Share the Road. Actually.

In January, I agreed to go on a local radio show after a months of tiresome back and forth on Twitter with the radio host. The majority of our online debates centred around how cities should function, from sidewalk snow clearance to cycling infrastructure. I figured an in-person conversation could be more productive, and perhaps … Continue reading Share the Road. Actually.

Sidewalk Snow Clearance is a Human Rights Issue

Another winter, another raging debate in my city about who should take responsibility for sidewalk snow clearance. Currently, residents are expected to clear their own sidewalks. Most of the people who are arguing against city sponsored sidewalk snow clearance are able bodied, so I imagine that it is easy for them to take this position. … Continue reading Sidewalk Snow Clearance is a Human Rights Issue

How Winter Cycling Saved My Mental Health

Who in their right mind rides a bike in the cold? Well, it turns out that riding a bike in the winter can actually help keep the mind “right”. It certainly did for me. Winter has always been challenging for me. I experience seasonal affective disorder, which amplifies the depression I normally deal with. With … Continue reading How Winter Cycling Saved My Mental Health

Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Do you live in a city? Do you reflect on how it makes you feel? I do. I’m actually doing my PhD in cognitive neuroscience examining that exact topic. I chose to spend 5 years in grad school exploring this issue because of my frontline work as a mental health occupational therapist. Occupational therapists look … Continue reading Building A Happy City May Be Easier Than You Think

Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

I’ve been trying to meditate more. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a necessity. I think too much. Partly because my PhD requires it. But, a lot of my “thinking” is actually just worrying. Often about things I can do nothing about. It’s always been this way for me. I’ve learned to “cope” with … Continue reading Moving Meditation: How Riding A Bike Can Keep You Grounded

Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

This past January, I finished my first year on the City of Kitchener's Cycling and Trails Advisory Committee. And I was considering quitting. Like many volunteers on city committees everywhere, I had a full plate of other responsibilities and commitments. Time was a precious commodity, and I was unsure as to whether my presence on … Continue reading Aiming for Bare Minimum: Why Cycletrack Networks Are the Only Way Forward

Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

About a year ago, I wrote a post about how urban design can impact a person's sense of dignity. The issue has been on my mind regularly since. I think about it every day, actually. My research involves understanding how people perceive urban environments. A study I wrapped up this semester examined how being in the presence … Continue reading Put Yourself In Our Shoes: Using Empathy to Build Walkable Cities

On Multiculturalism in Canada: It’s Time To Practice What We Preach

So, yesterday was pretty much a write off for me, as I suspect it was for many. Our neighbours to the south voted in a fascist for president, and the reality of what that truly meant was quickly setting in. I reflected about what this victory meant for women, people of colour, people with disabilities, Muslims, the LGBTQ … Continue reading On Multiculturalism in Canada: It’s Time To Practice What We Preach

OT and HNPP: Some Thoughts on the Value of Occupational Therapy

It's occupational therapy month and I've been trying to figure out what I should write my annual OT blog post about. I got the idea for the post this morning on my bus ride home from the grocery store. It came to me as I contemplated punting a cantaloupe that escaped a grocery bag while I tried exiting the bus … Continue reading OT and HNPP: Some Thoughts on the Value of Occupational Therapy

Learning from Burning Man: Lessons in cultivating community and building happy cities

I recently returned from the trip journey of a lifetime. I crossed off a bucket list item and went to Burning Man. It’s been a few days since my return and the dust has settled enough (both figuratively and literally) for me to gather my thoughts on what it was that I experienced on that … Continue reading Learning from Burning Man: Lessons in cultivating community and building happy cities