Handicapped Accessibility in Carleton Place?

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My mother was bound to a wheel chair for years before she died. As a child we used to use side doors, back doors, and service entrances to gain entrance to different stores. While I was taking pictures of Bridge Street doors I noticed 75% of the businesses have an entrance issue for anyone that is handicapped. What if you are handicapped and shopping alone?

Of course, there are those who would say that people could impact these situations by not patronizing establishments that don’t make better accommodations. But does our local problem stem from not enough people in wheelchairs to make a dent in making access easier?

Should “it’s at least accessible” really be our standard?  How can we find solutions?

comments

There has been an ongoing discussion on the Carleton Place Social Scene with the initial thread begun by Penny Foster. Here are some of the comments. I also asked Kory Earle and Cathie McOrmond in the BIA to submit their thoughts.

From Kory Earle–President at People First of Canada

Accessibility is a Huge Concern and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act was past in 2005. The Customer Service which is part of the act was to come enforce in 2008 and Accessibility is a huge issue right across this Province
As someone who had fought hard to ensure we have accessibility, the problem is that businesses who are not accessible are close to the road or there store maybe small, having talked to businesses in Carleton Place over the years, the concern is that it is a huge cost, the question remains can business apply for Grants? I am being told to call Trillium as there maybe Grants to help Businesses!
So what should people do, call Service Ontario at 1-866 515-2025 indicate your concern and it may be put in the Legislation, as the government does not come out to investigate as I am told! This is an Ontario act not a Municipal Bylaw
I encourage everyone to Call your *Mayor Louis Antonakos raise the Concern and maybe the Town can look at resources if the provinces does not come through
This is a huge problem, Carleton Place can be a leader!
I sit on Government Committees  and my number is 613 451-0051
Kory Earle
*Contact Information:
Email: lantonakos@sympatico.ca
Phone: 613-257-6206
comments
Jane Dack McLaughlin-Dack’s JewellersSo here I am….. A local business owner. My family has had a family business on the downtown for 118 years….and we have heard it all. So here it goes. We own our building, if we didn’t we would not be here right now. The Main Street is a disgrace when it comes to retail stores…. There is very few left.
When Walmart came in, our sales dropped enormously!!! We are hanging on by a thread…. Just. We don’t have benefits, or pensions, no sick paid sick days or holidays…. If we don’t have sales, we don’t pay ourselves. However, we are still fighting to stay alive for our great customers that have supported us during all these years…. They have become friends. Black, white, seniors, disabled…. We appreciate and love them all. If we are closed, they have called our home for us to meet them at night time so they can get something, we have done pick ups at their homes, deliveries to their homes, carry their purchases to their cars, get stools for people to sit on, help people with walkers that do fit through our door….. I know because my mom has used one a few times.
We have many customers in wheel chairs that come through our door that we run to to help in. I can proved you with their names if needed. So all this being said….. The government has not made this mandatory for us…. We are law abidding citizens. And if this does come mandatory…. My store will be closing. I repeat…. This will force me to shut the door. As many other small town businesses. It simply is too expense. So, if anyone needs help, please ask. We have great business owners downtown that would be more than happy to help any of you in anyway. You are all the reason we are still here.

commentsDave Hagerman–Looks like Jane has tried really hard to be be welcoming, I think she meant hypothetically IF the town mandated certain dimensions etc the burden would be too great. Trust me, these small shop owners aren’t sitting in private jets counting their stacks of cash from money they’ve saved on bathroom reno’s.

But really if the town wanted to build a small bathroom thats always open near the bridge I will chip in $100 and do the concrete work free of charge. Allow us trades to put up a small, tasteful ad inside the bathroom as compensation and watch the economic benefits for everyone roll in.

😊 let’s not get angry at the people trying to serve the town, lets concentrate our efforts on those who are supposed to facilitate trade 😊

comments

 

Leslie RoubleUnless you have been a business/building owner downtown..I don’t think you can understand the constant demands, complaints, hurdles, frustrations, requirements, etc. that they face daily. People have the ability to build up or tear down just by opening their mouths…and when you as a business owner feel defeated many times because nothing is ever good enough, you eventually want to just thrown in the towel. I know because I did it. I had an awesome business and a gorgeous building and I finally said I can’t take it any more. I would love to open another business that I know will be hugely successful but never ever in a million years will it be on the main street of CP and more than likely not even in CP. I totally understand where Jane Dack McLaughlin is coming from,

Janet Bova-Slackoni’s —We have a parking spot, accessible washrooms, accessible front door entrance plus accessible patio. Our green room on the main level is accessible but there are 3 steps into the upper dining room.

Petra Graber —The Thirsty Moose has a concrete ramp to the side door and access on that entrance level with accessible washroom. Ballygiblin’s had an accessible back door, but not accessible washrooms. I am guessing that Chesswood which is opening in that space will be required to have an accessible washroom. This is generally required by municipal building standards when there is a major overhaul of a restaurant space and if there is room to do it.

When At The Dam purchased the building where Slackoni’s is located, the owners would have been required to include full accessibility in their design plan (the building was an empty shell). When the restoration of Greystone’s Inn (more recently known as the Carleton Heritage) was carried out, accessibility was required by the government and was included in the design plan (again, the building was an empty shell). Where and when this is practical, full accessibility is required.

Laura Keller– Might be worth businesses looking into StopGap. Many other communities have taken part. Or perhaps this is a council issue?http://stopgap.ca

Access For All
STOPGAP.CA
bia

The Carleton Place BIA strives to work and support accessibility for all in the downtown.

The BIA has met on several occasions with the town of CP accessibility committee in order to become in engaged in communications.

Accessibility information has been obtained and delivered to merchants.

We have three accessible public washrooms and 4 auditable cross walks in the downtown.

The BIA has worked closely with People First of Lanark County and supported them in their endeavours to create an accessible downtown.

BIA has had regular monthly editorial in their BIA Street Beat.

It is common knowledge that local business owners will step out to car to help someone try shoes on, escort a person in need down the street, clear the sidewalk so someone can pass by or just plain step up when they see a person struggling regardless of their disability or not.

Long before the accessibility campaign was launched by the government BIA merchants has worked to support and encourage those with disabilities to shop.   Merchants will take special orders help people in and out of their car and buildings will deliver products to their doors or pick them back up if they are not suitable.  The merchants of the BIA value each and every customer and strive to support and empower those with disability yesterday, today and into the future and will continue to work and improve accessibility on a regular basis.

Cathie McOrmondCarleton Place BIA Project Manager

136 Bridge Street

Carleton Place, Ontario

 

American and Canadian Views

 

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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