walkabilityWhat is a walkable community?

A walkable community is an area that has particular features that encourage people to explore the community on foot. In a walkable community, people can safely and easily walk to many of the areas that they need or want to go. They can also walk for leisure or exercise.

What makes Downtown Carleton Place a part of your walkable community?

According to “Canada Walks”, an initiative of Green Communities Canada, there are several key elements that make a community walkable, including: accessibility, access to amenities, aesthetics, connectivity, density/land use, and safety along walking routes. Other attractions such as events and entertainment in the downtown area encourage people to walk in the area. Below is a description of how Carleton Place meets these key elements of a walkable community.



A walkable community must be accessible to people of all ages and abilities, and for different modes of transportation.



  • Downtown Carleton Place has on-street parking, five large municipal parking lots, and all parking is FREE.
  • It is easy to park close to downtown and then walk to your destination.


Resting Areas:

  • When walking downtown you can take a break at picnic tables or benches positioned along the sidewalks.
  • Visit one of the parks in the downtown either beside the Town Hall on Mills Street, the Market Square on Beckwith Street, or a small park beside the Bridge that is right on the water.


Public Washrooms:

  • Public washrooms can be found at the Market Square, Town Hall Square and The Chamber of Commerce Visitors Station at the Moore House.


Accessible to Cyclists and Boaters:

  • You can travel by water to Carleton Place’s downtown and you can “dock and walk” downtown from a Public Boat Launch at the west end of Lake Avenue, or Public Docking at Riverside Park OR across from the Town Hall on Bridge Street.
  • You will find a You are Here sign directing you to walk towards downtown.
  • Cyclists can travel from Ottawa to Carleton Place on the Trans Canada Trail where they will also find a You Are Here sign directing them to the downtown.
  • Downtown you will find various locations with bicycle racks.


Accessibility for Seniors or People with Disabilities

  • Various crosswalks provide enough time for seniors or children to cross the street.
  • Sidewalks are wide enough for electric scooters, walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers.
  • Audible crosswalks help those who are visually impaired to cross the street.


Downtowner Map (PDF)

Municipal Parking Lots (PDF)

Access to Amenities

In a walkable community, the school, grocery store, community centre, park, library, and other amenities and services are all within walking distance.


Shopping and dining:

  • Choose one of the many excellent downtown dining locations and enjoy a meal or get take out for lunch or dinner and enjoy it at one of the town’s resting areas or parks.
  • When you stroll the retail businesses of the downtown, you will find unique shopping opportunities for yourself or for others.
  • The downtown offers sidewalks to your favorite grocery stores, salon services, or professional offices.


Walk to Work:

  • Downtown Carleton Place is an employment area for many local people who enjoy walking to work from their homes.
  • Employees can also ride their bike or drive to a local area and then walk whatever distance they wish to reach their place of employment.


Urban Living:

  • There are many urban living locations downtown from apartments, condominiums, single dwelling homes, and senior residents, with more to be built.


Schools, Library, Churches and Community Centre:

  • When you live in the downtown area, you can safely walk to local schools with crossing guards at major intersections.
  • The local library is within walking distance of many urban homes and downtown, offering educational and leisure reading and computer opportunities.
  • Carambeck Community Centre is conveniently located close to downtown.
  • Safely walk on the side walk to church in the heart of town.



An attractive and well-kept community encourages people to further explore the area on foot.



  • Summer time hosts a beautiful display of hanging baskets and planters throughout the entire downtown, making it the perfect place to take a stroll.
  • Business owners have floral displays outside of their business entrance.
  • The town staff take care of weeds and create beautiful gardens to anchor the entrance of downtown.
  • The streets are lined with green trees, which are adorned with brilliant LED lights in the winter.
  • A stunning display of festive decorations embellish the downtown bridge in the winter.



  • When you walk downtown Carleton Place you can take in various murals throughout the area that highlight the rich history of the community.
  • Beautiful heritage buildings can be viewed by pedestrians as they take in the town’s architectural and cultural character

Density/ Land Use

A community with medium density and mixed uses provides the best circumstances for walkability.



  • There are many urban living locations downtown from apartments, condominiums, single dwelling homes, and senior residents, with more to be built.
  • This increases the density of the area as there are different types of homes that allow more people to live in the area than just single dwelling homes.
  • Downtown Carleton Place fosters a mixture of land use, such as retail, residential, restaurants, market square, parks, and other services.


Good connectivity in a walkable community means that streets and paths connect one area to another and the community is easy to navigate.


Streets and Maps

  • The streets in Carleton Place’s downtown area are all interconnected, from Franktown Road to Bell Street.
  • These streets all have sidewalks that easily connect one area to the next.
  • Several parks, rest areas, and parking lots are connected to the main street for easy access.




Safety is crucial in order to have a community that is walkable.


Sidewalks and Street Lights

  • Downtown Carleton Place has sidewalks throughout the entire BIA, which are clear winter and summer for pedestrians.
  • Street lights line the main street to illuminate the area at night for walkers.


Street Crossing

  • There are four street light crossings that all have an audible crosswalk component.
  • There are two courtesy walks to help pedestrians cross the street.
  • Municipal crossing guards can be found at main intersections during the school year before and after school hours.


Events and Entertainment

Exciting events and entertainment attract people to the downtown area to walk around and enjoy all there is to see and do.


Farmers Market and Cruise Night

  • Downtown Carleton Place is the home of very special organized summer events at the Market Square.
  • The Farmers Market is every Saturday morning from May until September.
  • Cruise Night is each Wednesday evening from June until September.
  • Music at the Market is every week on alternating Tuesday or Thursday Evenings starting June 16th.


Community events

  • The Carleton Place BIA hosts several walkable community events, such as Bridge Street Bazaar, fundraisers, Shop the Neighborhood, and Organizational Awareness 5k walks through downtown
  • Review the BIA website for more specific details www.downtowncarletonplace.com

5K Downtown Map  (PDF)


Arts and entertainment

  • Downtown Carleton Place is the home of the Historical Town Hall Auditorium, and is the home of the local theatre group the Mississippi Mudds who have regular performances year round



  • Downtown Carleton Place offers a self-guided historical walking tour with the Carleton Place and Beckwith Historical Museum within a short walking distance from the downtown
  • The Railway Museum is located at the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers
  • The Visitors Station at the Moore House is a unique piece of Carleton Place history, and is right on Main Street
  • The cenotaph on Beckwith Street is located in a beautiful shaded park right beside the library which is within walking distance for many but at the same time offers public parking space


The Chamber of Commerce Visitors Station at the Moore House

  • The Visitors Station is an accessible building you can walk to and offers a range of tourist information for in and outside of our community.
  • This location (170 Bridge Street) is accessibility friendly and has public washrooms available, with a large free public parking space in the rear of the building.


Important Addresses

  • The Chamber of Commerce – Visitors Station at the Moore House – 170 Bridge Street
  • The Town Hall – 175 Bridge Street
  • The Town Hall – Square
  • The Library 101 – Beckwith Street
  • The Market Square – 7 Beckwith Street
  • The Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers – Train Museum – 142 Franktown Rd
  • The Carleton Place and Beckwith Historical Museum – 267 Edmund Street