Walking and Biking to School - School Activities

In Waterloo Region, Public Health works with many community partners to encourage and support students to use various forms of active transportation, such as walking or biking to school.

The Active & Safe Routes to School program promotes the use of active transportation for children on their daily trip to and from school.

Also, there are many activities that students, teachers and parents can become involved with so that more students walk to school and realize the health benefits of being active.

Walking School Bus

The Walking School Bus is a group of children who walk to school together. Parents or older students agree to be "walking leaders" and the group walks to school together, similar to a "carpool". The group typically follows a specific route and schedule, which has designated "bus stops" that pick up students along the way.

Walking School Buses can be tailored to be as formal or informal as needed by a school. This is a safe, convenient, fun, and healthy way for children to travel to school.

If your school is interested in starting a walking school bus, visit Active & Safe Routes to School - Walking to School Bus page.

Special Walk to School Days

The Active & Safe Routes to School program holds special Walk to School Day events each year. These specific days are dedicated to celebrating and enjoying the benefits of walking to school during different seasons. Special Walk to School Days also allows active transportation to be easily introduced into communities and schools, in a fun and interactive way.

In Waterloo Region, we celebrate three Special Walk to School Days throughout the school year:

International Walk to School Day (Fall):

International Walk to School Day is an annual, global event that promotes active transportation on the commute to school. More than 40 countries around the world participate by walking or biking to school on the same day every October.

The next International Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 5th, 2016.

Winter Walk to School Day:

Winter Walk to School day promotes the idea that walking to school can be easy and fun in any type of weather, especially in the winter.

The next Winter Walk to School Day in the Waterloo Region is Wednesday, February 10th, 2016.

Spring Walk to School Day:

Spring Walk to School Day is an annual event which coincides with Earth Week. It provides an opportunity to focus on how walking to school can have a positive impact on the environment and the community.

The next Spring Walk to School Day across Canada is Wednesday, April 20th, 2016.


School Signage Project

The Waterloo Region District School Board, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board and the City of Waterloo have collaborated to help make walking to school more fun.

During the spring and summer of 2014, street signs and signage for holy rosary catholic school distancesidewalk games were placed in neighbourhoods surrounding eight different school sites. The signs indicate a 400 metre or a five minute walk (or a two minute bike ride) to school.



The painted games include hopscotch, paw prints, alphabets and number lines. Parents who are SchoolSignage_Walk.jpgdriving their children to school are encouraged to stop near the signs and let them walk the rest of the way to school. These signs help reduce congestion around the school and give children the opportunity to get a healthy start to their day.

See Canada Walks newsletter - Waterloo ASRTS Pilot Project for more information.

 Links and resources