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Activating Kawartha Lakes

The City of Kawartha Lakes is working hard to transform our municipality into a more successful, desirable, and sustainable place to live. A large part of that action is ensuring that our streets and built environments support and enable healthy, active living by providing opportunities for accessible and safe streetscapes and active transportation options.

The Activating Kawartha Lakes event, held on June 5th, provided tremendous educational and networking opportunities that will go a long way towards accomplishing these goals. The event was a partnership between the City Planning Division and Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s Healthy Communities Project. Funding was also provided by Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation.

The keynote speaker for this event was Dan Burden of the Walkable & Livable Communities Institute. Dan has worked with nearly 4000 communities in North America helping them determine the policies, infrastructure and features that make communities and downtowns successful, sustainable places for people.

“Of the nearly 4,000 communities I have worked with throughout North America, I’ve found that the healthiest places, with the happiest people, are the places where streets and public investments prioritize people, not just the fast movement of cars. So whether we are in urban or rural areas, when we are looking for ways to get back on our feet, we’ve got to think about how we’re designing the built environment and what we’re prioritizing,” said Mr. Burden.

The leading partner in the inception and organization of this event was the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

“We have been planning our communities for years around how best to move cars, not people. That has had a negative impact on our health. Things will start to change in the City of Kawartha Lakes as we place value on providing policies and infrastructure to support safe walking and cycling for all ages and abilities,” said Lisa Kaldeway, Health Promoter with the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Designing active communities will not only benefit the health of residents, but can also contribute to the local economy through increased tourism revenue. Other regions in Ontario have seen these benefits, and so can we.”

The event proved to be very successful and well attended by approximately 70 local residents and community stakeholders. The morning session was held at the Academy Theatre where Dan Burden and other speakers provided sessions on the importance of active transportation and complete streets, citing examples of accomplishments in other municipalities across Ontario and North America.

The afternoon sessions included walking audits of downtown Lindsay and Fenelon Falls conducted by Mr. Burden and his team. These audits, attended by approximately 40 residents in each location, resulted in a number of recommendations for streetscape improvements that will increase walkability and pedestrian safety while promoting the downtown core areas.

Next Steps

A key recommendation coming from the day was to pursue the development of Urban Design Guidelines for CKL. Through the Health Unit’s Healthy Communities funding and a partnership with the Planning Division, sessions on urban design guidelines will be held for staff, council and stakeholders on November 27-28th.

Workshop Invitation Flyer (PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Additional Information

The following “Photovisions” provide a before and after snapshot of various locations where improvements can be made to the existing streets to incorporate safe and attractive streetscape environments


Kent Street, Lindsay (Before)


Kent Street, Lindsay (After)


Kent Street, Lindsay (Before)


Kent Street, Lindsay (After)


Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls (Before)


Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls (After)


Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls (Before)


Colborne Street, Fenelon Falls (After)


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