ASRTS Ontario Communities

Brantford The City of Brantford was an early adopter of Active & Safe Routes to School and participated for a number of years. They were a participant in the School Walking Route signage project. Due to a lack of sustained funding currently there are no official school travel actions taking place.

Cornwall Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott, and Russell counties are located east of Ottawa to the Quebec border and south of Ottawa to the St. Lawrence River. They are made up of 15 municipalities, the largest being Cornwall, Clarence-Rockland, and Russell Township. The population of the 5 counties is approximately 196,000, of which 40 percent have French as their mother tongue. The school districts are covered by 4 boards: the Upper Canada District School Board, le Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'est de l'Ontario, The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, and le Conseil des Écoles publiques de l'est de l'Ontario. The elementary and middle school student population is approximately 25,000. Active & Safe Routes to School is coordinated by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, tel: 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120 (Ask for Health Line).

Halton Region Halton Region is comprised of four municipalities: Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville with a combined population of more than 518,000.  The two largest school boards, Halton District (HDSB) and Halton Catholic District (HCDSB) have a combined total of 132 elementary schools (66,250 students) and 28 secondary schools (28,000 students).  An Active and Sustainable School Travel (ASST) Regional Hub has been formed to encourage and support children and their families to choose active and sustainable modes of transportation to and from school and to promote healthy communities, in order to address the issues of physical inactivity, personal safety, community awareness, traffic impact in the vicinity of the school and environmental issues. For more information, contact Suzanne Burwell, Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, HDSB at 905-335-3663 ext 3366.

Hamilton The population of Hamilton is approximately 519,949 (2011 Census). There are 2 French School Boards (Public/Catholic) and 5 schools total with 1198 students, in addition there are 2 English School Boards with 125 public schools, and 58 Catholic schools.

Hamilton has an active ASRTS Steering Committee, which comprises the following City of Hamilton Departments: Public Works; Planning & Economic Development; Public Health Services (note that in the City of Hamilton, Public Health is one of the Departments not stand alone like other regions); Police Services, as well as: the HWCDSB and HWDSB (includes various levels e.g., Superintendents, Planning & Operations, Principal); Metrolinx; Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation; Green Communities Canada; Environment Hamilton; and Green Venture.

For more information call Kelly Scott at 905-546-2424 ext 1309 or email at

Kingston Kingston has a population of 117,000, and also includes Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Counties in the school numbers. The public health unit works on ASRTS initiatiatives with the public schools and with 2 French school boards: Conseils des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario and Conseils des écoles catholiques de langue française du centre-est. There are also nine private schools. There are a total of 82 elementary schools, 16 secondary (including private). 

Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge Waterloo Region is comprised of 7 municipalities, including the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, plus the four Townships of Woolwich, Wellesley, North Dumfries, and Wilmot. The population of Waterloo Region is over 560,000. The majority of schools are part of either the Waterloo Region District School Board (100 elementary schools, 16 secondary schools) or Waterloo Catholic District School Board (46 elementary school, 5 secondary schools). In addition, Waterloo Region has 4 French language schools and 11 private schools. In total, there are over 90,000 elementary and secondary school students living in the Region. Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) in Waterloo Region is coordinated by the ASRTS Workgroup whose purpose is to plan, support, and encourage ASRTS program and policy initiatives for schools and school children in Waterloo Region. The Workgroup envisions a community where getting to and from school by active transportation is the preferred means, resulting in an increased level of physical activity for youth in Waterloo Region. The Active and Safe Routes to School Workgroup is comprised of representatives from Region of: Waterloo Public Health; Waterloo Region District School Board; Waterloo Catholic District School Board; Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region; City of Cambridge; City of Kitchener; City of Waterloo; Region of Waterloo; Ontario Ministry of Transportation; and Sustainable Waterloo Region.

For more information about ASRTS in Waterloo Region, please go to

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is a largely rural area with approximately 165,000 residents. The health unit works with dedicated and passionate community partners, and as a result, have been able to implement the School Travel Planning (STP) process in four communities. The public health unit's community approach to STP allows them to leverage resources to engage multiple partners and families of schools (both Public and Catholic) at one time. For more information please contact Tawnya Boileau, Regional STP Connecter, at 613-345-5685 ext 2226 or

London Learn more about School Travel Planning and other Active & Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) programs from the newly created local (St. Thomas, Elgin, Middlesex, London, Oxford) website. For those wanting more information about Active & Safe Routes to School, please contact the Middlesex London Health Unit.

Niagara The Region of Niagara comprises 12 municipalities for a total population of 427,421. The school districts are the District School Board of Niagara, the Niagara Catholic District School Board, and 2 French school boards for a total of 159 schools (13 French and 146 English) plus many private schools. The School Travel Planning program is facilitated by Niagara Region Public Health, Tel: 905-688-3762 ext 732.

North West The catchment area of the North Western Health Unit stretches across 171, 288 square kilometers and includes 19 municipalities. The Health Unit works with schools in various communities to promote Active Safe Routes to School. Initiatives include Hike and Bike Challenge, walking challenges, pedometer loans, Kiss and Ride programs, safe routes mapping, ASRTS awareness and education for students, parents, and teachers. For further information contact Elaine at 807-274-9827 ext 3638.

Peel Region The Region of Peel is comprised of the communities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, for a combined population of almost 1.5 million. The region is served by the Peel District School Board and Dufferin Peel District School Board with 330 elementary schools for a student population of approximately 161,000. The Peel Safe & Active Routes to School committee includes the Region of Peel, City of Mississauga, City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, Peel Regional Police, EcoSchools, Metrolinx and NGOs (i.e., Ecosource).

Perth Perth County is a vibrant and rich agricultural community, with a diverse student population. The Perth District Health Unit champions ASRTS and is available to support schools throughout the County. For more information, contact the Perth District Health Unit at 519-271-7600 ext 267 or 1-877-271-7348.

Peterborough Active and Safe Routes Peterborough has been promoting active transportation and it's benefits for 20 years. Schools in both the City and the County of Peterborough participate in an annual suite of programs including Car-Free School Days. Active and Safe Routes to School Peterborough is a joint project of GreenUP, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, City of Peterborough, Peterborough Community Police Service, and Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario. For more information please visit:

Renfrew Renfrew County and District, with a population of 107,169, has several schools participating at different stages of the ASRTS program. For example, some schools have completed the ASRTS program, others are in the planning phase, and some are content with providing education and awareness-raising initiatives at this time. The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is the contact for the ASRTS program and is promoting active transportation and associated safety messages to schools across the district. For more information contact the Renfrew County and District Health Unit at tel: 613-735-8651 ext 545.

Thunder Bay The City of Thunder Bay is situated on Lake Superior and has a population of 110,000. The school districts are Lakehead District School Board (26 schools) and Thunder Bay Catholic School Board (15 schools). Thunder Bay has been active in the Active & Safe Routes to School program and was a participant in the School Travel Planning national pilot project between 2010-2012. Two schools were involved and created travel plans. Currently funding cannot be sustained but some schools continue with active school travel activities.

Toronto Toronto has a population of 2.79 million people where 16 percent of the population are children ages 6 to 14. The school districts are the Toronto District School Board with almost 470  elementary schools and the Toronto Catholic District School Board with 168 elementary schools. There are also 2 French school boards that service Toronto with their catchment area going beyond the Toronto boundaries, as well as a number of private schools. Active and sustainable school transportation is a partnership project with Toronto Public Health, Toronto Transportation Services, Toronto City Planning, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto Student Transportation Group, Metrolinx, Toronto Police Service, Parking Enforcement, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and Green Communities Canada. For more information contact, Toronto Public Health tel: 416-338-7600 or Toronto Health Connection.

Simcoe County The Simcoe County Active & Safe Routes to School program encompasses the communities of Collingwood, Barrie, Wasaga Beach, Stayner, Angus, Midland, Orillia, and Penetanguishene, as well as smaller communities in between, for a total population of 352,227. The school districts serving this area are Simcoe County District School Board and Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board for a total elementary and middle school student population of 78,000. There are also about 20 private schools in the area. Active & Safe Routes to School is coordinated by the Environment Network.

The Regional Municipality of York York Active school travel initiatives are underway across York Region in the 9 local municipalities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville with a total population of over 1.1 million. There are approximately 121,000 elementary school students served by the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) and York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB). Additionally, French Public and Catholic Boards, and private schools also serve the area.

Active & Safe Routes to School is a partnership involving YRDSB and YCDSB, York Region Community and Health Services Department, The Regional Municipality of York, local municipalities and various stakeholder organizations including Heart and Stroke Foundation, Green Communities Canada, Metrolinx, and others. Contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 (TTY 1-866-252-9933) or visit and for more information.