Walk Score® is a privately owned company that accords walkability ratings to cities and neighbourhoods through their website and an iOS mobile app. Founded in 2007, the company’s mission is to “promote walkable neighbourhoods” with the belief that “walkable neighborhoods are one of the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health, and our economy.”
Walk Score is the leading service that provides neighborhood walkability analysis and the only service that makes it easy for buyers to find places to live where they can “drive less and live more”.
Most people who are in the market to purchase a condo show a marked preference for walkable neighbourhoods, where a range of practical services and entertainment venues are accessible on foot. They are looking for a location close to work or school and public transportation as well as grocery stores, restaurants, shopping, bike paths and green spaces, convenience stores, and more.
Walk Score’s main product is a free, large-scale walkability index that is publicly accessible through their website. They use a patent-pending system of scoring and search technologies to calculate a numerical walkability score for regions, cities, neighbourhoods and specific addresses throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. They compile this information using several search tools including Google, Education.com, Open Street Map and Localeze.
The Walk Score algorithm awards points to specific locations based on the distance of that location to the closest amenity in a variety of categories. The different categories include Schools, Outdoor Places, Restaurants & Bars, Coffee Shops, Groceries, Car & Bike Shares, Art & Community, Shopping, Entertainment, Health and Public Transit, among others. Each category is evaluated equally and the points are added to obtain a score on 100 points. If the closest amenity in a category is within 0.4 km, the location receives the maximum number of points. The number of points is incrementally reduced as the distance approaches 1.6 km and no points are awarded for amenities further than 1.6 km from a given location.
Walk Score made news headlines in Canada recently after releasing their report ranking Canada’s Most Walkable Cities. Topping the list were Vancouver (Walk Score 78%), Toronto (Walk Score 71%) and Montreal (Walk Score 70%).
A further breakdown of Montreal boroughs reveals several locations that rank in the 80ies and up to 93 on the Walk Score scale, including the Plateau-Mont-Royal (Walk Score 93%) and Ville-Marie (Walk Score 91%).
As an example, you can see the Walk Score evaluation for DevMcGill’s condominium project, the St-Dominique, located in downtown Montreal between Saint-Laurent Boulevard and St-Dominique Street. The site ranks a Walk Score of an amazing 98 on 100, which means that the location is recognized as a “Walker’s Paradise” where “daily errands do not require a car”.
Follow this link to see Walk Score’s breakdown of the St-Dominique’s location in terms of walkability and to see all the services near the site of this new condominium project in Montreal.
Similar to the Walk Score, the website also provides a Bike Score, calculating the accessibility and proximity of bike paths and bike-able areas, as well as a Transit Score, indicating the proximity of the public transit services quickly and easily accessed from a given location. The St-Dominique condominium development’s location was accorded an incredible Bike Score of 100 and Transit Score of 100 as well, with the nearest access to public transportation for the site at only 41 metres away.
Walk Score® is quickly becoming a valuable tool for homebuyers and for the real estate industry in general. Their aim is to make it easy for people to evaluate walkability and transportation options when contemplating where to live. Walk Score’s vision is to see every future property listing include not only the number of bedrooms and bathrooms but the Walk Score as well.
To learn the Walk Score for your neighbourhood, go to www.redfin.com/how-walk-score-works
Click here to learn more about the St-Dominique condominium project and all of DevMcGill’s Montreal condo developments.
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