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…

Boots on the street

In light of what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week, here’s a look at an American police department that’s taking positive steps to improve relations with citizens in an impoverished neighbourhood — an article I wrote last year for The Economist about Philadelphia’s innovative foot patrol program.

Chi walking — and me walking

On a rainy August day in Ottawa, I attended a free noon-hour presentation at City Hall, part of a series of monthly walking events programmed by the city. Led by Dr. Barry Bruce, the subject was “chi walking” — a form of walking inspired by the ancient Chinese martial art tai chi. Bruce, whose medical practice is…

New York walking tours

  Last June, Bill Di Paola, one of the director’s of the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, gave me a walking tour of the neighbourhood’s public gardens and squats. Di Paola is a pioneering cycling activist and community organizer, and the small but fascinating museum is a great stop in and…