Canada's First National Active Transportation Strategy

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Canada's First National Active
Transportation Strategy
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The Government of Canada has announced $400 million for Canada's first active transportation fund, and the development of Canada's first National Active Transportation Strategy.

What is Active Transportation?

Active transportation refers to the movement of people or goods powered by human activity. Active transportation includes walking, cycling and the use of human-powered or hybrid mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, e-bikes, rollerblades, snowshoes and cross-country skis.

What is Active Transportation Infrastructure?

Active transportation infrastructure refers to physical structures and the built environment that support active transportation, such as pathways, bike lanes, multi-use trails and widened sidewalks. The most effective active transportation infrastructure provides a complete network that allows users to safely move through their communities and between destinations, from main streets to schools, parks, public transit hubs and residential neighbourhoods.

What is the Purpose of the National Active Transportation Strategy?

To coordinate active transportation investments that reflect best practice planning, design, regulations, and standards across levels of government, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and the private sector.

The Government of Canada announced its intention to develop Canada's first National Active Transportation Strategy and explore options to deliver more transportation and recreation options such as trails, cycling paths and other forms of active mobility in rural, urban and Indigenous communities, as part of the Strengthened Climate Plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy.

Minister McKenna and Parliamentary Secretary Fillmore have also launched stakeholder engagement for Canada's first Active Transportation Strategy. The strategy will be informed by input from the public and key stakeholders including provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and not-for-profit organizations and businesses.

The following framework is the Government of Canada's vision for a National Active Transportation Strategy.

Strategy Framework

National Active Transportation Strategy Framework infographic text description

Awareness: Raise public awareness about the benefits of active transportation and promote its use, including by launching an online website to share best practices, relevant government programs, and project success stories. Benefits are felt personally through enhanced safety, accessibility, health and well-being, and felt communally by reducing traffic congestion, promoting job creation and reducing carbon emissions and air pollution.

Coordination: Coordinate active transportation investments that reflect best practice planning, design, regulations, and standards across levels of government, Indigenous communities, not-for-profits and the private sector.

Targets: Support the adoption of targets and data collection while mobilizing existing data to inform an evidence-based approach to active transportation policy-making and investments.

Investments: Guide the investment of the $400 million fund and other incentives for active transportation projects, and identify areas for financial collaboration with other government departments, other levels of government, and other funders to support good projects in communities across the country.

Value: Ensure that all active transportation investments and policies deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits, maximizing the value and benefit to all Canadians.

Experience: Support active transportation as a positive user experience, particularly for vulnerable communities, by promoting safe and accessible project designs and supporting connections between existing transportation, active transportation or public transit networks.

Active Transportation Investments across the country

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $130 million in 126 active transportation projects for cities and towns from coast to coast to coast.

As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will expand these smart investments that support Canadians.

Grouse Mountain Regional Park Trails in Vancouver, British Columbia

Work is underway in North Vancouver, British Columbia to upgrade a series of popular trails in the Grouse Mountain Regional Park, including Grouse Grind Trail and the B.C. Mountaineering Club Trail. Improvements to the entrance area on the main trailhead, along with the introduction of new connections to other trails, and the construction of new view points and rest areas will greatly improve the experience for hikers, while attracting new visitors to the park and encouraging people to adopt healthier and more active lifestyles.

First Nations groups are being consulted as part of this project and the upgrades, funded through the Community, Culture and Recreation Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, are expected to be completed by April 2025.

Residents enjoy the trail network in Grouse Mountain Regional Park in North Vancouver, which is undergoing upgrades thanks in part to funding from Community, Culture and Recreation Stream under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Credit: Metro Vancouver Regional District

All-Ages-And-Abilities Bikeway in Halifax, Nova Scotia

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, an All-Ages-And-Abilities (AAA) Cycling Network is being built, with funding from the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, to create an accessible, safe and convenient network of cycling routes to encourage active transportation and offer more ways of getting around the regional municipality.

Work is underway on a 30-kilometre system of bikeways and pedestrian pathways, with many routes already complete, including a stretch along Hollis Street in the downtown which now features protected bike lanes. Full details on the cycling network and progress to date can be found in the Halifax Regional Municipality's interactive map.

This network is a key part of Halifax's Integrated Mobility Plan and will improve the capacity of the area's active transportation system and enhance the physical condition and accessibility of the pathways, while contributing to the creation of more livable, vibrant and sustainable communities in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

New protected bike lanes along Hollis Street in downtown Halifax. Part of the Regional Centre All-Ages-And-Abilities (AAA) Cycling Network funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Credit: City of Halifax

Kelly's Brook Shared-Use Path in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

The City of St. John's is hard at work consulting residents and designing upgrades for the Kelly's Brook Trail with the goal of creating an attractive and continuous 4.8 kilometre route in St. John's that will serve as both a recreational path and an active transportation option, connecting popular destinations and amenities along the way.

The project involves upgrading and connecting existing segments of a trail that parallels Empire Avenue to create a safer, inclusive pedestrian and cycling route. Once complete, residents will benefit from a multi-purpose path that will better connect different neighbourhoods and connect the east and west ends of St. John's.

The project is being funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and construction is expected to get underway in 2021.

Residents of St. John's are actively engaged in consultations over the construction of the Kelly's Brook Shared-Use Pathway in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, which is being funded in part through the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Credit: Trace Design and City of St. John's

Flora Footbridge, in Ottawa, Ontario

Residents of Ottawa are enjoying a safer and more convenient way of navigating the mid-town neighborhoods with the construction of the Flora Footbridge - a pedestrian and cyclist bridge crossing the canal from Clegg Street in Old Ottawa East to Fifth Avenue at Queen Elizabeth Drive in the Glebe.

The Flora Footbridge in Ottawa provides a safe and convenient crossing over the canal, connecting pedestrians and cyclists to active transportation pathways leading to nearby schools, workplaces, public transportation, and shopping areas.

Credit: Alex Tetreault

The Flora Footbridge, which was funded through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and which opened ahead of schedule in the summer of 2019, has helped shorten commute times and introduced a dedicated active and sustainable transportation route to schools, work, entertainment and shopping sites nearby. It has also helped strengthen links to other pathways connecting to Ottawa's LRT network, enabling more people to integrate active transportation into their daily commutes and making it easier for people to move around the city.

Credit: Infrastructure Canada

Contact us

If you have any questions about the development of the National Active Transportation Strategy, please contact us at activetransportation-transportactif@canada.ca.