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…

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…

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…

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…