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We recognize the importance of creating an inclusive community where all people have equal opportunity to live, visit, raise a family, work and retire.

With the advice of the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Council has approved an Accessibility Policy CP2018-006 and Municipal Accessibility Master Plan 2018-2023.

Download the Invisible Disabilities Video Transcript

Accessibility Highlights Video


Alternate formats and communication supports

Kawartha Lakes is committed to providing all documents in an accessible format, however we realize that not all posted documents will meet everyone's needs. If this information is required in an alternate accessible format, please contact Customer Service at 705-324-9411 (dial 0) or report the issue online and we will accommodate your requirements in a timely manner.

Assistive audio equipment for Council meetings

We are pleased to offer assistive listening devices for use in Council Chambers. To sign out a device, please visit the Clerk's Office on the first floor of City Hall, just outside Council Chambers. Please provide identification including your name and address to sign out a device.

Website Accessibility

The City of Kawartha Lakes is committed to creating an accessible online environment for all visitors to its web site. Due to conditions beyond our control, there are some instances where we are unable to provide information in an accessible format (for example, our mapping information, some RSS feeds. etcetera). We will be monitoring these sections, and develop an accessible solution as technology improves.

If you have questions or comments about the accessibility of our website please E-Mail the Accessibility Partner or call 705-324-9411 extension 2136. You can also report the issue online.

Feedback or Concerns

We welcome your feedback on our facilities and services as we strive to meet your accessibility needs. Please complete our feedback form to let us know how we're doing and suggest ways we can improve.

Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)

The Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee (KLAAC) is a provincially mandated committee of Council. Each member is appointed by Council to provide advice on accessibility for people with disabilities and the accessibility standards enacted under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

Accessibility Awareness Recognition Awards

Kawartha Lakes – At the Regular Council Meeting on June 20, 2023 the fifteenth annual Accessibility Awareness Recognition Award Winners were announced. These awards recognize individuals, groups and businesses that have exceeded expectations while working to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities or increase public awareness within the community.

Councilor McDonald spoke on behalf of the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee, saying “I’m pleased to be here with you today and announce that over the last 15 years we have recognized close to 140 individuals and businesses who have contributed to breaking down barriers to accessibility in our community.”

Mayor Doug Elmslie echoed Councillor MacDonald’s sentiment, saying “I am so proud of the dedicated efforts of our Accessibility Advisory Committee. Having sat on the Committee myself for a number of years, I can say without a doubt that their endless commitment to reducing barriers and social stigmas is admirable.”

Accessibility Awareness Awards recipients
Photo caption: From left to right; back row Councillor Charlie McDonald, Shauna and James Beard from A Step Ahead Foot Clinic, Sarah Holt and Mike Cavanagh from Country Side Pharmacy, Hannah Schever from Tru Faces; middle row Christine Briggs Kawartha Lakes Inclusion, Equity, Diversity and Accessibility (IDEA) Partner, Mayor Doug Elmslie, Kathy Morton from Aunt Laura's Tearoom, Diane Engelstad Chair of Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee (KLAAC), Sheila Scott, Debra Good, and Shirley Lambert;  front row Norm Price, and Kathryn Peeters.

2023 Accessibility Awareness Recognition Award Winners

Outstanding Contribution Business
  • Aunt Laura’s Tearoom: Aunt Laura’s Tearoom is located in an old farmhouse that is at least 175 years old, not a business you would expect to be accessible and yet, owner Kathy Morton does her best. There is a path and ramp to allow access, and tables and washrooms are accessible. Lighting is great for those patrons with visual impairments.
  • Country Side Pharmacy: Countryside Pharmacy has worked hard to reduce barriers for customers, having recently installed an automatic door. They are committed to serving clients who cannot enter the building and offering free delivery once a week. They also offer vaccinations outside if clients are unable to access the building.
  • A Step Ahead Foot Clinic: A Step Ahead Foot Clinic is helping to make life easier for residents with disabilities with compassionate staff who are patient with clients with disabilities, in-home services, and a bright, accessible location with wide halls, slip resistant floors and chairs in the treatment rooms.
Outstanding Contribution – Community Groups
  • Fenelon Falls United Church: The church is doing its part to break down barriers to accessibility. An elevator allows all visitors access to the building. After realizing that some visitors were having difficulty seeing the screen or bulletins, a large print version was made available each Sunday. A wheelchair accessible washroom is available for anyone needing it and other organizations can use the building for disability programing.
  • Tru Faces: Tru Faces is an online community for individuals with disabilities. It allows members to share their stories, educate about disability awareness and connect with others with similar challenges. Tru Faces was co-founded by sisters Emilee and Hannah Schevers, whose goal was to create a space where the voices of people with disabilities are amplified and included.
Outstanding Contribution – Individual
  • Andre Obumsawin: Using his past employment experience in planning as well as personal experience with accessibility issues, Andre developed a series of standardized comments for the Public Spaces Working Group to use while reviewing building plans. These comments were meant to encourage developers to see the inclusion of accessibility features as a bonus, not an onus. Andre was recognized at the awards but was unable to attend.
  • Norm Price: Norm Price is a long time member of Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee and has advocated for many years to improve the Lindsay Transit system for riders with accessibility issues. He served on the Transit Committee and then the Public Spaces Working Group, voicing his concerns with the system. As a result of his efforts, the Lindsay Transit System is more accessible to residents with mobility concerns.
Barbara McArthur Award of Distinction
  • Emilee and Hannah Schevers: Emilee and Hannah are sisters and co-founders of Tru Faces. They have provided over 1000 hours in the past four years to improve the lives of people with disabilities through community development, integration and support. Tru Faces is dedicated to creating a public awareness of disabilities as well as breaking down stereotypes. Hannah accepted the award on behalf of herself and her sister Emilee.
  • Kathryn Peeters: Kathryn Peeters who is almost 31, has been speaking for 25 years. By her fifth birthday Kathryn had six brain tumours. As a result of surgery to remove the tumors, she is legally blind, has a seizure disorder and cognitive impairment.  Kathryn has spoken at events, community groups and for crowds up to 1,500 people to raise awareness about pediatric brain tumours and visual impairments.

2022 Accessibility Awareness Recognition Award Winners

Outstanding Contribution Business
  • Lindsay Food Basics: Recognized for their hiring of individuals with disabilities. Up to 10 individuals with a variety of challenges, both physical and intellectual, are employed at the store at any time. Their decision to hire employees with disabilities is not company-driven, but a conscious decision by their local management.
Outstanding Contribution – Community Groups
  • Kawartha Settlers’ Village, Bobcaygeon: In 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, the Kawartha Lakes Festival of Trees was not possible but this did not dissuade the volunteers at the Village. They created a drive through event and the change allowed everyone to enjoy the festival from the comfort of a vehicle. In 2021 the drive through event continued and allows more people to join the festivities.
  • Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) Vaccination Team: The drive through vaccination clinic opened at the LEX on March 18 and ran until August 22, 2021. The drive through clinic increased access to the vaccine and in total more than 62,000 vaccinations were administered at the site. A team of more than 20 nurses and doctors from RMH worked at the site tirelessly, serving roughly 500 vehicles each day. The set-up removed barriers for people with mobility challenges and helped create a comfort zone for what can be an anxiety inducing experience.
Outstanding Contribution – Individual
  • Carl Rennick: Carl has been instrumental in growing wheelchair curling in Canada since 2006. Carl read about Jon Thurston’s injury and encouraged him to try the sport—earlier this year Jon Thurston from Dunsford and the Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team won bronze at the Beijing Winter Games. Carl also spearheaded the Give It A Go program at the Bobcaygeon Curling Club and has served on the board of hospitals in Sarnia, serving physically disabled children from birth to 16, and has been an active participant in accessibility issues for many years in our community.
Outstanding Contribution – City of Kawartha Lakes Employee/Team
  • Paramedics Service: Seeing a need to assist members of the community with high-resource needs being discharged from the hospital with no family to assist, Paramedics Service helped these residents remain in their homes longer and avoid readmission to hospital. They created the Community Paramedics Program, with Paramedics performing regular in-home check-ins and providing medication and other services. The value of this program was recognized by the Ontario Ministry of Health and has been followed in other areas of the province.
Outstanding New Build or Modification
  • Bobcaygeon Curling Club and Recreational Facility: Members of the Club wanted to allow the opportunity for wheelchair curlers to join their leagues, but before that was possible the building had to undergo some major changes. A wheelchair lift was installed, as well as accessible washrooms for greater access for all residents. In October 2021, the Club held it’s first Give It A Go Day to introduce wheelchair curling to anyone interested in attending.
  • The Kirkfield and District Historical Society: The Society has undertaken a major renovation of the Kirkfield Museum, including a wheelchair accessible ramp, automated power doors and accessible washrooms with adult change tables. The group is also continuing with plans to remove stairs to the building, improving mobility inside and ensuring accessibility to all museum visitors.
Barbara McArthur Award of Distinction
  • Lynda DaSilva: Lynda has volunteered and advocated for people with disabilities for almost 30 years. Lynda has been actively involved in the MS Society on the local, provincial and national level. She has offered encouragement and assistance for local residents diagnosed with MS and shares her personal history. Lynda was instrumental in establishing the Thumbs Up Program to encourage local businesses to train their staff on providing accessible customer service. Former Lieutenant Governor David Onley recognized the program when he attended the Accessibility Forum in Lindsay. Lynda has also broken down many barriers as a member of the Kawartha Lakes AAC.

2021 Accessibility Awareness Recognition Award Winners

 Outstanding Contribution Business
  • Dr. David Lane and Team: Dr. Lane is an ophthalmologist specializing in macular degeneration and other optic issues and he and his staff help a high percentage of patients with severe vision loss with great empathy and compassion.
  • Subway, Lindsay: Staff at the Subway in Whitney Town Centre were nominated for their excellence in accessible customer service by a legally blind customer who they always make the extra effort to serve and assist.
 Outstanding Contribution - Community Groups
  • Fenelon Falls Curling Club: During the COVID-19 lockdown, on a volunteer basis the Curling Club delivered groceries from Sobey's to people who were home bound or shut ins, and continued for a three-month period, many of whom had Accessibility issues and were in need of this service.
 Outstanding Contribution - Individual
  • Mike Perry: Mike helped break down barriers in Kawartha Lakes for many years in many capacities. In 2015 he founded the Kawartha Lakes Disability Income Equality Coalition and through his involvement with the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, Mike co-led a Diversity and Inclusion Campaign.
 Outstanding Contribution - City of Kawartha Lakes Employee/Team
  • Parks, Recreation and Culture Division: Congratulations and sincere thanks to Jenn Johnson, Rodney Porter, Ryan Smith and the entire Parks, Recreation and Culture team involved with Logie Park in Lindsay. An inclusive setting was designed with widened paved walkways, accessible playground with rubberized matting and splash pad along with accessible washrooms and change room areas.
 Outstanding New Build or Modification
  • T.H.R.I.L. (Therapeutic Horse Riding in Lindsay): T.H.R.I.L. is a program that reaches out to support the special needs community to provide adaptive therapy riding lessons on superbly trained horses with certified coaches. In order to continue to serve their most challenged participants T.H.R.I.L was able to install a lift that will aid the mounting and dismounting with an electronic mechanical hoist and an accessible cart that allows a wheelchair to be rolled up beside the instructor for pony driving carriage program.
 Barbara McArthur Award of Distinction
  • Jim Armstrong: Jim has been working quietly and diligently behind the scenes for many years to help ensure that our community of Fenelon Falls is as accessible, inclusive and diverse as possible. Jim is the co-founder of ABLE, an organization that enables local families with members who have intellectual disabilities to find the resources they need to thrive in the community.

2019 Accessibility Awareness Recognition Award Winners

 Outstanding Contribution - Business

Appleseed Quiltworks

AppleseedAppleseed Quiltworks is a local business example of what creating accessible spaces can do for customer and tourist attraction.

Sandra Falconer, owner, went above and beyond with the modifications of the property. She made the difficult decision to reduce retail footage to install a fully accessible covered entryway and accessible door.

A customer has been so impressed with the accessibility features of Appleseed Quiltworks that she travels past several quilt and fabric stores to make the hour plus trip to Lindsay. This customer along with friends and family now make Lindsay a destination for their day trips.

 Outstanding Contribution - Community Group

Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes

CCCommunity Care City of Kawartha Lakes offers many services for residents throughout our area. Included in these services are Adult Day programs that allow elderly and disabled residents to come together and socialize as well as participate in various activities at the same time giving their caregivers respite. Other programs include Meals on Wheels and other food programs that allow residents to enjoy healthy food in their own homes. Foot care clinics are also held weekly for elderly and persons with disabilities.

Community Care along with Hospice CKL conducts a variety of support groups, both in person and by tele-conferences for residents facing stroke, cancer diagnoses and more.

Another valuable service that is available to residents is the transportation program. Volunteer drivers can be booked to take clients to day programs and appointments, allowing the clients to preserve their independence.

The Specialized Transportation use a fleet of wheelchair accessible vans that offer the same service to individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges. The vans can also be used for non-emergency transfers between hospitals and home.

The transportation programs of Community Care allow clients independence and caregivers much needed rest and relaxation.

Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes is definitely breaking down barriers for residents with disabilities.

Rotary Club of Lindsay

Rotary ClubThe Rotary Club of Lindsay is one of the community’s longest running and most active service clubs, supporting a wide range of local, national and international causes throughout the year. Included in the club’s many great works, is the Adults with Disabilities Committee which considers requests for assistance from local residents who require support due to special needs and challenges.

Recently, through collaboration of several groups and organizations including the Rotary, a local resident, Ken, was able to receive a technological device to assist him to read. The OrCam02 is an advanced wearable Artificial Intelligence device for the blind and visually impaired that allows the user to read text, recognize faces and identify products.

The Rotary Club was able to provide a portion of the price of the device but their assistance didn’t stop there. Under the leadership of the Committee Chair John Coxon, other organizations were contacted and the funds were raised to purchase the device. Ken is now able to access so much more and it is making a huge difference in his life.

The Rotary Club is dedicated to helping residents meet the challenges and to remove barriers to their independence and capabilities.

 Outstanding Contribution - Individual, Adult

Margaret Downing

MargaretFor almost 25 years Margaret has been making the lives of Caressent Care residents better. No matter what she is organizing, she is always thinking about ways to include the most residents as possible. Whether that means searching out large print bingo or playing cards, or ensuring that transportation to the events is accessible, Margaret goes beyond so the residents can have a great time.

Margaret thinks about who will be involved in an activity and then thinks about all the obstacles and possible solutions.

As two residents said, “It may not seem like much to have a larger print bingo card but for many of us it is the only way we can join in the fun.”

Margaret is making the lives of the residents much more enjoyable and fun-filled.

 Outstanding Contribution - City of Kawartha Lakes Employee

Communications, Advertising and Marketing Division

CAMIn 2018, the Communications, Advertising and Marketing team concluded its significant efforts to oversee the complete overhaul of the municipality’s four major websites including the municipal site, tourism, public library and intranet employee sites. From the onset, the team emphasized the need for accessibility on all sites to reduce barriers for anyone using the sites.

The team made accessible documents on the sites a priority and to that end, have provided resources to staff and contributors on how to make accessible electronic documents. New webpages and site features were designed in an accessible manner and the team’s oversight of staff modification of existing pages ensures all final versions are published correctly. This aspect of the project is no small task and the team’s efforts have gone a long way in ensuring that a corporate atmosphere of accessibility is promoted.

Brenda Stonehouse

BrendaBrenda has been instrumental in facilitating the public consultations and committee liaisons for the successful and inclusive preparation and acceptance of the most recent Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Plan.

In addition, Brenda is working to provide a comprehensive review of the Built Environment standards for the municipality through her facilitation of the Built Environment Standards Task Force.

Through Brenda’s leadership and facilitation, the internal and external customers have been heard. Brenda has been a champion in facilitating involvement by all community partners related to Kawartha Lakes’ customer service delivery.

 Outstanding Contribution - Design

Pie Eyed Monk Brewery

The Pie Eyed Monk Brewery is a new business in Lindsay and their facility located on Cambridge Street exemplifies the possibilities for accessibility in an older building when businesses are motivated.

While keeping the heritage of the building, the accessible features are impressive. The changes start at the front door with an accessible walkway, wide door that has push button capabilities.

An elevator was installed to allow access to the second floor where you’ll find washrooms, all fitted with push buttons and wide entrances. To ensure that all customers would be comfortable, tables were made to an accessible height allowing patrons in wheelchairs to be able to comfortably eat in the restaurant.

Many times, accessibility is said to be impossible for heritage buildings but The Pie Eyed Monk Brewery has proven naysayers wrong.

Kawartha Conservation

Kawartha ConservationKawartha Conservation is a watershed based, non-profit organization founded in 1979, one of 36 conservation authorities in Ontario.

Kawartha Conservation believes that nation should be accessible to everyone. The organization has taken significant steps in recent years to focus on creating a more inclusive environment where everyone, irrespective of any challenges they may face, are able to enjoy, appreciate and embrace nature.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, a number of upgrades to the administration building and the Ken Reid Conservation Area have created a wonderful environment for those in the community, particularly with mobility challenges, to be welcomed to the area and enjoy the outdoors.

Accessible washrooms at the beach area and in the administration building have been installed. As a result of a generous private donation, the McLaren Marsh viewing platform was re-constructed as well as a fully accessible platform which is connected to the main road through a newly constructed accessible trail. To allow guests to visit the Conservation Area conveniently, two accessible parking spaces have been built.

In early fall 2018 the first participant using a wheelchair joined staff on a forest bathing excursion. The accessible trail and viewing platform allowed the visitor to be fully involved and take part in the session.

These projects are just the beginning that the Kawartha Conservation have planned to ensure that they are an inclusive organization welcoming everyone to experience, embrace and enjoy nature.

Barbara McArthur Memorial Award of Distinction

Stephen Strangway

StephenFor over 12 years, Stephen has inspired and shared his paramount leadership skills with Kawartha Lakes and is being recognized today for his true compassion for others.

With a career background as a school principal, he is a leader who has openness to people, ideas and opportunities. He communicates with sincerity, transparency and true feeling, and one is never worried to approach him with your thoughts, ideas and visions. He cleverly inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and embrace the concept of change.

Whether he was involved in formulating recommendations from the Accessibility Advisory Committee to Council, tasked with speaking to municipal staff to resolve an issue or advocating at the Council table, he did so with a strong and clear commitment to the change necessary to improve the lives all people. Steve advocated for youth, couples raising a family, those living in poverty, those living with disabilities and the aged.

Steve was a Board Member of the Fenelon Falls Independent Living Association (FAILA), a member of the Probus Club and a part of 10 Committees/Boards of Council. He kept himself very busy - as I am sure his wife Marion of 50 years can attest to. However, he always made time to not only attend Accessibility Advisory Committee meetings but also participate in meetings held by the Public Awareness Working Group. He was instrumental in the achievement of workplan goals. Steve inspired other committees and boards to think about accessibility when developing programs, policy or working on projects. By doing this he was creating a culture of accessibility throughout our organization and community that is evident today.

Steve has currently retired from his political career to spend more time enjoying his family life, but not without first providing a foundation that will lead us well into the future towards the goal of being the most welcoming, accessible and inclusive community in Ontario. One where people will be able to live, work and visit with comfort, respect and dignity.

Today we recognize Steve for his twelve years of leadership and support as Council Liaison by presenting him with the Barbara McArthur Award of Distinction. The Committee is forever grateful for the contribution he has made.

Award categories for individuals

 Barbara McArthur Memorial Award
  • Outstanding Contribution--Individual--Adult (18 years and older)
  • Outstanding Contribution--Individual- Youth (under 18 years)
  • Outstanding Contribution - Individual - City of Kawartha Lakes Employee

The Barbara McArthur Award of Distinction is presented to an individual in memory of Barbara McArthur the founder and first Chair of the Municipal Advisory Committee for Disabled Persons (MACDP). Known today as the Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The nominee must have devoted time and energy beyond normal expectations while promoting public awareness and education in the area of removing barriers for individuals with disabilities.

Award categories for groups

  • Outstanding Contribution--Community Group

This award is intended for formal or informal not-for-profit organizations and community groups.

Award categories for business

  • Outstanding Contribution--Business

This award is intended for the business community.

Award categories for designers

  •  Outstanding Design Award--Innovative Architectural or Interior Design that facilitates access for persons with disabilities.

This award is intended for those involved in the architectural, interior design or developmental planning fields.

What do we consider to be an outstanding contribution?

Nominees that have exceeded expectations while working to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities or increase public awareness within the community are considered to have made outstanding contributions.

For example, they may have made contributions in any of the following areas:

  • physical barriers: for example, a business that adapted a work station for a person with a physical disability
  • attitude/social barriers: for example, an individual who commits time to promoting awareness about mental illness
  • systemic barriers: for example, a teacher/coach who has advocated on behalf of students with disabilities for participation in sports
  • communication barriers: for example, a restaurant that has printed their menu in Braille or large print
  • integration into community: for example, a youth who assists a child with a disability to participate in community recreation programs

What do we consider to be outstanding design?

The eligible project should provide an innovative or visionary solution to a common barrier and:

  • exemplify simplicity and functionality
  • embody principles of Universal Design
  • set a new standard for satisfying a basic need
  • exceed building code requirements in accommodating the needs of persons with disabilities
  • have been completed during the previous year
  • be located within the City of Kawartha Lakes

Accessible Transportation

 There are many accessible transportation options in Kawartha Lakes.

Accessible Recreation

Visit the accessible recreation section of our website to learn how we make sure all residents have the opportunity to participate in our recreation programs.

Accessibility Resources


Accessible Meetings

Download the Management Directive on Accessible Meetings

Facility Accessibility Design Standards

Download the Facility Accessibility Design Standards

AODA Training and Guidelines

Partner Websites

Accessibility Legislation

In June 2005, the Ontario Government passed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) setting the goal of a fully Accessible Ontario by 2025.

Ontario has set standards in the five areas of customer service, employment, information and communications, public transportation and public spaces (built environment).

If you have questions about the AODA or accessibility laws and standards, please visit the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Contact Centre website or call 1-866-515-2025.

Accessibility Standards for Customer Service

The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service came into effect on January 1, 2008, making them the first to become law under the AODA. This regulation required all municipalities to be in compliance by January 1, 2010. Customer Service is one of four other standards as part of the Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11).

Integrated Accessibility Standards

The Integrated Accessibility Standards came into effect on July 1, 2011. This law applies to all organizations - public, private and non-profit sectors. Each area of the five areas of the regulation is phased- in through time for each sector. The Accessibility Directorate has created a Guide to Ontario's Accessibility Regulations to assist organizations with planning.

All of the City of Kawartha Lakes Employees received training on providing accessible customer service in 2009 and training provided on the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation in 2015. Training continues as part of the City New Employee Orientation program administered through out Human Resources Division.

Training modules and resources are available from AccessForward.

Accessibility Compliance Reporting

Businesses, non-profit organizations and public sector organizations, such as municipalities, must file an accessibility compliance report with the Government of Ontario to confirm the organization has met the applicable requirements under the AODA.

City of Kawartha Lakes Accessibility Compliance Reports:

  • 2010 Accessible Customer Service Report
  • 2013 Accessibility Compliance Report
  • 2015 Accessibility Compliance Report

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