The Regional Municipality Of York


Active Transportation

Going Somewhere? Go Active!

Active transportation uses human-powered energy to get to places. It is an easy way to fit in physical activity into your daily routine.

Communities are spreading out more and more and residents are depending on cars to get them places. This results in increased air pollution and smog which are known contributors to global warming and climate change.

Active modes of transportation can help:

  • Improve physical activity levels in York Region
  • Conserve energy
  • Reduce road congestion, pollutants, greenhouse gas and CO2 emission
  • Lead to improved air quality
  • Prevent pollution-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases

Active Communities have:

  • Trails, parks and sidewalks that link to stores, restaurants and community places that can make walking and cycling an easy choice
  • Provide access to public transit near people's homes
  • Are well lit and safe
  • Have many people out on the streets walking and cycling

Travel Actively to School

If you live within walking or biking distance to a school, it is recommended that families choose an active travel mode, such as walking or biking, to get to and from school. If you are outside the walking and biking distance, consider having your child take the bus rather than arriving in a private vehicle, which creates congestion around school sites.

Active and Safe Routes to School programs promote increased physical activity, reduced traffic congestion, better air quality and great opportunities to get to know your community and neighbours better! The School Travel Planning approach may be utilized to develop Active and Safe Routes to School options for a school community.


  • Organize a walking group with others who share your interests and visit local parks and trails
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park your car further at the mall or at work and walk the extra distance
  • Take a walking break around the building during your workday
  • Shop locally and leave your car at home
  • Walk with your children to school

York Walks! Library Pedometer Loan Program

Are you walking enough?

To help you find out, York Region has partnered with all nine local municipal public libraries to loan pedometers to York Region residents. You can sign out a pedometer with your library card the same way you sign out a book. With it you will get information on walking and physical activity, and instructions for using the pedometer at no charge.  

You will have three weeks to use the pedometer and track your physical activity before returning it to the library. Take this opportunity to monitor your activity, and set goals to become more active.

How "Walkable" is Your Community?

Get a Walkscore rating for your home address. This tool looks at the places around your home within walking distance and provides you a score of how walkable your community is. You can also volunteer or get information about citizen-led walking tours and conversations at Jane’sWalk.


The annual operating cost of a bike is just 2.5 per cent that of a car (Bikes Belong, 2008). Try cycling in local parks or trails around your community.

  • Riding to work or to run errands saves you time, money and keeps you healthy
  • Riding your bike improves muscle strength, coordination and flexibility

Rollerblading and Skateboarding

These activities strengthen and tone your leg muscles. Consider rollerblading or skateboarding to work or during your lunch break.

Public Transit

One busload of people can be the equivalent of 40 cars on the road (Going Somewhere? Go Active!, 2011). Take York Region Transit/VIVA when going to places within York Region or take GO Transit when going to places in the Greater Toronto area.


Carpooling is an alternative to active transportation. It leads to less cars on the road and can reduce congestion and environmental impacts.

Before You Leave the Car at Home…

  • Check with your doctor to make sure you have no health risks related to an increased level of physical activity
  • Have comfortable walking shoes and equipment in working and safe condition
  • Always wear protective gear such as a helmet and elbow or knee pads when cycling or rollerblading
  • Drink plenty of fluids and use sun protection especially if outdoors for a long period
  • Be aware of the rules of the road and watch for hazards

Related Resources

External Links

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  • Active Healthy Communities

  • Health Connection

  • 1-800-361-5653

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