Accessible Travel in Ontario

Ontario has made it a priority to improve the daily lives of people with disabilities and are dedicated to make travel and tourism experiences throughout the province more accessible for visitors with special needs and accessibility requirements.

Diversity, inclusiveness and change are at the core of what makes Ontario so special.

From our rural communities to vast urban centres, there’s a dynamic, ever-evolving mosaic of globally inspired, locally adapted art, culture and cuisine. We’re home to dramatically different places, spaces and landscapes shaped by the changing seasons.

There’s always something different to see, do and celebrate, and we want everyone to share in that experience.

The Government of Ontario has regulated accessibility standards for sectors, including information and communications, employment, transportation, the design of public spaces and customer service. Our goal is to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities in key areas of daily living by 2025.

These regulations will help travellers with accessibility requirements select attractions, accommodations and destinations.

If you are a visitor with a visual or non-visual disability, here are some of the specific ways Ontario is committed to make it easier for you to experience all this province has to offer.

 

Customer Service 

As a person with a disability, organizations must provide you with the right customer service so you can access their goods, services or facilities. Staff must be trained in providing accessible customer service. 

You can have your support person with you at all times. You can also give feedback through accessible surveys or comment forms.

Learn more about the accessible customer service standard.

 

Public Transportation

When you travel on public transit:

  • Announcements should be made for every destination point or stop.
  • Specialized transit services should be available during the same hours and on the same days as other public transit.
  • Your guide dog/service animal must be allowed to ride with you.

 

Taking a Taxi 

When you travel by taxi:

  • You must be charged the same rate as someone without a disability.
  • Your guide dog/service animal must be allowed to ride in the taxi with you.
  • Vehicle registration and driver-identification must appear in an accessible format.

Read more about the accessible transit standard.

 

Buildings

Ontario’s Design of Public Spaces Standards establish a baseline level of accessibility for:

  • Service counters
  • Waiting areas with fixed seating
  • Outdoor spaces, such as sidewalks and parking lots

Be advised that  Accessibility requirements under the Ontario Building Code  only apply to new construction, so building and accommodations built before the AODA may not meet accessibility standards.

 

Outdoor Public Spaces

The Design of Public Spaces Standards set requirements to make most external public spaces accessible. The standards also address requirements to make certain  internal public spaces accessible.

Like the Ontario Building Code, the standards only apply to new construction and planned redevelopment of existing public spaces and apply to:

  • Recreational trails
  • Beach access routes
  • New or redeveloped outdoor public eating areas
  • Playgrounds and outdoor play spaces
  • Service counters
  • Waiting areas with fixed seating
  • Sidewalks
  • Parking lots

 

Guide Dogs and Service Animals

If you have a guide dog or other service animal, it is allowed to stay with you when you receive services in: 

  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Taxis

There are no restrictions on what type of animal can be used as a service animal. An animal is considered a service animal if:

 

Search for Accessible and Barrier-Free Businesses

Start planning your trip in Ontario with this selection of destinations, activities and accommodations that are working towards becoming barrier-free. Use these filters to search for Ontario tourism businesses and services that provide the mobility requirements and accessible services and facilities to meet your needs.
 

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

Many tourism experiences require advance bookings or have restrictions in place due to COVID 19. It is important to check directly with the business operator before you travel. Get the most up-to-date information now.

Things to Do with Accessible Options

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip.