How walk-able is your neighborhood?

Walk Score is a free website that rates properties on their walk-ability It calculates the proximity to amenities (such as grocery stores, parks, and schools) and gives a score out of 100. More amenities nearby means a higher Walk Score. Visit the website and check out some properties near you to see how they step up.

We’ve checked the Walk Scores of a few places around Kingston:
City Hall: 100​
Police Headquarters: 57​
KFL&A Public Health: 55​
YMCA: 77​
Artillery Park: 98​
The Invista Centre: 32

(August, 2012)

​Walking to work brings multiple benefits for Kingston woman

Enjoying a good book is not normally the kind of activity you associate with getting your heart rate up, giving your lungs a workout, or helping to prevent chronic disease. But Anne Godlewska gets all those benefits and more. While walking the 40 minute commute to and from work, she likes to listen to her favourite audio books.

“I’ve listened to some great books over the last year,” says Anne, 53. “I go through two or three novels and some non-fiction books every month.”

Anne does own a car for longer trips or to carry heavy loads. But walking is her preferred mode of active transportation, which is the practice of getting to one’s destination using self-propelled power.

“I feel great by the time I get to work,” says Anne, professor and head of the Geography Department at Queen’s University. When she’s not “reading”, Anne likes to use the time to think. “I have this block of time – I can’t get there any faster – where I can just think. I can prepare for the day, clear out the cobwebs, get the right attitude. Once I get to work, I’m more alert; I have a better attention span, a more even temper.”

What are the other benefits of travelling the active way? Anne finds that she no longer has to worry about her weight. “If I eat moderately, I have no trouble controlling my weight. That’s a big plus. And it’s more fun than going to the gym.” The physical activity also helps her get a good night’s sleep, especially if she has also included a walk downtown on top of her two-way commute.

The “interactive” nature of a good walk also appeals to Anne. “I get to know things about my neighbourhood, what’s going on, who’s who — in a way I never would if I drove to work in a car, where it’s like you’re in a glass bubble.”

While the 80-minute total trip may seem like a burden, says Anne, walking begets walking. “The more you walk, the more you want to walk. It’s just a natural part of my day now because I do it so much. My body just kind of expects it of me.” Besides, she says, walking is easy on her knees which used to take a beating when squash was her main form of exercise.

“I’ve always loved walking, actually,” she says. “In fact, when I was a child, I used to have a dream that I would one day walk across Russia – it has to do with my Polish heritage.”

Kingston is far from Russia but everyday, bit by bit, Anne gets closer to covering that distance on her daily commutes.