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Accessible parking regulations have changed

July 10, 2018
Feature Stories

The City has updated its Traffic and Parking By-law and changes came into affect June 1, 2018. Part C of the by-law, pertaining to “Parking Required For Persons with Disabilities”, now require all parking in the City of Ottawa to adhere to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards.

It was one line in a large report but it will have a significant impact for residents with disabilities. 

The change requires any new and redeveloped off-street parking to accommodate accessible parking spaces.* If you own a business with a parking lot, this could affect you in the future. Existing facilities will not need to make changes unless they are building a new parking facility or redeveloping an existing one. If you plan to build a new business premise with parking, or redevelop existing parking spaces, these new rules will apply to you.

What are the changes?

First, it is important to note that there are two different types of accessible parking:

  • Type A is a minimum 3400 mm wide. These would accommodate larger vehicles such as vans that are equipped with transfer ramps for users with mobility aids.
  • Type B is a minimum of 2400 mm wide and accommodates users who, while able to move around, have limited mobility and cannot travel lengthy distances, or who use mobility aids, such as canes, crutches and walkers.

Image displays Type A and Type B parking spaces and features the access aisles required between accessible parking space

The image shows the accessible path of travel, typical curb ramp or level access, typical vertical signage, typical pavement marking, access aisle, curb ramp and Type A and Type B parking spaces.


When building these new parking spaces, it is important to note that these spaces require Access Aisles. These aisles may be shared by two parking spaces for the use of persons with disabilities in an off-street parking facility and must meet the following requirements:

  • They must have a minimum width of 1,500 mm
  • They must extend the full length of the parking space

So what types of spaces are you required to include? That depends on the size of your parking lot.

The total amount of parking spaces you’ll have influences what types of parking will be required. As of January 1, 2018, the AODA requirements are:

  • 1-12 spaces – 1 Type A space
  • 13-100 spaces – 4% of total spaces (1 to 4) with an equal amount of Type A and B spaces
  • 101-200 spaces – 1 + 3% of total (5 to 7 spaces) with an equal amount of Type A and B spaces
  • 201-1000 spaces – 2 + 2% of total (7 to 22 spaces) with an equal amount of Type A and B spaces
  • 1001+ spaces – 11 + 1% of total (minimum 22) with an equal amount of Type A and B spaces

If the total number of spots required is an odd number, the extra space can be a Type B space.

  • They must be marked with high tonal contrast diagonal lines to discourage people from using them as actual parking spots

Proper signage will be required. It should look like this:

Proper accessible parking signage requirements are shown for Type A and Type B spaces

These vertical signs must:

  • Be marked with International Symbol of Accessibility;
  • Be 300 mm wide by 600 mm high (minimum);
  • Be mounted at height of 1500 mm to 2000 mm (centre) (e.g., wall or postmounted), from ground / floor;
  • Provide high tonal contrast between sign and background environment;
  • Provide information text, compliant with City By-law requirements; and
  • Provide additional bilingual signage that identifies Type A spaces as “van accessible / fourgonnette accessible”.

For more information on accessibility requirements, please contact


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