Realtor.ca — the Canadian equivalent of Realtor.com — and other Canadian real estate sites including RoyalLePage.ca are now displaying "Walk Scores" generated by the Seattle-based real estate technology developer of the same name.
Walk Score says its rankings are the only international, quantitative rankings of walkability. Cities and neighborhoods are ranked on a scale of 0-100, with locations receiving a score of 90-100 deemed a "Walkers’ Paradise."
"Buyers are factoring in what’s nearby in their search for properties," said Marc Lafrance, the Canadian Real Estate Association’s director of product management, in a statement. "Adding Walk Score to Realtor.ca provides homebuyers with valuable insight into the location of a property and has been well received by our users. Walk Score’s new Canadian city and neighborhood rankings are a great new resource for people deciding where to live."
Residents of Toronto may not be seen strolling along the shores of Lake Ontario in January quite as often as Miami condo dwellers are on Atlantic beaches. But Walk Score said a recent Toronto Public Health study found "overwhelming consumer preference" for walkable neighborhoods with shops and services within walking distance, a short commute to work or school, and easy access to public transit. The study found that people living in walkable neighborhoods had lower body weights and that walkable neighborhoods reduced traffic and contributed to better air quality.
Walk Score currently rates the walkability of more than 300 Canadian cities and 1,200 neighborhoods. In its first ranking of most walkable cities and neighborhoods, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal topped a list of the top 10 largest cities, followed by Mississauga, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Hamilton, Brampton and Calgary.
Walk Score says it delivers more than 6 million scores for apartment and home addresses per day across a network of more than 15,000 real estate sites, including Zillow.com, Truliia.com, ZipRealty.com, ForRent.com, MyNewPlace and Windermere Real Estate.
Real estate website and Internet Data Exchange (IDX) providers including LPS Real Estate, Diverse Solutions and iHomeFinder include Walk Score in their products.
The company also offers neighborhood fliers, maps and HTML badges for real estate professionals’ websites.
WalkScore.com, which began displaying apartment rental listings from Craigslist in September 2011, now serves up rental listings from other sources including ForRent.com, HotPads.com, MyNewPlace.com, gosection8.com and EquityApartments.com. Listings can be sorted by Walk Score, rents, and time on market.