Walkolution News - April 2015  
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Welcome to our jam-packed Spring 2015 Walkolution News. There are so many inspiring stories from across the country of community-driven active travel initiatives. Enjoy!

New WALK Friendly Communities Awarded Designations wfc
Canada Walks is pleased to announce the latest municipalities to be awarded a WALK Friendly Community designation. 
The City of Kitchener was awarded a Silver designation, while the Town of Smiths Falls received a Bronze for their progress toward walkability. The Town of Saugeen Shores was given an honourable mention for their efforts.  
Walk Friendly ON

The designations were presented at Smart Growth 2015, a forum held in Toronto and hosted by the Ontario Smart Growth Network. The forum brought together people from various sectors to share information about approaches and terms used to describe "smart growth" including building walkable communities, urban villages, complete streets, new urbanism, LEED-ND, and other approaches to healthy community design.


"We're excited that the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) is partnering with Green Communities Canada in its efforts to make the WALK Friendly Communities designation a national program," notes program manager Kate Hall. "We welcome other national partners to join us!" 


Read profiles for all WALK Friendly Communities that have been designated. Access the media release


The next intake of applications will happen in the Fall of 2015 - watch the website for details www.walkfriendly.ca.

State of the Walking Movement in CanadaStateofWalking

Canada Walks and Ryerson University have teamed up to conduct a pan-Canadian survey of local, provincial, and national walking organizations. The survey aimed to find out who is working to promote and advocate for walking in Canada, what they are doing, and how we can all work more effectively towards a walk friendly future.


On February 23, graduate students in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, under the direction of Raktim Mitra, Assistant Professor, made an interim presentation to classmates and Canada Walks staff on their progress to date and a few preliminary results.


One-hundred-and-eighty-six survey responses were collected in total, with 100 of those surveys fully completed. What we know so far is that the majority of survey respondents were from Community-based Advocacy Groups at 25%, with respondents from Walking Groups/Clubs second at 18%. We also learned that that the majority of respondents do their walkability work at city or municipal level (44%), while 22% of respondents reported working at the regional level.


Students will make a final presentation on April 13, and the project will result in a report entitled, State of the Walking Movement in Canada. The report will be accessible through the Canada Walks website later in April.

CAA South Central Ontario Supports Active School Travel caasco

"Studies have found the number of children being driven to school nearly doubled over a 20-year period (1986-2006), while fewer children are walking to school and the number of children bicycling to school has remained consistently low. This has contributed to growing car traffic congestion, safety concerns, and air pollution around schools during the morning and afternoon. This scenario is playing out in most Ontario communities, and around the globe." --The Costs and Benefits of School Travel Planning Projects in Ontario, Canada - January 2014


Through the Active and Safe Routes to School program, CAA SCO will be helping to strengthen School Travel Planning in select communities across their territory. Their goal? To increase active school travel journeys - walking, cycling, scootering, skateboarding - in communities where CAA SCO Members and their families live. Increasing opportunities for students of all ages to travel actively can benefit the entire community with increased physical activity, improved traffic safety (especially in school zones), improved air quality, enhanced neighbourhood unity, and a greater sense of community.


"CAA SCO is very excited to be part of this initiative. Our commitment to safety focuses on all road users - pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists - no matter what their age. We look forward to contributing to safe and sustainable mobility solutions for school zones throughout our communities," says Tracy Nickleford, Manager of Community Relations for CAA SCO.


The School Travel Planning process engages a variety of community stakeholders (school boards, city planners and engineers, public health, police, parents, students, and school staff) who collectively assess the barriers to travelling actively to school, and then develop plans to overcome the barriers with sustainable solutions. This can include things as simple as introducing proven programs that encourage and reward walking and wheeling, to working with municipalities on infrastructure changes to make the entire community safer for all commuters (walkers, cyclists, and drivers).


Jacky Kennedy, Green Communities notes, "School Travel Planning, a proven process developed for Canada, engages all community members in creating safe and fun ways for families to travel actively and takes the stress out of the daily 'school run'. Green Communities is thrilled to welcome CAA SCO as a contributing partner to this important work."

Active School Travel moving forward in North Bay! NorthBay 

Alliance Public School isn't a typical candidate for the School Travel Planning (STP) process - a sizeable majority of students live more than 3km away from the school and 95% of the 500+ students who attend are eligible for busing under current guidelines.  


Alliance's story shows, however, that we underestimate the passion of parents, teachers, and administrators at our own peril, and that every school can benefit significantly from the STP process!

Alliance's STP journey began with an emphasis on teaching students essential bike skills. A Bike Week, led by their Phys Ed teacher, Brigitte Fiorino, was held for one week in June 2014 that included all grade 1 - 6 students. Three hundred student bikes were set up in the school gym and during Bike Week students spent their gym time learning hands-on bike skills.  


Supported by North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit, Lions Club, Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Marketing office, North Bay Police, and local bike shop Cycleworks, Bike Week was a resounding success - students who could not ride on two wheels at the outset of the week were comfortably navigating through the stations of the school bike rodeo (see CTV coverage) by Friday afternoon!

The students were thrilled and parents quickly came to realize the value of having a School Travel Planning committee working on their behalf.
Over the summer, the STP committee went into planning mode, making use of the Parent Travel Survey data collected that spring to identify three priorities for action in 2015-2016 that would meet its parents needs: a Walking School Bus / Bicycle Train, a Student Bike Club, and designating a Park and Walk location to reduce traffic congestion in the school zone.

STP at Alliance PS is part of a two-year research project at Nipissing University-Queen's University, funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. The project will evaluate the impact of the STP project on physical activity and school-travel mode share over the coming years.


Alliance's Principal moved to Vincent Massey PS this school year and has initiated STP in his new school. Both schools are in discussions with their school bus consortium regarding piloting a Walking School Bus program, similar to the Ottawa pilot program (see description in Upcoming Webinars). 


Winter Walk Day 2015WWD
We have been hearing of many exciting and innovative Winter Walk events that took places across Canada in February and March.

We've shared a few success stories here:

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Toronto is in year two of their School Travel Planning process and they are successfully building momentum while addressing some of the many travel issues. They took a unique approach to promoting walking in winter by first addressing the need to dress properly for the cold - and this was even more necessary this winter as Toronto experienced 39 extreme cold days!  

Our Lady of Lourdes held an innovative Winter Walk Kick-Off assembly on February 12. After a short video prepared by student volunteers of their St. Jamestown community,  Principal Peterson was 'dressed for the weather' with the assistance of Physical Education teacher Mr. Longo and the students. Principal Peterson came out on stage wearing shorts and a t-shirt; students yelled excitedly which clothing items should go on first, starting with long johns. See the result below!  

Thanks to the Heart and Stroke Foundation for providing a short presentation linking walking to school year-round with a healthy heart.


March 5 was the date of the school's Winter Walk and wow, what a success!


OLOL's walking superstars receiving stickers and cheers as they make their grand entrance.

Teacher Mrs. O'Brien, the school Health Action Team, two police officers, parent volunteers, Toronto Public Health, and Green Communities Canada welcomed walkers with stickers as they arrived at school on a bright but cool (-13C) morning.  

Students cheered: "Way to Walk OLOL!" and "Give your heart a gift. Walk! Walk! Walk!!" 


A few lucky students received backpacks and skipping ropes for their efforts!

King Edward Junior and Senior Public School in Toronto is also in year two of their School Travel Planning process and February 4 was their second annual Winter Walk Day. Students from the school's Eco-Club prepared for the event by creating flyers, signs, and announcements to advertise Winter Walk Day. With light snow and -4C temperature, it was a terrific day for students to walk to school! A couple of students even arrived at school by bike.  


As students entered, they were greeted with hot chocolate handed out by parent and student volunteers, the public health nurse, the school travel planning facilitator, and Eco-Club teacher, Ms. Hemmerick. Students who walked to school received stickers and a raffle ticket from Vice Principal Mr. Fabbri. During announcements, Principal Moulton announced the raffle winners and students came to the office to receive their prizes of Frisbees, t-shirts, and Starbucks gift cards. Once again King Edward staff, parents, and student volunteers helped show students that walking in the winter could be fun and rewarding.

St. Raphael Catholic School in Toronto recently started work on a School Travel Plan and held their first active transportation event on February 4. The event was supported by Toronto Police Services who came out to celebrate and congratulate students and families walking to school. As walkers arrived, they were greeted by several student volunteers from the Health Action Team, parent volunteers, Green Communities Canada, school administration, and a representative from the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). Stickers were given to the walkers as well as raffle tickets for a chance to win one of the many prizes provided by the TCDSB (water bottles, lunch bags, snacks).

It was a relatively mild, snowy morning, and there was lots of excitement in the air. Though many of the students who walked on February 4 do so regularly, there were several parents that said they tried the journey by foot especially for the event - normally they drive. These parents were persuaded by their children to try an active trip to school that day so they could participate in Winter Walk Day and be part of the fun! St. Raphael did a great job of encouraging students to walk to school, and perhaps some of the families who tried it for the first time will choose to leave the car behind on a more regular basis moving forward.



Unionville Public School launched the IWALK Club on International Walk to School Day 2014, to raise awareness of the social and environmental benefits of reducing traffic congestion and increasing neighbourhood safety. Active travel to school creates opportunities to network with new friends and families. Supported by York Region's Community and Health Services, the IWALK Club initiative will help sustain the health benefits of International Walk to School Day. The chains and colourful foot charms students collect will be proud reminders of each student's personal role in promoting safe and active travel to and from school.  



Boxwood Public School in Markham, Ontario, celebrated their first Walk to School Day on Winter Walk Day, February 4. The school's Safe Travel Planning Team, the Active Team, and Student Council hosted the event on a perfect snowy winter day. York Region Police officers came out to support the closure of the Kiss 'n Ride to cars, as a way to help ensure the safe arrival of the walking students, while York Region Public Health and 'KYS the Cat' greeted students while reinforcing the many health benefits of walking to school.
Those students eligible to take the school bus were encouraged to do so by the Eco Team in an effort to cut down emissions and the number of cars at the school. Students who walked to school received iWalk stickers, while students on the school bus went for a short walk around the school before getting a sticker - students with stickers were then eligible to receive a snowflake charm to add to their km club charm bracelets, plus they received a ballot for a draw, and a hot chocolate. To add to the celebration, after the school bell rang, students, staff, and guests gathered in the playground for a Pan Am-themed Daily Physical Activity routine. With the Tenors Pan Am song playing, students performed a number of water-skiing-related exercises, from skier squats, to lunges, to skier jumps. Thank you to Miss Smith and Mrs. Turcotte who kept everyone together with the music!  


Winter Walk Day, Alberta

Once again Alberta held a fabulous Winter Walk Event on February 4, with more than 125,000 people who walked for fifteen minutes or more! More than 200 workplaces and communities signed up, along with 700 schools from across Alberta. Subscribe to the Centre for Active Living newsletter to learn more about active transportation in Alberta.

Get ready for Spring into Spring SiS   

Schools! Now that Spring is finally here, plan a Spring into Spring Challenge to encourage your students to walk/bike to school more often. We've got print-ready posters available here.


Walk, jog, skip, or bike to school as often as possible between Earth Day (April 20-14)
and Clean Air Day (June 3).


Students who participate in Spring into Spring benefit from: daily physical activity; a healthier environment; safer streets; and making friends and having fun!

Here are some terrific activity ideas to get you ready for Spring:

GTHA Bike to School Week 2015 has officially launched! Biketoschool

Bike to School Week (May 25-29, 2015) is a celebration of cycling and active transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). This year, for the first time, school boards, public health units, NGOs, municipalities, and regions across the GTHA are coordinating a collective Bike to School Week to promote and support cycling to school. 

Visit biketoschoolweek.ca to register your school's event(s) and download editable posters and a resource list, including free lesson plans and cycling event guides. Schools that complete the registration and short follow-up survey will receive certificates of participation and be eligible for incentives and prizes.

Although Bike to School Week is May 25 to 29, schools that register events anytime between Monday May 11 and Saturday June 13 can receive the certificate and other available incentives. Be sure to share this information with your networks!   

Questions? Contact Jennifer McGowan, School Travel Advisor, Metrolinx jennifer.mcgowan@metrolinx.com or 416-202-5951. Happy wheeling!


Australia's National Ride2School Day 2015 Australiabike 

March 13, 2015 was Australia's 9th Ride2School Day, allowing students and school communities to embrace a healthier start and try walking and biking to school.


More than 2,000 schools and 350,000 students across the nation embraced a healthier start to the day by riding, walking, scooting, and skating to school. 


Get ready for #EarthDay2015! earthday


How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day? On April 22, Earth Day Canada encourages you to clean your commute - to work, to school, to shop, to play, or to your Earth Day event!  Your commute represents the first green act of Earth Day Canada's new "Earth Day Every Day" campaign, an online mobile-friendly platform that encourages participants to choose green actions, and to post and share to win prizes.


Earth Day 2015 marks Earth Day Canada's 25th anniversary. 2015 is also the year that 196 countries will meet in Paris to develop a new climate agreement. Earth Day Canada's Earth Day Every Day campaign will provide a national framework to measure collective action toward the goal of reducing our carbon footprint 20% by 2020, in line with the goals of the Paris climate conference. Transportation currently accounts for a whopping 30% of our carbon emissions and cleaning your commute is a great way to begin making Earth Day Every Day - doing your part for the Earth and mitigating climate change. Sign up now for the Earth Day 2015 campaign.


Earth Day Canada's "Earth Day Every Day" campaign is engaging high-profile, credible, and respected leaders to be "Very Green People" (VGP), along with others who inspire and engage people in Canada. We are excited that Green Communities' Jacky Kennedy will be part of the the campaign, inspiring and engaging fellow Canadians to do the same!    



British Columbia's Active & Safe Routes to School leaders since 2011, Omar Bhimji and Kerry Hamilton from HASTe (Hub for Active School Travel), kicked off 2015 with an active school travel forum. This January, they brought together three different municipalities and districts on the North Shore to discuss the importance of walking and cycling to school and the impact it can have on their community and region. Over 70 stakeholders attended, with representation from council, health, school district, planning, engineering, RCMP, bylaw, and local community advocacy and non-profit groups.

The full-day workshop featured guest speaker Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, North Shore's Medical Health Officer, and Carol Sartor, a walk-to-school mom and the school travel planning facilitator for the City of North Vancouver. HASTe facilitated workshop participants to gather in stakeholder groups, and looked at how active trips to school impacted them, and how they in turn encouraged active trips to school.

Participants then regrouped by municipality, to develop a vision for the future of Active and Safe Routes to School in their community. The discussions and decisions from the afternoon sessions were documented by a graphic facilitator and are now posted at City Hall and on HASTe's website.

Active School Travel in Waterloo Regionwaterloo
Waterloo Region's Active & Safe Routes to School initiative has launched new web pages for schools, teachers and local professionals and new web pages designed specifically for parents.

EcoSchools Ontario Support for Active School Travel   ecoschools 

On February 18, Jennifer McGowan, School Travel Advisor at Metrolinx, and Jacky Kennedy, Director, Canada Walks, Green Communities Canada, shared tips for implementing a successful Walk n' Roll to School (Active Transportation) program with EcoSchool teachers from across the province.   

The session included two school case studies presented by teachers Kirsten Schwass, Southfields PS, and Laura Becher, Rolph Road PS, who are the champions for successful active travel programs at their schools. Watch the webinar here.

EcoAction Challenge: to mark the 10-year anniversary of Ontario EcoSchools, all EcoSchools are invited to register in the #EcoAction2015Challenge. From June 1-5, 2015, join schools across the province in taking EcoActions for the planet and for a chance to win amazing prizes!  


What is an EcoAction? An EcoAction is a student-led initiative that connects environmental learning with tangible actions. Some examples include:

  • A school EcoTeam makes class presentations, holds an assembly, or delivers workshops to raise awareness about key environmental issues.

  • A student plans and leads their class on a nature hike.

  • The school launches a walk-to-school campaign.

Visit the EcoAction website for more information on how to register and participate.  


This great new tool kit, made possible through a Locally Driven Collaboration Project, funded by Public Health Ontario, identifies land use and development strategies that can help to enhance the rural built environment and contribute to positive quality of life and health outcomes. The tool kit brings a rural lens to issues that are often viewed from an urban perspective. Numerous examples and innovative practices from across the province are profiled. 


This tool kit recognizes many characteristics associated with rural communities including a low-density population, a declining population in some areas, aging citizens, youth out-migration, rural land uses, and an economy that is significantly different from that of urban Ontario.  


The purpose of the toolkit is:

  • To identify existing effective land use planning policies and models of practice for healthy rural built environments.
  • To recognize the benefits of a coordinated approach to rural planning and development that uses a range of regulatory and non-regulatory tools.
  • To identify innovative land use planning policies and initiatives that can contribute to healthy communities and healthy populations.

Visit the Rural Healthy Communities website for more information on this project or the accompanying literature.  


Upcoming Active School Travel Webinarwebinar 

The Walking School Bus: Confidently Stepping into your School Travel Plan 

Presented by Canada Walks, Green Communities Canada

April 29, 2015, noon - 1:30 EST  Register now! 


A walking school bus is often raised as an idea for school Action Plans, but how to make it relevant and sustainable for a range of school communities? Please join us April 29 for a webinar that showcases two very unique Canadian approaches to the Walking School Bus.


The Ottawa Walking School Bus: From Pilot to Program

Co-presenters: Wallace Beaton, ASRTS Coordinator - Ottawa & Eastern ON, Green Communities Canada; Vicky Kyriaco, General Manager, Ottawa Student Transportation Authority; and Robin Ray, Family Health Specialist, Ottawa Public Health. 


Traditional parent volunteer-organized WSBs have often proven difficult to organize and sustain. In the fall of 2014, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Safety Council and Green Communities Canada collaborated to launch a 12-week pilot project using leaders, like an adult crossing guard, who were screened, trained, supervised, and paid to lead a daily WSB. This webinar will present highlights from the experience including evaluation results for this unique model of WSB. Watch a short video on the WSB here.

Trottibus, the Walking School Bus!

Co-presenters from Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division: Jacinthe Hovington, Director, Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion; and Veronique Gallant, Coordinator, Active Transportation. 


Being active is one of the ways to lower the risk of getting cancer. That's why the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) decided to encourage the young and not so young to integrate walking into their daily life. The CCS has taken on the task of mobilizing its resources for a shared project: supporting the development of a Trottibus Walking School Bus network across Quebec. Through planned routes and stops, two adult volunteers accompany a group of kindergarten to third-grade children to school every weekday morning. The CCS's main responsibilities are to train the people in charge of the project, provide them with all the necessary tools, and help them in volunteer recruitment. Visit Trottibus to learn more and view a short video about the initiative. 

Production of this webinar is made possible through a financial contribution from Loblaw.

Nominations for Landmark Designation Now Welcome!toolsofchange

Nominate your active/sustainable transportation or energy conservation behaviour change program for Landmark Designation!

  • Expert review: You'll get frank, confidential program review comments and suggestions from the selection panel members, who are experts in a range of related backgrounds. All nominations that are presented to the panels receive a complete list of unattributed panel comments. For many nominees, this is the most valuable benefit.
  • Professional recognition and visibility.
  • Documentation of your work.
  • Contribution to your professional community.
 Deadline:  June 12, 2015. Designations will be announced by October 2015, and case study presentations will take place between January and June 2016. Details and nomination form can be found here. Nominations must report on measured impacts. 
Canada Walks Out and Aboutoutandabout 
  • Green Communities Canada's Executive Director Clifford Maynes presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on February 26. This committee is studying the increasing incidence of obesity in Canada and Green Communities Canada was invited to present on the important of walking and walkable communities. View Clifford's presentation.

  • Katie Wittmann, representing Metrolinx, and Beth Savan, Principal Investigator, Toronto Cycling Think and Do Tank, University of Toronto, co-presented their research, Cycling to High School in Toronto: An Exploration of Student Travel Patterns and Attitudes by Gender, at the 94th Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, January 2015.  Katie's research was conducted as part of her Masters studies and as an intern at Metrolinx. Katie is currently working for Green Communities Canada as one of two Toronto School Travel Planning Facilitators. 

  • On February 5th, WALK Friendly Communities Manager Kate Hall presented on a panel to a national audience on BUILDING CAPACITY: Active Transportation Information and Promotion. The webinar was hosted by the Association for Commuter Transportation in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada (Mobilization of Knowledge on Active Transportation project) as part of their Ideas in Motion webinar series.

  • Kate also presented on a webinar on February 19th, hosted by Alberta Communities Choosewell (Alberta Parks and Recreation), on Creating Walk Friendly Communities.

  • On March 24th, Kate was on-hand at the Ontario Smart Growth Network's, Smart Growth 2015 Forum in Toronto to award designations to our newest WALK Friendly Communities, Kitchener (Silver) and Smiths Falls (Bronze).

  • Jacky Kennedy and Katie Wittmann attended the 7th annual Ontario Bike Summit #OBS2015, held March 31/April 1 in Toronto. The sold-out event brought together cycling and active transportation advocates, municipal staff, health professionals, municipal and provincial politicians, and many others to network, share knowledge, and learn from others. The collaborative atmosphere thoughout the day culminated in a plenary brainstorming, led by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, to identify the top challenges to implementation of the CycleON Action Plan 1.0.

  • Canada Walks Director Jacky Kennedy attended a one-day pan-Canadian knowledge exchange workshop sponsored by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Urban Public Health Network on Building the Case for Active Transportation in Canadian Communities: Advancing Active Transportation Policies to Enhance Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention, held March 4 in Montreal.

  • On March 25, Green Communities Canada's Katie Wittmann facilitated a design charrette with a number of professionals working in the fields of urban planning, architecture, transportation, and public works as part of a workshop entitled "Re-Imagining Active City Neighbourhoods Through Participatory Planning." Participants were brought together to share their expertise and propose design solutions addressing community concerns in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park. Katie's group specifically worked on the intersection of Don Mills and Overlea, an area with two schools participating in the Toronto School Travel Planning project with Green Communities Canada. The workshop was part of the second phase of the Active Neighbourhoods Canada project managed by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation.

 Resources resources 

The Planet Protector Academy program reaches families through classrooms by turning kids into apprentice 'Planet Protectors', sending them home on superhero missions to change their parents' transportation habits.


The Academy engages learners through an interactive curriculum-linked (Gr 3-6) website projected at the front of the class: Esmeralda Planet Protector and her silly side-kick Goober appear to 'skype' students through short, funny videos to inspire offline learning, creativity, and action.

So far, the digitally delivered program has reached 5,000 kids and families in 28 communities in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, with 65% of families reporting driving less and 66% idling less! The program's creators, registered charity DreamRider Productions, would love to connect with municipalities, school districts, and teachers who are looking for a superhero boost to their STP engagement efforts!

Safe Kid's Week, May 4-10, 2015
The theme for this year's Safe Kids Week is cycling and road safety. Now in its 19th year, Parachute's Safe Kids Week is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness about the frequency and severity of preventable childhood injuries, which are the leading cause of death and disability amongst Canadian children. The event aligns with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week's theme of children as vulnerable road users. 
#SaveKidsLives: The UN Road Safety Collaboration is pleased to announce the global campaign for the Third UN Global Road Safety Week, 4-10 May 2015, on the theme: Children and Road Safety. 

Jane's Walks - check out their website for Spring walks in your City.  



Research/In the News  research 

International Charter for Walking Signatories The Town of Fort Erie, Ontario, has signed the International Charter for Walking and Fort Erie's Active Transportation Committee has endorsed it. Refer to the list of Canadian signatories. 


2015 not off to a safe start for pedestrians in Toronto, the city's streets are as deadly as ever. Read more here


St. Albert, Alberta: Safer Journeys to School Initiative



Led by TranSafe Consulting Ltd., with support from Stantec and D.C. Dean Associates, the Safer Journeys to School study conducted for the City of St. Albert, Alberta, was presented to City Council in early March 2015 and endorsed. The report, completed over 10 months, outlines a long-term strategy for St. Albert to enhance traffic safety in school communities, using a holistic 4-E (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, and Encouragement) approach.  


St. Albert Council formed a Joint Public Steering Committee that oversaw the study, which took place at all 26 St. Albert schools. The recommendations that were presented in the final report are now under consideration by the City and area school districts. The study included significant public engagement and outreach, with input from 1,500 residents through focus groups, surveys, an online platform, and open houses, and it is hoped that a positive response for moving forward will be received in June.

Green Communities Canada's Jacky Kennedy was a project advisor, providing advice on current best and promising practices for active school travel, identifying available resources, and making suggestions on education and encouragement strategies.  


For full project details see, visit the City of St. Albert website. 


Super cool Calgary school teacher Kyle Stewart is an inspiring champion for bike to school proving that 'the chill' of liability risk that so often accompanies active school travel initiatives is actually pretty easy to overcome. 

Alive, September 2014

Good article about Active Transportation, Create a car-free connection by Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko, featuring comments from Green Communities Canada's Jacky Kennedy and Sustainable Happiness champion Dr. Catherine O'Brien.


Outdoor thermal comfort web recording: Listen to a fascinating archival recording of a recent webinar on "Designing thermally comfortable outdoor spaces for summer and winter." Of particular interest to walkability proponents is the first presenter, Dr. Marialena Nikolopoulou, from the University of Kent, U.K., on "the critical role of design to enhance adaptive capacity under a wide range of climatic conditions." Presented by Health Canada as part of its Cool Communities webinar series.  


Check out the permanent bicycle playgrounds being set up in cities across Denmark. Ten cities will get dedicated spaces for children to safely practice their cycling skills, after a trial scheme proved popular.

 Walk21 2015  

Exciting updates on the October 20-23, 2015, Walk21 Conference. Over 400 abstracts submitted and reviewed, new Walking Visionaries Awards, and program details.


Green Communities Canada's Jacky Kennedy will present a paper, co-authored by Canada Walks, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Metrolinx.

The exciting new Walking Visionaries Awards will highlight individuals, collectives, and organizations who have been champions for liveable communities.

Canada Walks Workshop and Consulting Serviceswalkability
From convenient webinars to half- and full-day on-site workshops, to four-day intensive community visits, we customize our services to meet your needs.

Harmony Square, Brantford, Ontario - Photo courtesy of Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford Campus - Photographer: Dean Palmer

Canada Walks was launched in 2009 as a division of Green Communities Canada to bring multiple walking projects and activities under one recognizable brand. We envision a Canada where everyone can enjoyably, easily, and safely walk to school, work, play, shopping, and transit.


Our mission is to help communities be more walk friendly by:

  • Raising awareness of the health, economic, soical, and environmental benefits.
  • Inspiring and celebrating success.
  • Sharing resources and best practices on infrastructure, policy, and programs.
  • Bringing partners together to make walking happen!
School Travel Planning training is also available. The training is offered in a modular format so that each community can learn about topics that are relevant to their current level of experience with active school travel. Content is customized for each community.

Contact us to learn more.


If you have story ideas or walking news you'd like to share please send to us at asrts@sympatico.ca. Be sure to include your contact details.Ideas
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Canada Walks Walkolution News profiles actions across Canada undertaken by Green Communities Canada and our many local partners to help create communities where walking is safe, easy, enjoyable, and inviting. By making a donation to the Green Communities Foundation you can provide vital support for this work.  Just click on the Donate Now button and indicate in the comments section that you'd like your gift to go to the work of Canada Walks. 
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