A Brief Look at Montreal’s Active Living Environment

The Canadian Active Living Environments Measure (‘Can-ALE’) is Canada’s first freely accessible measure of the favourability of active living environments, or ‘walkability’.

The dataset contains several measures of the active living friendliness of Canadian neighbourhoods – structural support for walking, cycling, public transport and other physically active ways of getting around.

There are many measures in the dataset, but one measure (the ‘ALE Class’) categorizes neighbourhoods according to the neighbourhood’s connectedness of roads and footpaths, the density of dwellings in the neighbourhood, and proximity to destinations.

Neighbourhoods in ALE Class 1 have less structural support for active transportation, while neighbourhoods in ALE Class 5 have the most potential to support walking and cycling for transportation.

You can see how neighbourhoods within each ALE Class differ here:

In more active living friendly neighbourhoods, the method of commuting by walking, cycling, and public transportation is higher.

Active transportation is not only used for commuting, but also for going to school, for shopping, to visit family or friends, etc.

Below, you can see the number of minutes that people walk for transportation per week by ALE Class.

Note that walking and cycling occurs in all Canadian communities, but in more favourable active living environments, active transportation may support enough physical activity to meet World Health Organization guidelines.

Click on the map below to see where the Montreal region stands: