Every October, Walk On, Victoria celebrates what makes walking great in our communities. This year looks a little different than previous years, as our community is facing many challenges due to the covid-19 pandemic. Many of us are working from home, distance learning, and have had our daily routines upended. Where our members may have walked to work or school, this has been replaced by a short commute between rooms. This has given us a new opportunity to explore the benefits of walking in other contexts, such as walking for exercise, stress relief, or just a way to get out of the house! Areas of our cities have been turned over the streets to pedestrians and our local businesses have taken advantage of this by creating patios.
This Walktober, we encourage you to reflect on what walking means to you, especially during this particularly difficult year. Have you been walking more or less than your normal routine? Have you found any unexpected benefits of walking? Most of all, we encourage you to get out and walk!
Stay tuned to our social medial channels for details on how you can win great prizes! Each week, we will post a challenge on our social media channels and will do a prize draw. Make sure to follow us to find out how you can win:
Facebook “Walk On, Victoria”
Where to walk
While in the past, we have hosted some in-person walks, the pandemic has made this challenging. We have some suggestions for guided walks up on our Blog and will post additional walks during Walktober.
Check out our resources page for some local recreational walks (if you know of any others, please let us know!)
Count your steps
In previous years, we held a step-counting contest as part of Walktober but we are not able to host it this year. We have learned that ParticipACTION has launched a team challenge, running all October and featuring $20,000 in prizes. Some Walk On members have created our team, and we challenge you to an informal step challenge! https://www.participaction.com/en-ca/programs/app
How to make your neighbourhood more walkable
Residents and visitors alike have consistently rated the walkability of the area as one of the best things about Greater Victoria. However, we know that there are many challenges that pedestrians face- whether it is narrow sidewalks (or no sidewalks at all!), lack of crosswalks, debris, lighting, etc. At Walk On, Victoria, we advocate for pedestrians at all levels of government to make Greater Victoria a safer and more enjoyable place to walk.
One way you can learn more about the walkability of your neighbourhood is by doing a walk audit! A couple of our members did one for a Saanich neighbourhood in honour of Jane’s Walks:
We encourage you to report any issues you see to your local government. You can use our handy reporting tool to find out where to report issues (this tool directs you to the correct place to report and does not make a report on behalf of you).
A note about accessibility…
Walk On, Victoria uses the word “walking” when referring to pedestrians (it’s even in our name!) To us, walking more than just moving on two feet, it includes all pedestrians, regardless of mobility. We aim to advocate for all pedestrians.