Welcome to the Municipal Blog relating to the 5 Year Review of the Municpality of Meaford Official Plan. Please note that this blog is not intended to replace formal public consultation under the Planning Act but is instead meant to be a forum for information sharing on topics and ideas relating the review and community planning in general. Feel free to post comments or questions. Also be sure to visit the Municipal Webste (here) for additional information about the Official Plan Review.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Walk here. Walk there. Lets all walk...everywhere!

The following definition, links and images are courtesy of iCANwalk.
 iCANwalk is a collaboration of partners, with funding from the Government of Ontario, who support the development of walkable communities. Their goal is to work together to build sustainable, walkable communities that will improve the health of our citizens, our children and our environment.

What is a ‘Walkable Community’?

 As explained on iCANwalk.ca, “In a walkable community people can easily walk to get where they need to go and for enjoyment. When places people live, work, learn and play in are close together, people can make walking part of their daily routine. Being able to walk to school, work, stores, parks and restaurants is good for people, the environment and the economy. When people can walk more and rely on their cars less, communities become healthier and more vibrant places.”

 Key Elements of a Walkable Community     

iCANwalk identifies the following elements as hallmarks of a walkable community:

You can get to places you go often
You are safe along the route (think: clear sidewalks, lighting, street signs, crosswalks)
You can walk from home (residential and other land uses are in close proximity to make walking an easier choice)
You can get from one place to the next (this speaks to connectivity…for example, if you can walk to school from home, but can’t walk to your part-time job after school, you can see how walking becomes a less favourable choice)
You enjoy what you see (your walk is attractive, well lit, shaded or sheltered, has benches and garbage/recycling receptacles and there are interesting things to look at)
 Everyone can get from one place to the next (this speaks to accessibility – in a walkable community, non-vehicular transportation is an option for persons in wheelchairs or using other mobility devices)
    Planners and Public Health professionals have been challenged to look at our communities from a broad perspective as to where there are – and aren’t – opportunities to walk safely. The goal is to employ the various land use tools available to us to increase our walkability in order to realize multiple benefits with respect to Health, Environment, Traffic & Congestion, Community and the Local Economy. Click here for a detailed list of the many benefits of walkable communities.

Policy Directions - Five Year Official Plan Review

As part of the Official Plan Review, we have been working on draft policies that incorporate the theme of walkability into our Official Plan. Such policies are intended to ensure that pedestrian facilities (like trails, sidewalks, walkways, benches, cross walks, signage etc...) are considered as an important part of our transportation infrastructure and to ensure that opportunities are pursued to upgrade facilities and secure better pedestrian connectivity through new development, re-development and municipal capital projects, wherever possible.

Q: How Walkable is Meaford?

A: You tell me….or rather, tell iCANwalk
One of the neat tools that is available as part of the iCANwalk campaign is a walkability assessment/checklist. Visit their ‘What can I do’ page for a copy of the assessment checklist, as well as a number of suggestions on how you can participate in making Meaford a more walkable community.


  1. It would be great to organize a group walk and cameras to record some of the things we see!

  2. How about taking your camera with you on a Meaford walk May 15th -- then upload your photos....