Community case study: Canada Walks

On May 6th 2015, Green Communities’ Canada Walks encouraged several Toronto schools to come together to host a “Spring Walk and Roll to School Day”. The day was planned to coincide with the Third UN Global Road Safety Week and Parachute Canada’s Safe Kids Week.

In preparation for "Spring Walk and Roll to School Day", Canada Walks encouraged schools to:Spring Walk and Roll

  • host a short school assembly discussing the benefits of walking and rolling to school
  • invite local councillors to speak at the assembly
  • invite local media to attend the day
  • have students design posters promoting walking and rolling to school
  • encourage students to wear green clothing on the day
  • arrange a special bus drop-off a few blocks from school, with a supervised walk from the drop-off to the school door
  • hand out stickers and raffle tickets to people arriving at school on foot, bicycle, mobility device or scooter
  • get local police involved, walking, cycling or handing out stickers

On the day, families were encouraged to leave the car at home and choose a safe, active, healthy and environmentally-friendly way of getting to school instead. Families who lived too far away to walk or roll to school were encouraged to take public transport, or to drive only part way and walk the last leg of the journey.

“Spring Walk and Roll to School Day” is about creating a greater sense of community, enhancing the safety of school neighbourhoods, being kind to the environment and ourselves, and having fun. Schools hope that the day will inspire families to continue walking or rolling all or part way to school for the rest of the year.

Canada Walks is a division of the national environmental association Green Communities Canada, a non-profit organisation whose vision is a Canada where everyone can enjoyably, easily and safely walk to school, to work, to the shops, and for leisure. Many schools taking part in the event were already participating in Canada Walk’s Canadian School Travel Planning project, which encourages community stakeholders to address real-world barriers and incentives to active school travel.

- Visit the Canada Walks website for more information.
- See the Canadian School Travel Planning toolkit for ideas on how to increase community involvement in creating active, safe routes to school.
- See the Toronto District School Board website for more on Spring Walk and Roll to School Day.
- Find out how you can organise a similar event on our local agencies and communities page.
- Read about other events through our Road Safety Week map.

Photo credit: Annunciation CS, by Katie Wittmann, School Travel Planning Facilitator