Barrie/Simcoe-Muskoka: Beating the odds

For people across the world, 2020 was a difficult year, particularly for those working in the health sector. At the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), the team implementing the On The Move active school travel project faced the twin challenges of a work to rule campaign in area schools followed by COVID-19. 

Despite these unforeseen circumstances, all 17 schools in Barrie and the wider Simcoe-Muskoka region participating in On The Move responded enthusiastically to the revival of program activities last September. Many schools began working to finalize their action plans in hopes of beginning to implement activities in 2021—although many have been put on hold again due to new public health restrictions.    

Even amidst the scarcity of human resources (due to redeployment of SMDHU personnel during the pandemic), the project’s steering committee continued to meet and is currently analyzing the results of policy scans in two local municipalities. It is also working to implement On The Move-branded sidewalk stencils and wayfinding signs.  

All the stakeholders have remained very committed, and strong partnerships have been developed between schools and municipalities. “One of the positive things about our project is that we have had a lot of municipalities keen on participating in the walkabouts to know what they could do to improve the infrastructure around schools,” says Christine Bushey, who leads On The Move on behalf of SMDHU.  

Various promotional materials have been created for school administrators, educators and parents. This includes a communication kit consisting of banners and social media messages, and a collection of bilingual videos to promote AST.   

On The Move is one of 28 community-based projects that received support from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund in 2018-20.    

Stay In The Loop

Sign me up to receive

Recent Posts

Rolling Forward with Cycling Skills Training in Ontario Schools

Rolling Forward with Cycling Skills Training in Ontario webinar shares existing resources and ideas for cycling skills training in schools to keep programs moving forward, instead of reinventing the wheel in each community. Panelists:Jaime Akiyama, GreenUPAndrew...

OAST News June 2021

Click here for the June 2021 issue of OAST News. Read about:National Active Transportation Strategy, North Bay/Brampton & Caledon AST spotlight, Students Take on Urban Planning and more…

Students take on urban planning in Toronto

The pandemic has forced many processes to be altered to allow for timely completion of projects. Sometimes, you find that such limitations are actually blessings in disguise. GCC’s School Travel Planning (STP) team in Toronto made use of the challenges posed by the...

Brampton & Caledon: Green lens

A new active school travel (AST) initiative led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) being implemented across Brampton & Caledon is approaching school travel through a distinct ecological lens. It will engage students through a unique air...

North Bay: Bridging the Gap

North Bay's project is a great example of identifying and addressing local active transportation needs. They are utilizing their latest grant from the OAST Fund to get Grade 7 & 8 students to bike to school. Why this specific set of students you may ask?    "At...