Accessible Travel

Canada is making progress when it comes to easing the everyday challenges facing people with disabilities, especially the mobility-impaired.

  • Many public buildings, including museums, tourist offices, train stations, shopping malls and cinemas, have access ramps and/or lifts. Most public restrooms feature extra-wide stalls equipped with hand rails. Many pedestrian crossings have sloping curbs.
  • Newer and recently remodeled hotels, especially chain hotels, have rooms with extra-wide doors and spacious bathrooms.
  • Interpretive centers at national and provincial parks are usually accessible, and many parks have trails that can be navigated in wheelchairs.
  • Car rental agencies offer hand-controlled vehicles and vans with wheelchair lifts at no additional charge, but you must reserve them well in advance.
  • For accessible air, bus, rail and ferry transportation check Access to Travel (www.accesstotravel.gc.ca), the federal government's website. In general, most transportation agencies can accommodate people with disabilities if you make your needs known when booking.
  • Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.

Other organizations specializing in the needs of travelers with disabilities:

Access-Able Travel Source (www.access-able.com) Lists accessible lodging, transport, attractions and equipment rental by province.

Mobility International (www.miusa.org) Advises travelers with disabilities on mobility issues and runs an educational exchange program.

Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (www.sath.org) Travelers with disabilities share tips and blogs.