Walk Toronto at Open Streets TO

Walk Toronto at Open Streets TO

Walk Toronto was pleased to be a participant in the first round of Open Streets TO on Aug. 17, and Walk Toronto will be at Open Streets TO once again on Sunday Aug. 31. We’ll be at Matt Cohen Park (south-east corner of Bloor and Spadina) from opening at 8:00 am right through to noon. Drop by, have a chat, sign up for our mailing list, and check out the chalk drawings!

Our main event for Open Streets is a walking audit the Spadina in the vicinity of Bloor, leaving from Matt Cohen Park at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. We’ll be rolling up our sleeves, looking at features that influence the walkability of our route, and chalking our comments on the pavement. You can download details at http://tinyurl.com/WalkToSpadinaAudit.
Our audit is being done in conjunction with Jane’s Walk, and you can find details at the web site: http://janeswalk.org/canada/toronto/walk-toronto-walk-audit/

In the meantime, have a look at a photo album by Lance Gleich of what was happening around the Walk Toronto table at the Aug. 17 Open Streets TO. The last photos were taken each hour of Open Streets TO and show how the streets filled up over the course of the morning.

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Walk Toronto Jane’s Walks

Jane’s Walk weekend is fast approaching, and members of the Walk Toronto steering committee are presenting some of the walks.

Dylan Reid, Vivien Leong and Mike Jones are leading the Walkability Scavenger Hunt – Ward 30 on Sat. May 3 at 2:00 pm, with help from Sean Marshall.  The walk will test out the Jane’s Walk “Walkability Checklist” tool, looking for the elements that contribute to creating a good or bad walking environment.

Denise Pinto, who is Global Director of Jane’s Walk, will also be testing out the “Walkability Checklist” tool on Curb Cuts and Desire Lines: A Christie-Harbord Scavenger Hunt! on Fri. May 2 at 4:00 pm. The walk will lead in to the Jane’s Walk launch party that evening.

Further west, Lance Gleich will be leading Swansea, Past and Present on Sat. May 3 at 6:30 pm, on behalf of the Swansea Historical Society.

Geoff Kettel will be co-leading Layers of Thorncliffe Park on Fri. May 2 at 6:30 pm and Sat. May 3 at 10:00 am.

And of course there are many more walks being held across the city by all kinds of enthusiastic walk leaders. Be sure to get out and walk!

LEADING THE WAY: Understanding the World of Wayfinding

Leading the Way event

Walk Toronto is pleased to co-sponsor a talk about wayfinding with Phil Berczuk, who is leading the development of Toronto’s wayfinding strategy.

WHAT: Leading the Way: Understanding the World of Wayfinding
WHEN: Monday, May 5th, 6:30-9:00pm
WHERE: Eaton Lecture Theatre (RCC204), Ryerson University / 80 Gould St.
COST: free!
RSVP: You must RSVP at our Eventbrite page. Limited rush seating available night of event
FACEBOOK: Please share our event listing on Facebook

Many cities such as London, New York, Bogota and Vancouver have developed wayfinding strategies in response to significant transportation challenges and/or major events such as the Olympics. The City of Toronto is planning on rolling out a limited wayfinding system in time for the 2015 Pan/ParaPan Am Games.

At the “Leading the Way: Understanding the World of Wayfinding” event, you will get a global tour of what other cities are implementing on their streets, led by Phil Berczuk, the director of design at Steer Davies Gleave, who is also leading the design of Toronto’s wayfinding system. Berczuk’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with Spacing’s Matthew Blackett.

Good turnout for Jennifer Keesmaat talk about walking to school

Jennifer Keesmaat speaks at Walk Toronto event

On Feb. 12, 2014, Walk Toronto hosted a talk by the Chief Planner of the City of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat, about walking to school.

We had a good turnout of about 100 people at the University of Toronto Schools (Spadina and Bloor). Among the attendees was Globe and Mail columnist Elizabeth Renzetti, who wrote a great description of the talk in the paper (the print title was “Cities should worship the ground we walk on,” a sentiment Walk Toronto can certainly get behind).

Also attending were representatives from walk-to-school programs at Metrolinx, Canada Walks, and Toronto Public Health, who talked about their programs with attendees before and after the talk, as well as representatives from Jane’s Walk.

Attendees were encouraged to give a donation to Walk Toronto (to cover costs) that doubled as a vote on the best age for children to start walking to school without an adult. The “10 or under” category was the resounding winner. The vote results were as follows (rounded off):

10 or under: 51%
11: 31%
12:  2%
13+: 15%

Everyone who donated got one of our new Walk Toronto buttons. Those who donated $5 or more received one of our reflective buttons — a little contribution to safe walking at night.

You can listen to a recording of Jennifer Keesmaat’s talk here (mp3).

Signing in at Walk Toronto event

Walk Toronto buttons

Event photographs by Lance Gleich

Keynote talk: Jennifer Keesmat talk on walking to school

Walk Toronto is pleased to announce Walk Toronto’s 2014 general meeting, with a keynote talk by Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, on the subject of walking to school. Ms. Keesmaat speaks passionately on this important topic (including a widely-watched TEDx talk), and under her auspices the City has begun a project to both encourage walking to school and make it safer for students.

The talk and general meeting are free and open to the general public. Here are the event details:

Jennifer Keesmaat
“Walk this way: Transforming our City”
Wednesday February 12
7:00-8:00 pm (keynote talk and questions), 8:00-9:00 pm (general meeting)
University of Toronto Schools (UTS) Auditorium, 371 Bloor St. W.
(S-E corner of Bloor and Spadina)
Accessible entrance west of main doors
If you plan to attend, please RSVP through Eventbrite:

http://tinyurl.com/Eventbrite-Keesmaat

Following the keynote, the Walk Toronto general meeting will highlight current initiatives and describe our first year’s accomplishments, followed by an opportunity to connect with other walking advocates and talk to representatives of walk to school programs. Everyone is welcome to stay and participate.

Join us on the City of Toronto’s first “on the move” consultation walk

Walk Toronto is pleased to be co-host (with Jane’s Walk) of the City of Toronto’s first ever “on the move” public consultation — a chance to walk and talk with City staff to give them feedback on how to improve the walking experience in Toronto.

The walk takes place on Sunday, June 23 from 12:00-2:00 pm, starting at the North-West corner of Islington and Bloor. It will be led by Tim Laspa, Director of Transportation Planning at the City of Toronto. He will lead the discussion at major stops, where participants will have a chance to ask questions and share their thoughts about transportation planning. Several members of the Walk Toronto steering committee will be there to engage in informal talks with small groups of walkers as we move along the route and notice pedestrian issues.

The event is part of the City of Toronto’s “Feeling Congested?” consultations on developing a new transportation strategy. There will be simultaneous bike and transit “on the move” consultations.

The walk starts at the northwest corner of Islington Avenue and Bloor Street West, near the TTC entrance, and then moves through (or around) a pedestrian portal, through the community arts-influenced Mabelle Park, and then to Dundas Street West. It proceeds along Dundas St. W past newly built Michael Power Park, works its way through the Six Points Intersection (aka the Spaghetti Intersection) and ends at Kipling Subway Station.

Please join us for this opportunity to tell City staff directly how walking can get better in Toronto. Space is limited, so be sure to register for the walk if you plan to participate.

The details:

Title: Feeling Congested? A walk’n’talk about transportation in Toronto
Date:  Sunday, June 23, 2013
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Meeting place:  NW Corner of Islington and Bloor
Led by: Tim Laspa, Director of Transportation Planning, City of Toronto and Walk Toronto (TBC)
Registration: https://feelingcongestedwalking-eac2.eventbrite.ca/

Be a part of the Walk and Roll Caravan on May 11

Walk Toronto  had a great turnout at our founding meeting, and we hope to see most of you again at our second  major event on Saturday, May 11. If you weren’t able to attend the meeting in February, all the more reason to put on your walking shoes now that spring has arrived.

The WALK AND ROLL CARAVAN is a group walk that starts at St. James Park at noon. We’ve also scheduled a “warm-up” event before, and an enormous rally afterwards. We’ll be marching for safer and more walkable streets along an interesting route that ends at Queen’s Park. Because there are lots more details, we’ve packed them all into a special website:

http://thewalknrollcaravan.com

Our itinerary has been carefully planned to include streetscape elements that we either applaud or condemn. Visit the Caravan website, and be sure to print out a handlist, which you can refer to during the march. You’ll see the downtown with new eyes!

 

74-92King.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk and Roll Caravan (Mother’s Day Weekend)

Members of Walk Toronto and everyone interested in pedestrianism are invited to participate in the Walk and Roll Caravan, which begins at noon,  Saturday, May 11, 2013. This is Walk Toronto’s second major event (the first being our founding meeting.) Our contingent of walkers will march from St. James Park northwards, ending up at Queen’s Park where we will converge with cyclists coming from other directions. The event concludes in front of the Ontario Legislature with Cycle and Sole , a rally promoting active transportation and safe streets for all users.

We have planned a 3.5 km. long route that takes us by a huge variety of buildings and street features that are of pedestrian interest. We want you not only to have fun, but to see local examples of things that everyone is talking about. What’s a Complete Street? What’s a Privately Owned Public Space? Join us and you’ll be able to walk through the real thing in downtown Toronto!

Because the Walk and Roll Caravan event is being held on Mother’s Day weekend, we encourage walkers to bring their moms – as well as lots of flowers!  Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring water and maybe a snack too.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Visit the Walk and Roll Caravan website , and check out the printable route map on Google Maps.
Also, print out our two-page itinerary, which covers sights that our walk will be passing by. (Be sure to take a copy with you on the march, so that you can refer to it as you walk.) For more in-depth coverage see the full commentary.
TTC 
St. James Park is located in the east part of the downtown at King and Jarvis Streets. Please note that on Saturday May 11, there will be no service on the Yonge subway line between the Bloor-Yonge Station and Union station. Although you can use the shuttle bus service, we recommend that marchers relying on public transit to get to St. James Park take the University subway line to the St. Andrew station, and then transfer to the eastbound King streetcar. You should get off at the Jarvis St. stop, which is half a block south of the Walk and Roll Caravan assembly area.
On the way home, it is easiest to use the Queen’s Park subway station, located at College St., just south of the Legislature’s south lawn where the Cycle and Sole rally will be held.