Accessibility Plans

To view the Shaw Centre Multi Year Accessibility Plan, please click here. (.pdf)

Operational Guide

To view the Shaw Centre Accessible Customer Service Plan, please click here. (.pdf)

Accessible Customer Service Plan 2015 EN


Upon request, Shaw Centre will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities. Please contact us at or 613-688-8209


What We Did


  • A universal approach was taken to the design of the Shaw Centre, which meet the following codes, standards and requirements (whichever is more stringent):
  • Ontario Building Code (2006)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Americans with disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) (2004)
  • CAN/CSA-B651 (2004 and draft 2010), Accessible Design for the Built Environment
  • The Building Beta test that was conducted to test accessibility features and emergency communications protocols prior to opening was effective.

Why We Did It

  • We are required to design to the Ontario Building code by law
  • Although not required to do so in Canada, we voluntarily designed to meet ADA and ADAAG requirements, since the American convention market is important to us and the latter is a requirement for American groups
  • Consideration was given to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), including the proposed draft standard for the built environment, which has yet to be passed into legislation


  • Accessible stalls (8 men’s, 8 women’s) are located on all meeting levels, plus four additional back of house staff washrooms and individual/family stalls (4) are on L2 and L3

Why We Did It – Ease of access, adequate numbers

  • Banks of washroom have a door-less entry

Why We Did It – Ease of use

  • Lavatories and soap dispensers are hands free

Why We Did It – Ease of use

  • Individual/family washrooms are at least 1500 x 1600 mm and include a sink in the room

Why We Did It – Ease of use: provides the turn radius required


  • All ramps have a slope of at least 1:13 (one foot in height needs 13 feet of distance for the slope)
  • Ramps have a colour contrasting warning strip at the top
  • No front of house ramp is longer than 9 meters
  • Ramps in the vicinity of the main entry are extremely comfortable

Why We Did It – Allows those in wheelchairs to navigate ramps without assistance


  • Areas of refuge/rescue assistance are included on each floor above and below the main level

Why We Did It – Facilitates the safe holding and evacuation of people with mobility impairments and people who are unable to evacuate independently

  • Evacuation onto the terrace at Level 3 is possible
  • Visual alarms are located throughout the facility, including in all meeting rooms and washrooms

Why We Did It – To communicate with those with hearing disabilities in the event of an emergency


  • Colour cuing in the flooring, including carpeted areas to identify decision points (washrooms, elevators) and for way finding (dashed lines outside Canada Hall on L3)

Why We Did It – Convey way finding information to pedestrians with visual impairments

  • Raised directional tiles and pavers

Why We Did It – Delineate paths across open plazas, crosswalks and complex indoor environments

  • Tactile Walking Surface Indicators(TWSI) are installed in the exterior plaza leading to the entrance from the crosswalks and in the main interior lobby leading to the building directory at the elevator

Why We Did It – Ensure the safe crossing and way finding by people with visual impairments

  • The Shaw Centre in cooperation with the City of Ottawa and the NCC continue to work together to ensure the public routes around the Shaw Centre are accessible to all users
  • Tactile and braille signage is available throughout the facility for identification of all rooms, including meeting rooms

Why We Did It – Ease of movement through the facility for persons with visual impairments


  • Designed without nosings

Why We Did It – Nosings can catch a person’s foot, particularly if they have a prosthesis or if they use a crane

  • Non-slip edge has been provided
  • Contrasting handrails
  • Tactile cueing


  • Height of handrails is 880mm, while the upward limit provided for in the CSA is 920mm

Why We Did It – 920mm is too high for many people to use comfortably


  • All entrances are accessible and contain Automatic door openers Automatic door openers
  • Accessible interior parking on P1 and P2, with accessible entrance to Shaw Centre

Why We Did It – Ease of access


  • Protection under escalators, stairs and ramps: a guard was been installed in all locations

Why We Did It – To prevent someone who is visually impaired from walking into the underside

  • Interior routes are wide and free of obstacles

Why We Did It – Ease of movement

  • Use of sound dampening materials and panels in meeting rooms and Canada Hall

Why We Did It – Cuts down on echo which causes difficulties for the those who are hard of hearing

  • Dual height drinking fountains are located between the orb washrooms on L4 and near the Rideau Centre entrance on L2

Why We Did It – Ease of access for persons of short stature or those who use a wheelchair

    Good illumination throughout. Retractable light shades are installed along the glass curtain wall on L4. Spot lighting is available in Canada Hall.

Why We Did It – to accommodate sign language interpreters (provided by AV Services Provider)

  • Projection services are available for captioning

Why We Did It – captioning services are contracted by client from AV Services Provider

  • Touch panel controls are located in all meeting rooms, which control light, temperature, sound, etc. Portable control units for persons of short stature or wheelchair users are available upon request

Why We Did It – all have the ability to control ambient

  • Assistive Listening Systems are available

Why We Did It – ALSs are contracted by client from AV Services Provider

  • Protection at ground level from underside of the Mackenzie King Bridge stairs (guardrails/bollards)

Why We Did It – To prevent someone who is visually impaired from walking into the underside

  • Locker room benches are moveable

Why We Did It – Accommodates a variety of wheelchair types


  • Controls are on the wall adjacent to the seat within reach of the seat.

Why We Did It – Ease of access


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