Toronto District School Board


EcoSchools recognizes that schools wanting to make active, safe and sustainable transportation a larger part of their culture need help. The EcoSchools Cycling Support Program was developed to assist schools in addressing their cycling needs by providing them with an opportunity to apply for infrastructural and/or programming supports. To explore the cycling supports available to schools, click on the tabs below:



The TDSB’s Bike Rack program aims to help schools promote and support cycling through the installation of bike racks. The purchase and installation of bike racks acquired through this application will come at no cost to schools. By encouraging TDSB staff and students to ride their bikes, we can promote a healthier environment, increase the health of individuals and prevent traffic congestion. If your school has a proven commitment to active transportation and is in need of bike backs, we encourage you to apply!

What is the timeframe for the project?

Ongoing: Schools can submit an application form
June 30th: Deadline to submit application to be considered for spring installation of the following school year
Fall of the following school year:

Successful applicants are notified

An EcoSchools staff member will conduct site visits at the selected schools to determine bike rack placement

Spring of the next school year:

Bike racks will be installed at selected schools


How to apply for bike racks?

All schools are eligible to apply. Schools that are selected to receive bike racks must be able to demonstrate a high level of commitment (at least one EcoTeam action and one teaching and learning related activity) to be considered. We ask for this level of commitment to ensure the bike racks are well used and that their installation helps raise awareness around active transportation. The following criteria will be used to rank applications: 


Rating Values Description
Rating Criteria Weight 1 2 3 4 5
EcoSchools Certified 0.75 Not Certified Certified/Have applied
LOI Ranking

Elementary = (LOI Rank/474)

Secondary = (LOI Rank/110) 
0.25 81% - 100% 61% - 80% 41% - 60% 21% - 40% 0% - 20%
% of Bike Space to Population 0.50 >10% <10%
Commitment in the Past 0.75 Assessed based on the number of initiatives, duration, and
level of engagement. See rubric for more details.
Commitment: EcoAction 0.25 Assessed based on the number of initiatives, duration, and
level of engagement. See rubric for more details.
Commitment: Teaching 0.25 Assessed based on the level of engagement. See rubric for details.


After you have read all of the information please complete the application form and submit it to Serita.Lawson@tdsb.on.ca  by June 30th.

NOTE: Preference will be given to schools who are not receiving EcoSchools water bottle refill stations or large trees in the same application year.

SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WILL BE CONTACTED IN SEPTEMBER OF THE FOLLOWING SCHOOL YEAR.

If your school was not successful and you would like feedback on your application please contact Serita.Lawson@tdsb.on.ca.

For ideas of what this might look like at your school, review the Active Safe and Sustainable Transportation Initiative Ideas resource, or see the examples below.

›  Create targeted communications
Targeted signage

Targeted signage can help to promote campaigns and communicate to the community the benefits of travelling in an active and sustainable way. Use signage to promote active transportation as both a healthy and sustainable alternative to single passenger vehicle trip. Including interesting facts with your signage can help to draw in your audience. Did you know if children walked for all trips of less than one kilometre, they would take an average of 2,238 additional steps per day?

Dedicated display

Select a highly-trafficked area of the school, such as in the main foyer, or near the gym/cafeteria, and create an active transportation themed display. Content can be fact-based, including statistics and tips related to the benefits of choosing an active mode of transportation for our health and the environment. Alternatively, you could use your display to promote a campaign or visually represent active transportation monitoring (see below for more details).

Announcements and Newsletters

Remind staff and students to use an active mode of transportation during morning announcements. Send the message home by including relevant content

›  Monitor modes of transportation at your school
Tracking the modes of transportation that staff and students use to travel to and from school over a period of time can help to influence the focus of future campaigns. For example, if you notice the vast majority of students are driven to school, despite living within walking distance, challenge students to walk to school once a week through a Walking Wednesdays campaign (see Active Transportation Themed Days below for more details). Use your collected data to set a benchmark and see if there is a modal shift over time.

›  Active Transportation Themed Days
Integrating active transportation into your school’s regular routine is a great way to build a culture of awareness. The following suggestions can be done on a weekly or monthly basis:

Anything But Car (ABC) Day

As the name suggests, on Anything But Car (ABC) Day, staff and students are asked to rethink their travel to school and use a mode of transportation other than a vehicle. As an incentive, some schools have experienced success by having a TTC transfer raffle. To thank students for their participation, consider posting thank-you notes on bikes that are locked to the bike racks at your school.

Walking/Wheeling Wednesdays

Invite staff and students to walk/wheel to school on a designated day each week/month. To encourage participation, consider holding a competition between classes. At the end of each week/month, recognize the class with the highest number of participants by presenting them with an award such as the “golden shoe award”. You can also turn this initiative into a fun learning opportunity by counting and celebrating the number of kilometres your school has walked, combined. To put the numbers into perspective, record the distances on a map of Canada.

›  Host a Bike Rodeo
Bike rodeos provide students with an opportunity to learn and practice cycling skills in a controlled environment. During the rodeo, students rotate between stations to learn a variety of cycling skills including proper helmet sizing, road safety, and bike maintenance. Consider Inviting members of the community, including parents, police officers, and your public health nurse to join in the day’s events. For more ideas, check out Active & Safe Routes to Schools’ Tips for Planning a Successful Bike Rodeo.

›  Establish a Walking school bus

Many parents recognize the benefits of active transportation but are hesitant to allow their children to walk to school due to safety concerns. With a walking school bus, a group of students, led by an adult, travel a designated route to school each day, “picking up” students along the way. See Safe Routes to Schools’ website for more details.

›  Start a Bike Club

Gather a group of like-minded students and teachers and start a bike club! As a team, plan group rides, go on bike-themed field trips and/or learn bike maintenance skills and road safety. Organizations with a focus on cycling, such as Cycle Toronto or CultureLink may be helpful resources as you establish your club. Contact Serita Lawson if you are interested in connecting with bike clubs in at other schools in the TDSB.

›  Clean Air Campaign

Launch a campaign that is dedicated to improving the air quality around your school. If idling is an issue at you school during drop-off and pick-up times, consider creating some student-made anti-idling signs to remind parents to turn off their engines while waiting. Feeling really committed?

Go one step further and establish an idle-free zone at your school. See Safe Routes to School for more details.

›  Include a Teaching and Learning Component

Active transportation offers numerous learning opportunities, and can complement a variety of curriculum areas. Consider incorporating a focus on active transportation into classroom teaching or, for a larger impact, a school-wide learning initiative. Some topics you may want to explore include:

Health & Physical Education STEM Social Studies, History and Geography
Active Living Strand
  • Physical fitness benefits of using active modes of transportation
  • Mental and emotional health benefits of using active modes of transportation
Healthy Living Strand
  • Road safety
Examples of real world problems:
  • What are the environmental impacts of active modes of transportation/non-active modes of transportation?

    E.g. how is our air quality impacted by different modes of transportation?
  • How could the modes of transportation that students use to travel to and from school be tracked/assessed/measured?
  • How could changes to infrastructure increase/decrease active transportation in our community?

    E.g. presence or lack of bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks etc.
  • How do structures used in active transportation (e.g. bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards) create friction?
Social Studies, History and Geography

People and Environments
  • Cultural patterns and trends of active transportation locally/global
  • Assessing the transportation options and barriers in your school community
  • Plan and design infrastructural changes that promote green transportation within the city
  • Investigating the impacts of various modes of transportation on land use
  • Citizenship responsibilities to advocate for equality/access in relation to active transportation
›  School Travel Plan
Creating a school travel plan with short, medium and long term plans, can help to encourage students to travel to and from school in a
safe and active way. Conduct a neighbourhood walkabout to identify the barriers and travel needs of your school and then create an action plan.

For a step-by-step guide to creating a school travel plan, see the Active & Safe Routes to Schools’ website.





›  Events
Car Free Day – Sept. 22nd, 2015 

International Walk to School Day – October 7th. 2015

Winter Walk Day – Feb 3rd, 2015

Bike to School Week – May 30th to June 3rd, 2016

›  Organizations

Cycle Toronto

CultureLink Bike to School Project

Evergreen Bike Works DIY bicycle repair and workshop

Health & Physical Education STEM Social Studies, History and Geography
Active Living Strand
  • Physical fitness benefits of using active modes of transportation
  • Mental and emotional health benefits of using active modes of transportation
Healthy Living Strand
  • Road safety
Examples of real world problems:
  • What are the environmental impacts of active modes of transportation/non-active modes of transportation?

    E.g. how is our air quality impacted by different modes of transportation?
  • How could the modes of transportation that students use to travel to and from school be tracked/assessed/measured?
  • How could changes to infrastructure increase/decrease active transportation in our community?

    E.g. presence or lack of bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks etc.
  • How do structures used in active transportation (e.g. bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards) create friction?
Social Studies, History and Geography

People and Environments
  • Cultural patterns and trends of active transportation locally/global
  • Assessing the transportation options and barriers in your school community
  • Plan and design infrastructural changes that promote green transportation within the city
  • Investigating the impacts of various modes of transportation on land use
  • Citizenship responsibilities to advocate for equality/access in relation to active transportation

›  Helpful Resources
Active Safe Routes to School

CAN BIKE Cycling Safety Courses for Students

Idle-Free Campaign Kit

The City of Toronto Cycling Map

Schools can now apply to have a skills-based cycling education program presented at their school, free of charge.

What is the timeframe?

February 28th Deadline to submit application for consideration for spring programming
March Schools are notified
April – June Programs are delivered.

All schools are eligible to apply. Schools that did not receive an EcoSchools Cycling Education Program during the previous school year will be given priority in the selection process. All other schools will be selected based on a lottery.

The following is a list of programs available to schools during the spring of 2018.

Please Note: to accommodate as many schools as possible, we are only able to offer one free program to each selected elementary school. Secondary schools can select up to two Cycling Education Programs.

Elementary and Middle School Programs:

Program Description Program Length Audience Staff/volunteers required* Bikes required?
Instructional Day
A. Bike Rodeo

Four instructors deliver an outdoor riding skills and safety activity organized in six stations. Extra helmets and all signage will be provided.

A signed Parent/Guardian Permission for Excursion Form is required for all students participating in this program. It is the responsibility of the school to collect this form prior to program delivery.

150 min. Gr. K – 8
69 – 138 students
1 adult: 23 students Yes
B. Bike Assembly

Two instructors present a cycling-focused assembly. During a typical half day, three assemblies can be presented. The school must be able to provide a laptop (with PowerPoint) and a projector with speakers.

25-35 min. Gr. K - 8 Whole school 1 per class No
C. Mechanics workshop Two instructors present a workshop introducing the ABCs (Air, Brakes, Chain) of bike maintenance and repairs during class time and may provide assistance with repairs before/after class or during lunch. All tools and some consumables (tubes, cables, etc.) are provided by the instructors. During a typical half day, three workshops can be delivered. 25-35 min. Gr. 4 – 8 2 – 6 classes 1 per class Optional

Secondary School Programs:

Program Description Program Length Audience Staff/volunteers required* Bikes required?
A. Road Safety

Two instructors present classroom workshops, with interactive elements, about cycling rules, safety tips and bike maintenance. During a typical half day, two workshops can be presented; the workshop can also be presented as an extracurricular activity. The school must be able to provide a laptop with PowerPoint and a projector.

50 - 75 min. 1-2 classes or during lunch/after school 1 – 2 (depending on # of classes/students) No
B. Riding Skills Workshop

Two instructors present an outdoor workshop covering starting and braking, steering, shoulder checking, signalling, and group riding protocol. During a typical half day, two workshops can be presented; the workshop can also be presented after school as an extracurricular activity. Presenters provide extra helmets. With advance notice, schools may also borrow a fleet of bikes, with the cost of transporting them borne by the school.

Students must attend a Road Safety workshop prior to participating in the Riding Skills Workshop. Together, these workshops meet OPHEA requirements for preparation for student bike excursions off school property.

75 min. 1-2 classes or after school. If teachers wish to present this after-school we will ask for details about the promotional plan prior to confirming the program.  1 – 2 (depending on # of classes/ students) Yes
C. Mechanics workshop
Two instructors present a workshop introducing the ABCs (Air, Brakes, Chain) of bike maintenance and repairs. Students can bring their own bikes and may receive assistance in performing maintenance and repairs during or outside class time. All tools and some consumables (tubes, cables, etc.) are provided by the mechanic. During a typical half day, two workshops can be presented; the workshop can also be presented during lunch as an extracurricular activity.
50 - 75 min. 1-2 classes or during lunch period. Note: after school sessions have not been well-attended.  1 – 2 (depending on # of students) No

*Schools must commit to providing the designated number of staff/school volunteers to assist with program delivery

After you have read all of the information, please complete the application form and submit it to Serita.Lawson@tdsb.on.ca by February 28th.

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