Welcome to the School Streets page!

This page provides helpful information on School Streets for anyone looking to implement one and includes Canadian and international resources. We are excited to see the increasing number of School Streets in Canada and are eager to see more. We hope this page will encourage you to pilot one in your community and take back the streets for our children, their caregivers and teachers.  

If you think this page is missing a resource, contact us at the email below.  

What’s new?

Ontario School Streets Pilot Summary Report

Over the past year, 8 80 Cities and Green Communities Canada led a group of four city teams aiming to pilot School Streets in Ontario through the Ontario School Streets Pilot (OSSP) project. Today we launch the Ontario School Streets Pilot Summary Report that summarizes our findings from the pilot School Streets in Mississauga, Markham, Hamilton and Kingston along with recommendations for future School Streets.

 

This past spring, four School Streets were piloted across the Greater Toronto Area with support from 8 80 Cities and Green Communities Canada, in a project called ‘Ontario School Streets Pilot’.  The project is funded through Ontario Active School Travel.

What are School Streets Programs?

School Streets are programs that create a car-free environment in front of schools at the start and end of the school day to prioritize safe walking conditions for children, their caregivers and teachers.

School Streets originated in Bolzano, Italy in the early 1990s when school communities struggled to manage traffic during peak pick-up and drop-off hours, and they called for a solution. In response, they launched several School Streets, transforming streets into temporary car-free zones and eliminating congestion in front of schools.  

Follow by this, more places in Europe started replicating School Streets like Edinburgh, London, and Denmark. In Canada, it has been implemented in cities like Vancouver, BC, Victoria, BC, Winnipeg, MA, Toronto, ON, Hamilton, ON, Mississauga, ON, Markham, ON, Kingston, ON and Montreal, QC.  

Benefits of School Streets

Improve Safety

Children are more vulnerable to road danger, especially with the bigger vehicles that are found on our roads these days. By restricting car access, School Streets make streets safer for all road users.

Improve Air Quality

Having vehicles around schools compromises the air quality around schools leaving children and their developing lungs vulnerable. School Streets mitigates idling time and encourages cleaner environments for all.

Increase Active Travel

Only a third of Canadian children are achieving the recommended amount of activity for their age group. Walking or biking to and from school can add upwards of 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and School Streets provide the opportunity to do so.

Encourage Independent Mobility

More and more kids are being driven to school these days. School Streets lets children have more autonomy in the way they get to and from school safely.

Foster Community Connection and Sociability

School Streets bring community members together to make streets cleaner and safer. Working collaboratively with others contributes to broader and stronger community connections with one another.

Reduce Traffic Congestion

On average, 25% of road congestion during morning rush hour is related to school drop-off. School Streets alleviate congestion in front of schools and encourage active modes of transportation.

Resources on School Streets

Reports & Guidebooks

 Ontario School Streets Summary Report  

This report summarizes our findings from the pilot School Streets in Mississauga, Markham, Hamilton and Kingston along with a set of recommendations for future School Streets. 8 80 Cities, along with Green Communities Canada, supported the planning, implementation and evaluation of their School Streets programs over a year through the Ontario School Streets Pilot (OSSP) project.  

8 80 Streets Mountview

Toronto’s first School Streets pop-up, demonstrated how to create safer roads near schools through programming rather than reconstruction. For four days in October 2019, we created a temporary car-free environment on Mountview Avenue at Keele Street Public School during school drop-off and pick-up times to prioritize safe walking conditions for children, parents, and caregivers. 

School Streets Vancouver

In Spring 2021, the City of Vancouver in partnership with the Vancouver School Board piloted School Streets at three elementary schools. The following school year, the City expanded the program to five elementary schools.  

School Streets Guidebook

The School Streets Guidebook was developed with the Capital Regional District of British Columbia and the City of Victoria to communicate further what School Streets are and how to plan and implement these programs locally. 

School Streets to shape child-friendly cities

The report collects evidence of the benefits of School Streets to improve community wellbeing from interventions in Europe and around the world.

School Streets: Putting children and the planet first

This report is a political and economic analysis of the impacts of the rise of School Streets in Europe and around the world.  

For more information on how to plan and adopt School Streets programs in your community, please contact Jiya Benni, Project Manager, 8 80 Cities at jbenni@880cities.org.

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