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AccessAbility Day

"Charting Our Course", was the theme for AccessAbility Day 2016 where participants learned more about the 115 new accessibility initiatives included in the 2016-2020 City of Ottawa Municipal Accessibility Plan (COMAP).

Photo montage depicting various activities with participants during 13th annual AccessAbility Day held on June 1, 2016

The Opening Ceremony was emceed by Adrian Harewood, co-host of CBC News Ottawa and began with welcoming remarks from the City Manager Steve Kanellakos.

Participants had the opportunity to hear from two keynote speakers: The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, and Parliamentary Assistant Marie France Lalonde, MPP Ottawa-Orléans. Both spoke to Federal and Provincial commitments to enhance accessibility for all.

Mayor Watson proclaimed June 1, 2016 AccessAbility Day in the City of Ottawa, and presented this proclamation to Accessibility Advisory Committee Chair Brian Wade.

The weather was perfect for the outdoor barbeque lunch, as participants engaged with City staff during the Departmental Accessibility Initiative Showcase. There was also an opportunity for participants to enjoy an installation of works by local artists with disabilities.

In the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to take part in a number of activities including:

  • PaintAbility, where participants expressed themselves creatively, using a wide range of modified tools, facilitated by Katie Jacobson-Lang of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department;
  • A sensory-based storytelling, facilitated by Margaret-Mary Conlon of the Ottawa Public Library; and
  • Musical entertainment and full participation with movement, singing and dancing with Ottawa Blues Lady, Maria Hawkins.

The City's 13th annual AccessAbility Day was a great success; an opportunity to look towards the future, and celebrate accomplishments.

Please check back next year for news and registration for AccessAbility Day 2017.

Accessibility by Design Award

What is the Accessibility by Design Award?

The City of Ottawa, in partnership with the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), created this award to recognize an architectural or interior design that facilitates access for persons with disabilities.

This award:

  • Promotes architectural and interior design innovations and vision in lowering barriers and enabling accessibility for all individuals
  • Recognizes significant achievement toward promoting the integration and independence of persons with disabilities, through design
  • Recognizes significant achievement toward promoting community accessibility
  • Creates awareness on the importance of designing buildings that are more easily accessible

Who is Eligible for the Award?

A person, team and/or organization in the architecture, interior design or real property field that has made a significant, innovative contribution to a building structure or design.

How is the Award Winner selected?

The Selection Committee is comprised of individuals from the Celebration of People Steering Committee and may include other invited individuals. The Selection Committee chooses the finalists for each award from amongst the nominations received. All Selection Committee deliberations will remain confidential and decisions are final.

The Accessibility by Design Award is presented at the Celebration of People event each year.

Accessibility by Design Award Winners


André Marcoux, Project Manager, Cleland Jardine Engineering
Vladimir Popovic, Architect, Popovic Routhier Architects Inc.

André Marcoux and Vladimir Popovic transformed a small 50 year old house into a fully accessible 2300 square foot home for six full time residents with developmental disabilities and high physical needs. Through strategic planning and careful consideration of the principles of Universal Design, André and Vladimir addressed the special needs unique to each resident and created a beautiful, fully functional environment to call home.


Delcan Corporation - Sylvain Montminy, Ronald Fournier and Ken Smith

Delcan Corporation was the lead consultant for the planning, design and construction of the Corktown Footbridge, winner of several design awards. Linking Centretown and Sandy Hill across the Rideau Canal, the footbridge meets the highest standards of accessibility, and includes barrier-free integration with the recreational pathways and an innovative switchback ramp. The bridge has made the Rideau Canal even more accessible to all.


Watson MacEwen Architects - Allan Teramura, Matt Siemers, Mike Sirois, Louise Meagher, Catherine Laforce

Watson MacEwen Architects and the Supreme Court of Canada collaborated to bring a new level of barrier-free accessibility to the highest court in the land. The Courtroom Modernization Project included a redesign of the lectern where counsel present to the Justices, so it can be adjusted by hydraulic lift to accommodate the needs of counsel with a disability.


Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects

The award recognized the firm’s architectural innovation for the renovation of the Glebe Community Centre. The project preserved the unique character of the building while creating an inclusive feel to the space from the front entrance to the top floor. The design provides a single, universally accessible main entrance and with the aid of an elevator, the rationalization of floor levels, and one ramped corridor, access is now provided to all levels of the building while preserving its heritage character,”


ema Architects Inc. - Robert Matthews

Robert Matthews of ema Architects Inc. was presented with the award for architectural excellence and innovation in the design of the international ice surface and field house at the Bell Sensplex, Ottawa's first barrier-free multi-sport facility.

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