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Start the presses

It’s official: Born to Walk has been sent to the printer. The official release date is April 1, and there will be launch events in Toronto and Ottawa that month. The Toronto launch will be on Thursday, April 16; more details coming soon. Launches will hopefully be planned for Edmonton and Calgary this spring as…

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Why did the chicken bone cross the road?

You never know what you’re going to see when you go for a walk in a new city. In this case, it’s Cambridge, Mass., across the Charles River from downtown Boston (a separate city, but still part of greater Boston). You might come across a shop that sells nothing but pickles. Or a wild campus…

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Hiking in the Highlands

“It’ll be a pretty severe consequence if you fall off here. A wee bit more than a headache.” So says Keith Melton, the proprietor of Go Glencoe Guiding, who led me up a couple of Munros — a summit above 3,000 feet — during my time on assignment in Scotland last week. The two peaks we did…

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Born to Walk: advance copies!

Advance copies of my book have landed. The publishing date is April 1, 2015. (It should be called “Born to Wait,” one friend said.) Here’s what my publisher, ECW Press, has to say: “The humble act of putting one foot in front of the other transcends age, geography, culture, and class, and is one of…

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Indigenous capital

A few steps away from the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, there’s a statue of Mohawk chief Joseph Brant. I have walked, run and cycled past the statue dozens of times without noticing it. Which is one of the things that Metis educator and artist Jaime Koebel — the woman to Grant’s right in the above…

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Back on the beat

I just can’t seem to get away from the police. After spending a couple days with foot patrol officers in Philadelphia last year, I decided to investigate how a cross-section of Canadian cities are handling walking beats. Constables Jen Biondi and Craig Barlow of the Ottawa Police Service were generous with their time and answers on…

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Two days, two walks, one with fire

I had an interesting weekend…. On Saturday, Innu surgeon Dr. Stanley Vollant (that’s him on the left with Justin Trudeau and Liberal aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett) came to Ottawa on the latest leg of his Innu Meshkenu walking project, a five-year 6,000-kilometre series of walks between every First Nations community in eastern and central…

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Walking with robots

Last week, I went to Carleton University’s Human Computer Interaction building to interview Richard Beranek, the CEO and co-founder of Ottawa-based rehabilitation robotics company GaitTronics, a two-year-old spin-off from the university’s Advanced Biomechatronics and Locomotion Laboratory. With industrial design support from local consultancy The Federal, Beranek and his colleagues have created SoloWalk, which is essentially a robot that can…