Complete Streets for Canada

policy and design hub for building safe and inviting streets for all

What terms are used to describe Complete Streets in Canada?

The Complete Streets for Canada Map uses four categories to describe Complete Streets: Policy, Approach, Case Study,and Example.

Policies are formally adopted by  municipal councils, as either a standalone policy, or as pat of a larger policy document, such as an Official Plan or a Transportation Master Plan. They must explicitly refer to Complete Streets, or "Rues Conviviales" in Québec.

Approaches encompass a variety of Complete Streets principles, but have not been formally adopted as a municipal policy. Approaches can include: 

  • A proposed Complete Streets policy not yet officially adopted by Council; 
  • Council direction to staff to write a report with recommendations for a Complete Streets policy;
  • Use of Complete Streets concepts or principles (e.g. plan for “all ages and abilities”) but not the term “Complete Streets” in official planning documents;
  • Policies clearly directing the incorporation of bicyclists and pedestrians, at minimum, into transportation project

Examples look at an ongoing or existing Complete Street project that may be developed in accordance with, or after the adoption of a Complete Streets policy or self-selected projects provided by municipalities. Examples must meet the requirements of a Complete Street approach.

Case Studies are in-depth analysis of a process that relates to the implementation of Complete Streets, which highlight relevant successes and challenges. These must include one or more of the following: Complete Streets policy, Design manuals or guidelines, or a Complete Streets approach.