Promoting active travel and healthy living during COVID-19


York Region

Mode of Transport

Cycling, Walking, Telework

Type of intervention


The challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we get around and increased the need for safe and healthy modes of transportation. We have seen a renewed interest in active travel (any human-powered way of getting around, such as walking and cycling) but there remains uncertainty as to whether these habits will remain post-COVID-19.

How we helped

In partnership with York Region, Smart Commute Central York, and Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill, we offered a series of webinars and a contest to help those who live or work in York Region explore active travel. 

The Design the New Normal campaign aimed to understand the transportation needs of York Region residents during COVID-19 and raise the confidence of commuters with incorporating active travel. Through the campaign, participants had access to a webinar series on active travel and teleworking. Our CAN-Bike certified staff member guided participants through three cycling webinars. The webinars supported a range of cyclists from beginners to advanced with information on rules of the road to cycling with children.





of participants said the campaign helped them cycle and walk more often


of participants said the campaign helped them feel more productive working from home


Productivity while working from home

It can be difficult to find a balance between work and home life. We discuss the best practices for remote work including tips on setting up a workspace, maintaining a schedule with children and staying productive.

Getting set up for cycling

If you are thinking about taking up cycling but don’t know where to start, this is the course for you! We’ll talk about how to choose and fit a bike (including how to find a bike on a budget), the gear that you will need to get started, and how to ensure that your bike is safe to ride. We’ll also give you additional resources to help you start cycling.

Cycling safety and basic maintenance

You have a bike and you’d like to go for a ride – what’s next? This course builds on part one to get you ready to hit the road. We cover cycling safety, the rules of the road, tips for riding in traffic and also also basic maintenance such as how to pump your tires and oil your chain. We also have suggestions for some great places to cycle in York Region and how to cycle safely during the pandemic.

Tips for everyday biking

This course is for experienced casual cyclists or enthusiastic new cyclists who would like to learn more. We cover the best options for carrying things on your bike, how to plan your route, and how to securely lock up your bike when you arrive at your destination. We’ll give you tips for cycling with children, riding through any type of weather, and will also show you how to fix a flat tire.

Stay active by walking

Walking is a safe and healthy way to run errands or travel to work. Join our webinar to learn about health benefits of walking, rules of the road and get started with route planning.


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