WestJet in-flight magazine ranks Vancouver 1st, Winnipeg 10th for walkability

WestJet passengers, may we have your attention, please. If you’re interested in visiting a city this summer that’s a nice place to explore on foot, please proceed directly to Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto or Halifax.

That’s the gist of an article published in the latest edition of “Up!”, WestJet’s in-flight magazine, now being read by a captive audience of thousands.

Robson Street, Vancouver

Out for a stroll along Vancouver's Robson Street, in Canada's most walkable city. (Copyright © jlegris; from Panoramio)

In a May 10 press release, RedPoint Media, which publishes the magazine on WestJet’s behalf, announced that “an esteemed judging panel that includes city luminaries like author Chris Turner, Jane’s Walk’s Jane Farrow and urban guru Gil Penalosa” had ranked Canada’s urban centres based “on the experience they provide for the pedestrian”.

Canada’s 10 most walkable cities are:

1.  Vancouver
2.  Victoria
3.  Montréal
4.  Toronto
5.  Halifax
6.  Quebec City
7.  Ottawa
8.  Calgary
9.  St. John’s
10. Winnipeg

Last year’s list, by contrast, not only excluded Winnipeg but — in an inexplicably bizarre oversight — also excluded both Montreal and Quebec City (what were they thinking?) while including Hamilton and Edmonton in the top 10 for walkability.

1. Vancouver
2. Toronto
3. Victoria
4. Halifax
5. Peterborough
6. Fredericton
7. Ottawa
8. Kamloops
9. Hamilton
10. Edmonton

For what it’s worth, Statistics Canada asks Canadians every five years about the method of transportation they use to get to work. Based on information from their 2006 Community Profiles site on the number of people who walk or ride a bike to work, here are how each of the cities noted above measure up in terms of their embrace of human-powered transportation:

1. Victoria (33%)
2. Vancouver (16%)
3. Fredericton (14%)
4. Peterborough (14%)
5. Halifax (11%)
6. Montreal (11%)
7. Quebec City (11%)
8. St. John’s (10%)
9. Ottawa (10%)
10. Toronto (9%)
11. Winnipeg (8%)
12. Edmonton (7%)
13. Calgary (7%)
14. Kamloops (7%)
15. Hamilton (6%)

(Note: Based on core city, not Census Metropolitan Area or Census Agglomeration. Halifax data refers to the Regional Municipality of Halifax.)

Which cities have you found most and least walkable in your travels? What was it that made them that way? What is the most walkable area of Winnipeg in your opinion? Share your comments below!

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About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

3 Responses to WestJet in-flight magazine ranks Vancouver 1st, Winnipeg 10th for walkability

  1. cherenkov says:

    Most walkable city? I don’t know. I’m going to say Toulouse, with the little bridges over the canals and such.

    Most walkable area of Winnipeg? Definitely not Charleswood. I walked to work downtown all the time when I lived in Osborne Village, but River Heights is very walkable too. St.Boniface. I walked to get food all the time when I lived in Norwood. Tough call….

    What do YOU think is the most walkable city and area of Winnipeg?

  2. theviewfromseven says:

    Good question. Of the cities I’m familiar with, I’d have to say that Vancouver is the most walkable here in Canada; and that Luxembourg and Paris were the most walkable overall (though Paris’s crowds and incessant noise do get to a person after a while).

    I’d have to say that Crescentwood is the most walkable part of Winnipeg, given its proximity to Corydon Village, Osborne Village and Downtown plus a fairly low crime rate. Osborne Village is also very walkable by day, though it merits some caution at night. River Heights and much of the area west of St. Mary’s Road are good at all hours.

    I’ve heard good things about Wolseley, but don’t know the neighbourhood well enough to comment.

  3. Jay says:

    I love going for walks in the evening, along the walking/bike trails in my area but who in their right mind would walk around in down town Winnipeg without a flack jacket?

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