Ville de Montréal - Direction du Développement social

Ville de Montréal - Direction du Développement social

March 29, 2005 16:12 ET

The City of Montreal Invests to Retrofit its Buildings in Order to Provide Access to all its Citizens



MARCH 29, 2005 - 16:12 ET

The City of Montreal Invests to Retrofit its Buildings
in Order to Provide Access to all its Citizens

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2005) - This year, the City
of Montreal will retrofit some of its municipal buildings to make them
accessible to all Montreal citizens. Made during the Sommet de Montreal,
this commitment will not only meet the needs of people with disabilities
but will also benefit older individuals, people experiencing temporary
mobility difficulties and families with very young children. Almost one
third of Montreal's population will benefit from these measures.

This was announced today by Cosmo Maciocia, member of the executive
committee, responsible for housing, social development and income
security, during a presentation of the project's first phase which is
budgeted at one million dollars. The total investment in the City of
Montreal's Programme d'accessibilite universelle des batiments will
reach four million dollars by 2007.

"In partnership with the associative community, we are pleased to put
into practice principles of equity and accessibility throughout the City
of Montreal. Universal accessibility allows the entire population to
access a building or public area and to participate together in
activities at the same time and in the same way," explained Mr. Maciocia.

This planning concept therefore provides a made-to-measure environment
that accounts for all disabilities (motor, visual, hearing, cognitive)
as well as all temporary situations of disability. Mr. Maciocia also
noted that an aging population and its increasing longevity constitute
trends that require the adaptation of all municipal services. For
example, the program takes into account installing accessible toilets
and washrooms, adding universal access to main entrances of buildings,
modifying ramps, adding gentle slopes to provide access, and installing
automatic door openers and hearing support systems.

This project is being implemented as a result of the combined efforts of
members of the associative community, or over 130 organizations devoted
to improving the living conditions of individuals with limitations, as
well as the City of Montreal. Since a consensus was reached during the
Sommet de Montreal, they have worked continuously to go forward with
issues related to the four major areas identified, which are limited
access to communications, programs and services, municipal buildings,
and personnel training. The working group also included the AlterGo and
Ex-Aequo organizations, as well as the Regroupement des aveugles et des
amblyopes du Montreal metropolitain.

The City of Montreal and its partners from the associative community
have agreed to begin work in five areas, including three boroughs
registered in the Integrated Urban Revitalization Program: Lachine
(Saint-Pierre sector), South-West (Galt sector), and Ville-Marie
(Sainte-Marie sector). The Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, which
had already contributed to a pilot project to evaluate accessibility in
all of its 55 public buildings, and the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex,
which is often used by disabled people, will all benefit from the

In the Lachine borough, changes will be made to the Martin-Lapointe
Arena, the Centre Fernand-Laplaine and the St-Pierre Library. In the
South-West sector of the City, modifications will be made to the St-Paul
community centre. In the Ville-Marie borough, changes will be made to
the Maison de la Culture Frontenac and the Centre Jean-Claude Malepart.
In the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, the Edouard-Montpetit
indoor pool, the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau, the Maison de la Culture
Mercier and the Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve will be retrofitted.

"The City of Montreal acknowledges the importance of having an
environment that is accessible for everyone in the same manner. More
than ever, Montreal is becoming a city that is universally accessible.
We will soon make other announcements that will mark our leadership in
this area, which is nurtured by the extraordinary partnership that
exists between the associative community and our administration,"
declared Mr. Maciocia.


Contact Information

    City of Montreal
    Darren Becker
    Cabinet du maire et du comite excutif
    514 872-6412
    Nicole Mousseau, Chargee de communication
    Direction de la Culture
    et de la qualite du milieu de vie
    Direction du développement social
    et de la securite du revenu
    514 872-4765