Walking on water

When I got my first stand up paddle board last August — an inflatable from Ottawa-based Level Six via MEC — the water in the city’s Rideau River was already fairly low. It would have been impossible to paddle from the put-in spot near my house to the terminus, where it tumbles into the Ottawa River, without scraping along…

A walk and a smile

In the second chapter of Born to Walk, which focuses on how walking can address mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety, research conducted by University of Glasgow epidemiologist Richard Mitchell provides the scientific basis for many of my arguments. I spent some time walking around Glasgow with Rich, whose work explores the roles urban environments can…

Safe schools

Two years ago, while doing research and reporting for my book, I joined an Active & Safe Routes to School walkabout at an elementary school in Ottawa. The intervention, part of a program led by a national non-profit called Green Communities Canada, is part of a process that involves collecting travel behaviour data, traffic observation…

Walk talks

Although the fall is a lovely season for hitting the trail, or wandering around a city, it’s also a time when we begin to retreat indoors. Autumn in Canada brings an array of conferences and festivals — and thankfully, for an obsessive walker, some of these events are a great showcase for my favourite subject. I’ll…

Walking meetings

Walking is increasingly part of the program at urbanist conferences and wellness conferences, and it shares the stage with cycling and mass transit at active transportation and sustainability gatherings, but we obsessive walkers get really excited when there’s an event where walking, as Henry David Thoreau wrote in his 1862 essay “Walking,” is “itself the enterprise and adventure…

Walking home

What a weekend! After launching Born to Walk at Ben McNally Books in Toronto last Thursday evening with friends, family and fans (and wine), I gave talks and took questions from staff at both Indigo and Kobo headquarters on Friday — it was inspiring to meet so many people passionate about books and walking! The conversation…

Walking every street

“I’ve always enjoyed just getting out, and I’ve led historic walks in the past years in older communities. And I thought, I would give this a try and see how much I can do and learn more about the city.” So says retired Calgary teacher David Peyto, who has embarked on what is being called…

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…