Apply now for a WALK Friendly Community designation!

Apply now for a WALK Friendly Community designation!

How walk friendly is your community? The spring intake of applications to the WALK Friendly Ontario (WFO) program is now open (March 1st until April 30th).

Creating walk friendly communities can lead to improved health outcomes, revitalize local economies, foster social connections, support aging in place, and contribute to safer and more sustainable cities and towns.

WFO is a recognition program from Green Communities Canada that encourages municipalities to create and improve the conditions for walking by awarding Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum designations. The application involves a comprehensive assessment of indicators for walkability within planning, policy, engineering and community design, education and encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation.

Visit to learn more about the program and to access the application.  
Bronze for Richmond Hill!
WALK Friendly Ontario's program manager, Kate Hall, recently travelled to Richmond Hill to officially present Mayor Barrow and members of Council for the Town of Richmond Hill with the WALK Friendly Community Bronze level designation.

From left to right: Mayor Dave Barrow; Terry Ricketts, Director of Environment Services; Kate Hall, WALK Friendly Ontario Program Manager; George Flint, Manager of Air Quality and Waste Policy; and Megan Lui, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator.


Healthy Communities and Planning for Active Transportation
Moving Forward on Active Transportation in Ontario's Communities:
 A Call to Action
Active transportation, particularly cycling and walking, is fundamental to healthy and sustainable communities. Building on the direction of OPPI's previous report on active transportation, the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) is issuing this Call to Action: Healthy Communities and Planning for Active Transportation - Moving Forward on Active Transportation in Ontario's Communities.
OPPI continues to advocate moving forward on a province-wide active transportation system that is safe, secure, efficient, convenient, and equitable. Ontario needs a system that is based on good policy, planning principles, and data that will serve both present and future generations. This is key as many Ontario municipalities have established, or are in the process of establishing, policies and practices to place active transportation firmly within their regulatory frameworks. Further progress is needed, however, as few communities have implemented these policies in the development of their transportation network.
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) calls upon planners, the provincial government, municipalities, other related professionals, and members of the public to make active transportation a core mode of transportation for people of all ages across Ontario. 

For more information, contact Loretta Ryan, MCIP, RPP, CAE, Director, Public Affairs at 416-668-8469 or

Grey Bruce Healthy Communities 2014 Conference

Registration is now open for the Grey Bruce Healthy Communities 2014 Conference “Collaborative Partnerships Making Healthy Change Happen.” Space is limited, so make sure to register early! Please note that registration and payment must be received no later than April 30, 2014. For more information please visit

Registration questions and concerns can be directed to Debra Ruttan at (519)376-9420 ext. 1463 or


Call for Nominations:
Landmark Behaviour Change Case Studies (Energy and Transportation)

Tools of Change is soliciting nominations for its 2014 Landmark behaviour change case studies in two topic areas – (1) home/building energy conservation and (2) sustainable transportation. If you know of anyone working on a particularly effective or innovative approach for changing energy or transportation behaviours, please consider nominating them – or yourself. All nomination must include measured impact results.

The nomination form, which can be downloaded from, must be submitted by May 30, 2014. Designations will be announced by October 2014, and case study webinars will be presented between January and June 2015.

 Walk Your Kids to School Challenge:
Pedestrian Safety Campaign 2014

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ministry of Transportation are launching the Walk Your Kids to School Challenge, a province-wide pedestrian safety campaign. By encouraging parents and school-aged children to walk to and from school, the Challenge aims to bring attention to pedestrian issues affecting children such as:
  • pedestrian safety;
  • traffic congestion around schools at drop-off and pick-up times;
  • parking issues on school property.
The contest is open to any public elementary school in urban areas within the province of Ontario. The contest will run for four weeks depending on the school’s schedule of activities, and is intended to be a challenge between classes in the school to have the most number of students walk with a parent instead of being driven to or from school.

The kick-off event is scheduled for 9 am on April 24, 2014, at Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School, 95 Falkirk St., Toronto.

For more information, please contact Loida Pedro, Senior Marketing Planner with the Ministry of Transportation at (416)235-6574 or
The WFO Facebook and Twitter pages are rich with daily posts – articles, best practices, interesting examples, and great ideas – all to encourage and support more walking! Find out what other communities across the province are doing by following us on or Twitter @walkfriendlyON.
Walk friendly communities are the most desirable places
to live, work, play, and do business!

WALK Friendly Ontario is a recognition program to encourage Municipalities to create and improve spaces and places to walk. Visit for more information.

Canada Walks is grateful to the
Ontario Government and the Metcalf Foundation for their financial support of the WALK Friendly Ontario roll-out. 

Green Communities Foundation is the charitable affiliate of Green Communities Canada. Please consider a donation to the Foundation in support Canada Walks - WALK Friendly Ontario. Charitable registration number: 81526 4890 RR0001

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