Design the New Normal: Active travel and healthy living during COVID-19 and beyond

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

Give yourself and your family the tools to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and tell us how you would improve York Region’s active transportation network for a chance to win one of five $20 Amazon e-gift cards.

Webinars

Webinar participants have the chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card by filling out a post-webinar survey.

Register for one or all of the webinars by filling out this form. If the webinar you would like to attend has already happened, you we will send you a recording.

Productivity While Working From Home
Wednesday, July 15 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.


In this new normal, it can be difficult to find a balance between work and home life. Join our webinar to learn 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
Wednesday, July 22 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

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
Wednesday, July 29 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

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
Wednesday, August 5 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

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
Wednesday, August 12 | 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.

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.

Design Contest

As our daily commutes have been transformed, now is the time to consider what improvements you would like to see in York Region and Vaughan’s active travel network. Work with your family, friends and community to design the future of traveling around the region. Map out the trips you make and consider what new modes are available to you. Can you cycle to get groceries? How long does it take to walk to the park? Draw, paint or write in with your vision of how you hope to travel across the region!

Check out these designs for inspiration.

Design contest rules:

  • Your design must depict an improvement you would like to see to transportation within York Region. 
  • To win, you must be a resident of York Region. 
  • Entries must be submitted to info@smartcommutentv.ca with subject line ‘Design Contest
  • Entries must include your full name and the first three digits of your postal code
  • Entries will have a chance to win one of five $20 Amazon e-gift cards.
  • By submitting a design, you give Smart Commute permission to post your design on social media channels and include in campaign emails.

Contest closes on Friday, August 21 at midnight.

Who can participate? 

Individuals can submit their own designs, or families, friends, communities or colleagues can work together to create and submit a design. 

How can I create a design? 

Designs can be in any form that you want. They can be drawn, written, filmed, photographed, painted or even built from Lego!

What type of designs is Smart Commute looking for? 

We are looking for designs and ideas that focus on increasing or improving sustainable transportation in York Region based on your needs and challenges. Are there changes that you’d like to see which would help you get around both now and in future?  

Do you want to see more cycling in York Region? If so, you could sketch how cycling infrastructure could be improved. How would those bicycle lanes help you – would they make it easier to get to work, or would they make you more willing to cycle to the grocery store or to visit friends? 

Do you think that transit information could be displayed in a different way at your local bus stop? If so, sketch it out or describe it to us. 

Is your neighbourhood missing a walking connection that would make your life easier – if so, draw us a map or write it down! 

Have you discovered a new way of getting around during COVID-19 that you want to share, and think would work elsewhere? Why not submit photographs or a short video that walks us through your discovery? 

Do your children enjoy cycling? Can they build they street in Lego or Playmobil to show how they would like to cycle on it now and in the future? 

Are there any example designs that I can use for inspiration? 

Take a look at this CityLab article to see how others have mapped out what they’ve discovered and liked since COVID-19 lockdown. 

If you have plenty of toys on hand at home, can you replicate this Lego cycling scene

How many designs can I submit? 

You can enter as many designs as you would like. 

How will designs be judged? 

Priority will be given to designs that focus on sustainable and innovative modes of transportation, such as cycling, walking, scooters, public transit, carpooling, electric vehicles, carshare and remote work. 

We will be looking for designs and ideas which are either original, creative or innovative.  

How can designs be submitted? 

Submissions should be emailed to info@smartcommutentv.ca using the subject line ‘Design Contest’, and the email should include the participant’s full name and the first three characters of their postal code. 

Participants can submit a design send an image of their design, whether it is a photo, scan or computer-designed graphic, or submit a written response.  


pointA runs the Smart Commute program in North Toronto and Vaughan. Learn more about our work here.