience and light hearted wit to the legislature. Good luck Eleanor!


Metrolinx Expands Active and Sustainable School Transportation Program 


GTHA Active and Sustainable School Transportation stakeholders celebrate the expansion of the GTHA ASST Program at the 
2014 Smart Commute Awards

l-r: From York Region - Sonia Sanita, Deborah Wood, Teija Cumming; From Metrolinx -Jennifer McGowan, Katie Wittmann; From Ajax - Erica Warsh; From Halton Region - Jennifer Jenkins-Scott; From Toronto - Kristen Evers; and From Metrolinx - Jennifer Lay.

Leslie Woo, Metrolinx Vice President of Policy, Planning and Innovation, officially announced Metrolinx's continuation and expansion of the Active and Sustainable School Transportation (ASST) program at the 2014 Smart Commute Awards. The ASST initiative at Metrolinx has been on-going since 2009 in partnership with Green Communities Canada, municipalities, public health units, non-governmental organizations, and school boards.  


Smart Commute is excited to continue working with partners in the GTHA and expand the network through a GTHA ASST Hub. The Hub will help bring together stakeholders from across the GTHA who are working to support and encourage more children and their families to move actively and sustainably to school.  By gathering these stakeholders, Metrolinx hopes to support further collaboration, sharing of best practice, and amplification of ASST work.

Starting in July 2013, Metrolinx, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), and 30+ stakeholders from across Ontario (including eight provincial ministries, school boards, Green Communities Canada, municipalities, and NGOs) engaged in a Provincial ASST Strategy Roadmap process to determine how to reach the goal of "more children walk, bike or roll to school".  Establishment of the GTHA ASST Hub is an outcome of that ASST Strategy Roadmap process.


The first meeting of the GTHAA Hub will take place in January 2015. For more information, please contact Jennifer McGowan, School Travel Advisor, at jennifer.mcgowan@metrolinx.com or 416-202-5951.



Urban Poling for Everyday Urban Walking 


Urban Poling, a form of Nordic walking, is best thought of as cross country skiing without the skis. Urban Poling uses 90% of the body's muscles, including all the core muscles as opposed to just over 40% when simply walking which results in burning up to 46% more calories.  For persons looking to manage their weight or prevent/manage diabetes, you could not ask for a more suitable activity. In this era of hustle and bustle when so many struggle to "fit fitness in" an aerobic activity which at the same time strengthens and tones abs and arms, chest and back muscles as well as legs, is ....... priceless! It's like taking the gym with you on a walk.


The boot shaped tips are designed for urban walking on sidewalks and other paved surfaces. Urban Poles maximize the fitness dividend of a walk to work or transit, a walking break, a walking meeting, or a walk at lunch. If you have children, getting some Vitamin "N" (the nature vitamin) with them is essential. Urban Poling with them is a great choice. It can also maximize the fitness dividend of walking to complete regular errands.


When the sidewalks and pathways are snow covered and icy, the booties pull off to reveal a carbide tip, the same as found on a hiking pole, turning you into a four-wheel drive walking machine with much greater traction and stability. With the extra calorie burning of Urban Poling, you will be toasty warm no matter how low the thermometer plunges. The carbide tips are great when you wander out of the urban environment and onto grass, sand, or hiking trails. Urban Poles will take you every where you need to go. For more information, read: "A New Approach to Waist Management" and visit www.urbanpoling.com. 


Mandy Johnson, a consultant with Canada Walks, leads a dual life. After relocating to Canmore, AB, in 2012, she became the Alberta Ambassador for Urban Poling and a Master Trainer. Wanting to "walk the talk", the Johnson's downsized to one vehicle upon making the move so her Urban Poles and her bicycle are her healthy & joyous transportation options.



Active School Travel in Brisbane

 Canada Walks' Jacky Kennedy had the pleasure of meeting Brisbane's Active School Travel (AST) team member Lea Gamble at Walk21 Sydney 2014 to share success stories. Brisbane Council's AST initiative celebrated their 10th year with some great results: 169 schools and 80,000 students have participated and last year they saw a 17% increase in active travel.


To learn more and subscribe to the Brisbane Active School Travel newsletter, click here.  


Third UN Road Safety Week

May 4-10, 2015 is the third UN Road Safety Week and this year's theme is children and road safety. The Week will draw attention to the urgent need to better protect children and generate action on the measures needed to do so.


There are many common goals and needs between child road safety and pedestrian needs. Safety on the roads is one important aspect of liveable public space, and also comprises inviting public spaces. So this is again, a perfect opportunity for local communities to design some dedicated actions/campaigns or frame some already planned activities in this global UN initiative. The UN Road Safety Collaboration will host the Week's global web site, and communities can post activities: www.who.int/roadsafety/week/2015/en/. 



Upcoming Webinar - BUILDING CAPACITY: Active Transportation Information and Promotion 

February 5, 2015 12-1:30 PM ET - Register now!


As one of three panelists, Kate Hall will be sharing information about the WALK Friendly Communities program on the final webinar of the Ideas in Motion series presented by ACT Canada in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada. The webinar will also feature presentations on Data on Health and Active Transportation in British Columbia, and Active Transportation Promotion in Manitoba.

Live attendance for this event will be limited to 100 connections - sharing your connection with a group of colleagues is encouraged. Recordings will be archived for those unable to attend.


Active School Travel Webinar Series activeschooltravel 

Canada Walks kicked off the 2014-15 school year with a fresh series of active-school-travel related webinars. Our webinars are recorded so if you missed one, you can follow the link on our web site and listen in at your leisure:


Successful Support for Active & Sustainable School Travel Planning

September 23, 2014

View archive of session   


Active and Sustainable School Travel (ASST) School Marketing Campaign - 2013-2014 findings and 2014-15 future opportunities.

Presenters: Jennifer McGowan, School Travel Advisor; and Courtney Richardson, Intern, Smart Commute at Metrolinx (Greater Toronto and Hamilton area) Ontario.


Student Engagement in STP Case Studies - experiences on student walkabouts and data findings.

Presenter: George Mammen, PhD candidate in the department of Exercise Science at the Health and Exercise Psychology Unit, University of Toronto.


The iSchoolTravel Calculator - a guide for best use.

Presenter: Ken Martin, Executive Director, the Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe), Vancouver, BC.  


Putting the Fun Into Surveying for Active & Sustainable School Travel Planning  

December 9, 2014


This webinar recording is 1hr 23 mins in length and contains two presentations. The webinar may be scrolled through to view a single presentation.


The Living Streets Travel Tracker. A complete web-based monitoring and rewards system that uses a classroom whiteboard.

Website:  livingstreets.org.uk/travel-tracker  

Video: vimeo.com/74368855 WoW Scotland


Don't Let the Robots Win: The power of CounterPoint AND a new hi-tech vision of School Travel Planning

Website: counterpointapp.org  


The Heart and Stroke Foundation hosted a webinar on December 4:

Promoting Active Transportation by Sharing Lessons from the 2014 Report Card on Children's Physical Activity

The webinar included presentations from Canada Walks and Metrolinx. Recorded archive available here.



City of Toronto 2014 Municipal Election Campaign , conducted in partnership with Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Cycle Toronto, Walk Toronto, and Canada Walks, showed 97% of respondents voted for establishing School Travel Plans to improve the safety of children walking to school - the highest support from the survey. You can see the survey questions here and the election backgrounder, Building a Toronto that Moves!



  • Two New Landmark Case Studies Designated by Tools of Change:

Each year, the Tools of Change website hosts new Landmark case studies that recognize sustainable transportation behavior change programs and approaches that are considered among the most successful in the world, scored on impact, innovation, replicability and adaptability.  


Two programs have just been added through this peer-review process:
Love to Ride and Bicycle Friendly Communities.

Bicycle Friendly Communities is a positive, upstream, results-oriented program that gets municipal decision makers thinking about how all of their programs around cycling work complementary to one another, and how those programs can be synergistically improved. It provides recognition for the hard work done by municipal staff, the leadership displayed by municipal politicians and the partnerships developed with local cycling organizations. It gives communities that apply both a measure of where they are and a roadmap into the future. Webinar: March 17, 2015. Details and registration.

Love to Ride is a workplace cycling program that uses "stage of change" to segment participants and cost-effectively tailor communications with them. By targeting information and tools specific to individual users, participants are moved along a personal journey of change. Also innovative are its use of mobile platforms like cell phones and tablets to reach the right people with the right information at the right time. In 2014, the program was being rolled out across hundreds of municipalities in the UK. In 2015, it is being expanded further across the US, UK, and into Continental Europe. Webinar: January 28, 2015. Details and registration.



Active Transportation, Create a car-free connection

By Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko

The September 2014 edition of Alive featured the aforementioned article, with commentary from Dr. Catherine O'Brien and Canada Walks' Jacky Kennedy.


Insurance Company Paying People to Walk

This interesting piece was spotted recently on social media: Oscar Insurance, a New York-based startup, now sends members a free Misfit wristband to track their steps, and whenever someone reaches a daily goal for a certain number of steps, the company pays them. "We were fascinated with the US Surgeon General's recommendation that if you walk around 10,000 steps a day, you will have a real impact on almost all the top killers in the U.S., like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure," says Mario Schlosser, co-founder of Oscar Insurance. "If you just get a bit more physically active, you can avoid those conditions getting worse, or make them better." Members of the insurance plan download an app, and then get a wristband in the mail that automatically syncs up as soon as someone puts it on. Each day, someone can earn a dollar for reaching their goal, and at the end of the month, Oscar Insurance sends them a $20 Amazon gift card. Co.Exist has the story.


Canada Walks can help you meet your walkability goals! 

We offer a full range of workshops and consulting services to help you:
contact us to learn more.

If you have story ideas or walking news you'd like to share please send to us at asrts@greencommunitiescanada.org. Be sure to include your contact details.Ideas 
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