Toronto - Dr. David Suzuki, World Record Walk, Youth Conference: all highlights of international walking conference in Toronto

More than 350 delegates from around the world will be in Toronto from October 1-4 to participate in Walk21 Toronto 2007, a major international conference that addresses issues relating to walking and pedestrian environments, and liveable communities. The event is co-hosted by Green Communities Canada - a national umbrella organization that is actively involved in health and environment issues.

The conference’s theme is “putting pedestrians first” and will focus on the importance of walking in urban, suburban and rural communities. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss various walking issues in an international forum. Delegates include leaders of government, academia, private sector, and community and non-government organizations. Conference sessions are located at The Design Exchange, 234 Bay St. and at Metro Hall, 55 John St.

Event highlights:

  • Dr. David Suzuki will provide the keynote address at the opening session on October 2 at 9:30 a.m. at the Design Exchange. His topic will be “Human Beings: The Real Bigfoot.”
  • The World Record Walk will take place on October 3 at 12:30 p.m. Participants from across Canada will try to break the existing Guinness World Record for the largest number of people walking one kilometre simultaneously. The current record was set in September 2006 by Western Australia with 100,000 participants.
  • A youth forum will be held that will bring together 200 Canadian and international youth delegates aged 13 to 19 to share strategies and generate a stronger youth network to advocate for increased sustainable and active transportation locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Signing of International Pedestrian Charter.

“Toronto is pleased and privileged to be involved in this world renowned conference,” said Mayor David Miller. “Toronto is a vibrant, walkable city and we look forward to this opportunity to showcase the city and our neighbourhoods to the delegates who attend this event.”

Conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to explore and analyze Toronto from a pedestrian’s perspective. The conference will also highlight many of the best practices in use in other areas of the world and identify the need for future research.

For more information about the event, visit the website at http://www.toronto.ca/walk21