As Toronto's building boom continues to pile condos into rapidly densifying areas around the city, conversations have begun to develop around many of the issues that arise with this housing typology, typically focusing on the creation of a vibrant public realm, and how to include space for families to live in high-rise buildings. However, one topic that has gone largely unaddressed is the issue of accessibility: how can condo housing accommodate residents who use mobility devices or have physical disabilities?
The Daniels Corporation has been working to address this issue of accessibility in condo units, and introduced a program this dubbed the Accessibility Designed Program (ADP), which offers condo suites specifically designed for purchasers who use mobility devices.
The features of the ADP suites exceed standard Ontario Building Code accessibility requirements, and include design elements such as low-threshold or roll-out balconies and large roll-in showers with mosaic tile flooring, all at no extra cost. The buildings themselves will be designed with mobility aids in the public and amenity spaces, such as lowered concierge desks, accessible kitchens in the party rooms, larger turning radii, and waste chutes with automatic door openers. Purchasers also have the option to go beyond the standard features offered in the ADP suites by tailoring the design to meet their individual needs; for example, an alternate kitchen upgrade is offered and includes lowered counter tops and under-sink clearance.
"Until now, there has been a significant lack of new residences designed for people with mobility needs," said Jake Cohen, Daniels Vice President of Project Implementation. "Daniels is committed to creating vibrant and inclusive communities that offer homes to the broad spectrum of the market, including people who find mobility difficult in traditional layouts. Rather than retrofitting existing layouts, we have raised the bar and set a new industry standard by designing for inclusion at the outset."
The ADP follows the principles laid out in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilites Act of independence, dignity, integration, and equality of opportunity. Daniels' ADP team collaborated with Accessibility Advantage, Quadrangle, and Luke Anderson, universal design advocate and Founder of the StopGap Foundation, to establish the ADP. "It’s not us that have disabilities, but it's the places that we live, work, and play in that are disabling," Anderson said. "Daniels’ ADP initiative is a milestone in working toward a totally inclusive society."
The ADP is being launched this fall in two of Daniels' projects: DuEast Condominiums in Regent Park, and Wesley Tower at Daniels City Centre in Mississauga. Purchasers can choose from one, two, or three-bedroom units, many of which are located on the ground floor.
For more information on the ADP and the buildings it is being introduced into, you can check out the database files linked below, or contact The Daniels Corporation directly. You can tell us what you think of the initiative by checking out the associated Forum threads, or by leaving a comment in the space provided on this page.