School Travel Planning

School Travel Planning

We are facing a modern-day challenge; our reliance on cars has resulted in fewer kids using active modes of transportation for their journey to school, such as walking, cycling, rollerblading, or scooting. When students are driven to school, they miss the opportunity for physical activity, fresh air, and interaction with parents, caregivers, and friends. Driving increases school zone congestion, which in turn makes conditions less safe for those who do walk or wheel, and adds to air pollution. School staff frequently have to spend valuable time dealing with traffic issues and complaints.

School Travel Planning is a proven community-based approach for addressing this problem. School Travel Planning is a process that involves many stakeholders at school and regional levels. The result is a comprehensive action plan to address barriers and get more students using active transportation.

For the 2018-2020 school years, the schools taking part in this process are:

  • Armour Heights PS
  • King George PS
  • Immaculate Conception CES
  • Norwood District PS
  • St. Paul (Norwood) CES

Our Goals

Healthier Children:

Active school travel helps school-aged children meet the recommendation to accumulate at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, which is associated with improved physical and mental health.

Safer School Zones:

Reducing traffic volumes creates safer school zones and saves school staff time. Improving walking and cycling routes to school also enhances the safety, connectivity, and quality of life for the community as a whole.

Less Traffic and Pollution:

Reducing the number of children being driven to school reduces greenhouse gas emissions and particulate air pollution around the school; this improves air quality and reduces associated risks of lung and cardiovascular diseases.

Better Academic Performance:

Increased physical activity specifically associated with the school journey increases alertness and attention during the school day. Physical activity supports healthy brain development, which can lead to improved learning and academic outcomes.

Program History

In the mid-1990’s,  concerned parent, Jacky Kennedy, introduced activities to get more kids walking and wheeling at three Toronto schools. By 2000, the idea was spreading across Ontario through programs like Active and Safe Routes to School. These early efforts focused on education and encouragement. Although results were encouraging, it became clear that a more comprehensive approach was needed. Based on research into international best practices, Green Communities Canada adapted School Travel Planning (STP) for Canada.

This program is made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario.

Logos for Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Communities Canada

Program Contact Information

Natalie Stephenson
Position:  GreenUP 
Active School Travel Facilitator
Phone: 705-745-3238 ext. 223
Fax: 705-745-4413