Introduction to the Illustrated Guide

Download a printable version of this section

This document is provided as a guide to the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces, which is part of Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

The Guide is not legal advice and should be read together with the official language of the Standard and the AODA. If there is any conflict between this Guide, the Standard and the AODA, the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces and the AODA are the final authorities.

Definition:Accessible design is not just about designing for people with disabilities … it's about designing for people of all abilities.

This Illustrated Guide will help design professionals develop public spaces that are open and welcoming to everyone, including people with diverse abilities. This Guide will provide designers with the technical information they need to design public spaces that meet the requirements of the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces (the Standard) and illustrate the many opportunities that inclusive design provides to create innovative public spaces.

Throughout the Guide, the first time a defined term is used the term will link to its definition in Appendix E. Definition links will be shown with red dotted underlining. Screen reader users will hear something like "Link Graphic Definition colon" followed by the term to be defined.

The Organization of the Guide

This Illustrated Guide is organized to assist architects, landscape architects, planners and other designers to quickly access relevant technical requirements for the design of most types of public spaces. It also provides background information, better practice tips and case studies to help improve understanding and make compliance with the Standard easy to understand. All photos used within the Guide are captioned and cited, see Appendix H for details.

Section 1 of the Guide overviews the regulatory context of the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces (the Standard) and its relationship to other legislation that affects development in Ontario. This Section also identifies the types of public spaces the Standard applies to, compliance responsibilities, implementation timelines, exceptions, and when consultation with people with disabilities is necessary.

The bulk of the technical content related to the Accessibility Standard for the Design of Public Spaces is presented in Section 2 of the Guide, under the heading Creating Accessible Public Spaces. Sections include:

Section 2.1 - Exterior Paths of Travel includes requirements for new and Definition:redeveloped sidewalks and walkways, ramps, stairs, handrails, Definition:rest areas, Definition:curb ramps, Definition:depressed curbs, and accessible pedestrian signals. Compliance exceptions are also discussed, and a design study is provided to further clarify the application of the standards.

Section 2.2 - Recreational Trails and Section 2.3 - Beach Access Routes each cover the technical requirements for both new and redeveloped recreational trails and beach access routes. Information is provided regarding minimum clear widths, clear heights, signage, and entrance requirements. These sections also address when exceptions are allowed in specific situations, as well as when consultation with people with disabilities is required.

Section 2.4 - Outdoor Public Use Eating Areas covers general requirements for new and redeveloped outdoor eating areas, including the provision of a percentage of accessible tables, ground surfaces and requirements for clear area around eating areas.

Section 2.5 - Outdoor Play Spaces includes general requirements for new and redeveloped outdoor play spaces, including requirements to consult on local needs, and the provision of accessible design features in outdoor play spaces.

Section 2.6 - Accessible Parking covers the technical and general requirements for the provision of new and redeveloped Definition:off-street and Definition:onstreet accessible parking, including types of accessible parking spaces, provided, requirements for access aisles and appropriate signage. Requirements for public consultation related to on-street parking are also included. This section also identifies exceptions and exemptions to meeting the requirements. minimum numbers of spaces to be

Section 2.7 - Obtaining Services in Public Spaces introduces the requirements for design elements related to providing services to the public, including new service counters, new fixed queuing guides and new or redeveloped waiting areas. These requirements relate to service elements within buildings, as well as those located outdoors.

Section 3 of the Guide addresses requirements for maintaining an appropriate level of accessibility within public spaces, under the heading Maintaining Accessible Public Spaces. Information is provided on the need for organizations to include Definition:maintenance procedures for their public spaces in their multi-year accessibility plans.

The Guide also includes a number of appendices and a content index, as follows:

Appendix A includes a checklist for accessible exterior paths of travel and parking facilities with the Standard. The checklist also addresses betterpractice strategies.

Appendix B includes a checklist for recreational trails, beach access routes, outdoor public use eating areas and outdoor play spaces, with the Standard. The checklist also addresses better-practice strategies.

Appendix C includes a checklist for obtaining service in public spaces.

Appendix D provides additional better-practice resources to assist professionals involved with the design of accessible public spaces.

Appendix E includes definitions and acronyms used throughout the Illustrated Guide.

Appendix F provides a technical standard and drawing for Definition:tactile walking surface indicators that meet CAN/CSA B651 — accessible design for the built environment.

Appendix G provides information on the slip-resitance characteristics of a variety of ground and floor surface materials.

Appendix H provides information on the photographs used throughout the Guide, including a description of the significant accessibility elements within each photograph, as well as its source.

Appendix I provides a series of standard detail drawings related to the technical aspects of the Standard. Professionals involved in the design of public spaces are welcome to adapt these details for use on their projects.

Index is an alphabetized list of common terms and references to help users find specific information on a topic.


Illustrated Technical Guide to the Design of Public Spaces