The #1 Reason to Walk to Work

Walking to work is a win-win on so many levels. Here are some of the most popular reasons to ditch the TTC or car and put on your walking shoes:

  • Getting fit
  • Saving money
  • Reducing your carbon footprint
  • Reducing stress

These are all great reasons to commute by foot. But the #1 reason in my opinion is this:


Image: under Creative Commons CCo

Walking is virtually 100% reliable.

In the years I’ve walked to work it’s been SO NICE to know when I’m going to get there! No worries about getting held up by

  • traffic jams
  • getting doored
  • streetcars or buses getting bunched up
  • all manner of delays on the subway.

When I commute by foot, there is almost no chance that I will arrive late.

You may think, what about the weather? Recently we had an ice storm.

Ice covered tree branches in Toronto

Ice storm, Toronto, February 2017

And yes – I decided to take public transit when the sidewalks were completely coated with ice  – because I am not superhuman!

(Plus I don’t have those fancy convertible ice-picky boots. More on walking gear in a coming post!)

But in the usual course of weather – through rain, snow, sleet and hail, as well as wind, sun and smog – I know if I need to figure in a bit of extra time. Because I’ve done it for so long, I have a pretty good idea of my walking speed in any weather.

Taking the weather into account

  • Factoring in for heavy snow, I will leave up to 15 minutes earlier.

For example, my commute takes me across the Prince Edward Viaduct. Some bleak winter mornings, the plows haven’t gotten to those sidewalks after a heavy snow. I have trudged through knee-deep drifts and am here to tell you that it’s a great workout! Once I reach Sherbourne it’s usually pretty smooth sailing after that. Because in case you didn’t know, here in Toronto our slogan is “Be Nice – Clear Your Ice.”

  • A very heavy rain and/or high wind means I need an extra five minutes.

I was very surprised the first time strong gusts of wind across the viaduct actually stopped me in my tracks. Is it possible to be windswept right off the bridge? It sure feels like it sometimes. Maybe I’ve just been lucky so far.

  • Add five minutes for shade-seeking.

Except for the viaduct, which I must traverse to get downtown, I have a choice of routes to walk. In the heat, humidity and smog of a Toronto summer, I will give myself a few extra minutes to walk in the shade every chance I get.

You can count on me

I am always the first person at the office when there’s been heavy snow. Once, I was one of only two people who made it in that day! The others had turned back in defeat after sitting in their cars in traffic or waiting for transit to operate properly for like, two hours! Yikes!

Sometimes I’m the only one there for a 9:00 a.m. meeting, thinking this is weird, did I get the date wrong? Completely – and happily – oblivious to a widespread subway delay.

How’s that for reliable?

Tweet: #1 Reason to Walk to Work #thewalkingcommuter


14 thoughts on “The #1 Reason to Walk to Work

  1. As for winter walking, take that beautiful falling snow on Sunday…….it was a pleasure to walk In it for almost an hour. I did that and I am 81, a confirmed and convinced walker.


    • Thanks for your comment. I’m planning to discuss the differences between a pleasure walk and a walking commute in an upcoming post. They have a lot in common but a few key differences.


  2. Nice start to your blog! Sounds like you have daily adventures that we take for granted when we are travelling around in our tin cans. Of course I mean those things that shelter us all the time from the outside world. Looking forward to reading more.


  3. What a great subject for contemplation. I’m older now and have been retired since 2005 (Yikes !!), and unfortunately I’ve never been in a position to walk to work. If I were to think about walking for a “commute,” I think about my walk to school in 5th grade in Northern Virginia in the later 50’s. I remember taking up the French Horn to eventually play in the school band. I never got as far as doing the orchestral thing, because the horn and case weighed what seemed like 100 pounds, and I gave it up early dreading the carry. The other memory that comes back to me is weather, particularly the more extreme winter weather.

    But the concept in general is almost romantic !! I would wonder now how many really GREAT ideas could occur during such a time that the body is active and the mind wandering and reflective. Can’t do that while driving so much.



    • Thanks for your comment! Great to hear about your early walking experience. Carrying heavy stuff is something I plan to discuss in an upcoming post, but a french horn might be a little beyond my scope!


  4. Pingback: The #1 Reason to Walk to Work | Waves by TJ

  5. Pingback: It could change your life! Survey results | The Walking Commuter

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