Walking SafetyA majority of students in the city of Toronto live within a reasonable distance for walking or wheeling (i.e. travel by bike, scooter or other personal mobility device) to their local school. As such, it is important that all students know how to safely navigate the streets in their neighbourhood.

Walking is a legitimate way for students of all ages to get to and from their local schools.  It not only helps promote physical fitness for our students but contributes to their overall wellbeing.   We understand that it may not be practical for all families but we want to encourage as many families as possible to take up this active transportation as a means to support healthy children. Many families do not consider walking a viable choice but we are here to assist you in addressing those concerns.  In many cases supervision is a primary reason why students are not allowed to walk to school.  Our school staff can assist those in need to connect these families with others in their neighbourhoods who are walking.  Please stay tuned as we work towards a walk/ride share program to help schools help families makes these connections.  We support the creation of ‘school travel plans’ that help identify obstacles in the community and working with various stakeholders including the city to begin to address those concerns.  Most of all we want to share how families are making walking to school a choice as part of their normal working day.  There is no shortage of information that is available to assist you in identifying ways to make active transportation a viable choice for families and we have highlighted a number of these resources below. What’s stopping you from letting your children walk to and from school?  Let us know, we will work with our community partners to address those concerns and make walking a viable, safe, and healthy means for our students to get to and from school.

  • When walking or wheeling, travel with friends, family or in groups.
  • When crossing the street, obey signalized traffic commands and crossing guard instructions.
  • Use the sidewalk where provided. Children up to 13 years of age may ride their bikes on City sidewalks.
  • Avoid distracted walking/wheeling. Put the smart devices away and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Always make sure vehicles have stopped even at lights or intersections before proceeding to cross the street. Don’t assume that vehicles see you.
  • Report any issues or hazards that you may face along your route by calling 311, and/or by contacting your local City Councillor.
  • Use the Routes to School Map designed for your school to plan an active route part or all of the way to school.

Ask the Experts

City of Toronto The City of Toronto’s Vision Zero Road Safety Program has been working toward making active transportation safer for vulnerable road users, including school children.

Useful Links

Ontario Active School Travel This website has a variety of useful resources to assist with all aspects of active school travel, from activities to do with your child on their walk to school, to ideas for community events, to how to work with community partners to improve the safety of your route to school.
Heart and Stroke Foundation The Heart and Stroke Foundation is one of the leading organizations in pursuit of sustainable active transportation initiatives that supports their overall goal of healthy lifestyles
Active Healthy Kids Active Healthy Kids Canada strives to be a trusted source for “powering the movement to get kids moving”—a ‘go to’ source for knowledge, insight and understanding that influences thinking and action among issue stakeholders to help them build better programs, campaigns and policies in order to increase physical activity among children and youth.