Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersToronto Walking Strategy: Putting Pedestrians First

Toronto Walking Strategy: Putting Pedestrians First


The Toronto Walking Strategy is an example of an innovative action plan, which promotes the inclusion of pedestrian needs in all city building and supports a sustainable future in Toronto. This paper will describe the development of the Walking Strategy, an action plan for building the policy, infrastructure and program elements needed to create a culture of walking in the City of Toronto. It will also discuss the importance of building on a solid policy framework and inclusive consultation process in the development of the Strategy. The Toronto Walking Strategy builds on a strong foundation. The City’s Official Plan provides an excellent policy framework for achieving a more intense, mixed-use development patter to support increased travel by foot, bicycle and public transit. The City has many existing pedestrian-related policies, guidelines, programs and services. The City’s recently adopted Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan sets out emission reduction targets and calls for a new way of thinking about transportation and community planning and design. The Walking Strategy Team reviewed existing policies and programs, identified areas for improvement and gaps where new initiatives were needed, in order to integrate all walking-related initiatives into a single strategy. An extensive consultation process ensured that the Strategy was built on the knowledge and coordination of several City divisions, public advisory committees, external stakeholders, international experts and Toronto residents. This input was collected in a variety of forms including: a community walkability roadshow, public and staff workshops and working groups. An important element of the consultation process was the International Walk21 Conference – Putting Pedestrians First, hosted by Toronto in October 2007. Walk21 provided a unique opportunity for Toronto to learn about global best practise and to have international experts review and comment on Toronto’s Walking Strategy framework report. The Toronto Walking Strategy, to be presented to Toronto Council in September 2008, establishes clear implementation targets for each of the Strategy’s actions. The City’s new “Public Realm Office”, within the Transportation Services Division, will be responsible for implementing the Walking Strategy, coordinating work across all City Divisions, and monitoring and reporting on progress in achieving the Strategy’s actions. This paper will also explain how implementation of the Walking Strategy has been integrated into the regular business of all relevant City Divisions.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Daniel Egan
Jennifer Hyland