Investigating Active Transportation and Seniors in Toronto

This literature review and jurisdictional scan focuses on the active transportation needs of seniors between 55 and 85 years old. It also recognizes that supporting active transportation among young and middle-aged Torontonians can create new behaviours that last into older age.

The results of this research provide a number of important lessons that decision makers in Toronto can use to support projects or make decisions about financial investments in urban planning and public safety (modifications to the neighbourhood environment that encourage mobility and social participation).

Five general insights summarize and synthesize the literature review findings:

1. Active transportation for seniors is an achievable goal.
2. Health supporting spaces can be as basic as having sidewalks in good repair.
3. Generally, improving pedestrian safety is a crucial first step.
4. Active transportation is the means of creating opportunities to increase physical activity, social connection and improved well-being.
5. Encouragement from friends and family can have a significant relationship in reinforcing physical activity choices.



Research Report


May 2017


Prepared by the Canadian Urban Institute in collaboration with Toronto Public Health and City of Toronto, Transportation Services

Project Team:

Sherry Biscope,
Toronto Public Health

Ariana Cancelli,
Canadian Urban Institute

Carol Mee,
Toronto Public Health

Glenn Miller,
Canadian Urban Institute

Dr. Meghan Winters,
Simon Fraser University

Sarah Lusina-Furst, MSc,
Centre for Hip Health and Mobility

Dan Leeming,
Planning Partnership