TRCA Boosts Walking and Wheeling in Brampton and Caledon Communities

TRCA’s Active Transportation Programming is Made Possible Thanks to Renewed Financial Support from Ontario Active School Travel

February 25, 2022, Toronto, ON – Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is delighted that efforts to boost walking and wheeling on the journey to school in Brampton and Caledon communities are continuing, thanks to renewed financial support from Ontario Active School Travel (OAST).

More than 1,200 students across Brampton and Caledon are receiving free programming to encourage walking and wheeling to school in 2022.

Led by TRCA education staff, “The Air, The Climate and Us!” program guides students through an investigation of the impact of active transportation on local air quality and highlights the multiple benefits to students and their families.

Students measure air quality using electronic monitors and learn how to use lichen as a bio-indicator. Large stencil kits enable students to animate their routes to school with nature-themed chalk motifs.

Private Buckam Singh Public School hosted an event yesterday to highlight the impact of this program. Local dignitaries were invited to watch the grade 5 students participate in a suite of outdoor activities, including lichen monitoring and climate-change themed games.

students from Private Buckam Singh Public School participate in active transportation program
students from Private Buckam Singh Public School participate in active transportation program
students from Private Buckam Singh Public School participate in active transportation program

The program event was held in Winter Walk Month, a province-wide event held in February and coordinated by Ontario Active School Travel, celebrating the unique fun of walking and rolling to school when it is snowy and cold outside.

Active Transportation means using people power to get where you are going, and is important for everyone’s physical and mental health. Resources for children in kindergarten to grade 8 are available on TRCA’s website for students, parents, and teachers within the Region of Peel and beyond.

Resources include:

  • Get Moving for Climate Change: an interactive online tool for Peel students to share how they travel to school
  • February Winter Walk Month guides from the Region of Peel
  • Free downloadable Active Transportation BINGO cards using all the different modes of active transportation, so that the whole family is ready to get walking and rolling


Quick Facts:

  • Just over $58,000 in funding provided for “The Air, The Climate and Us!” program through a grant from Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Communities Canada (GCC). GCC is a non-profit organization with more than two decades of experience promoting active school travel.
  • The Government of Ontario is providing $1.5 million through March 2022 to GCC to support new OAST initiatives across the province that will help prepare students for learning and improve safety in school zones. This follows a previous investment of $3.5 million toward 28 OAST projects benefiting 52 communities across Ontario between 2017-2020.
  • OAST rates have declined sharply in Ontario communities in recent decades. GCC and its many partners are working to reverse that decline and make active transportation the “new normal”.
  • OAST has numerous benefits for children and communities including:
    • improved physical and mental health and well-being
    • increased cognitive function and social development that improves academic performance
    • safer school zones through traffic calming and reduced congestion
    • improved air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions


“In recent decades we have seen a significant decline in rates of walking to school and a marked increase in traffic volumes in school zones. This initiative is a great opportunity to reverse these trends by expanding on the previous work in Brampton and Caledon communities to rebuild a culture of active school travel. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with and support our local partners to implement this exciting initiative.”
Kate Berry, Ontario Active School Travel program director with Green Communities Canada

“At TRCA, we have seen the use of trails dramatically increase as they are providing safe outdoor recreation and active transportation options allowing people to engage with nature for their physical and mental well-being. TRCA is proud to work with Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario in support of active transportation programming and encouraging walking and wheeling to school in 2022.”
Jennifer Innis, Chair, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) Board of Directors

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About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
With more than 60 years of experience, TRCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario, created to safeguard and enhance the health and well-being of watershed communities through the protection and restoration of the natural environment and the ecological services the environment provides. More than five million people live within TRCA-managed watersheds, and many others work in and visit destinations across the jurisdiction. These nine watersheds, plus their collective Lake Ontario waterfront shorelines, span six upper-tier and 15 lower-tier municipalities. Some of Canada’s largest and fastest growing municipalities, including Toronto, Markham and Vaughan, are located entirely within TRCA’s jurisdiction.

Media Contact:
Diana Ginsberg Cohen
Communications and Media Relations Specialist
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)