Multi-Year Accessibility Plan
The City’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) 2020-2025, adopted by the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee on November 1, 2019 and Toronto City Council on December 17, 2019, outlines outcomes and initiatives that reaffirm the City of Toronto’s commitment to an accessible city and to building an equitable and inclusive society that values the contributions of people with disabilities.
The MYAP is a key component of the City’s accessibility framework which outlines how the City will provide an accessible environment in which people with disabilities can access the City’s goods, services and facilities, public spaces, information and communications, and employment opportunities, in a way that meets their individual needs.
The City is also committed to supporting City employees through advice, policies, tools, resources and governance structures that promote an inclusive workplace and support staff in providing accessible goods, services and facilities. For more information, contact the City’s Accessibility Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416-338-2632.
The City is required to post a status report on progress to implement the Accessibility Plan.
Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) 2020-2025
Message from Toronto City Mayor
On behalf of Toronto City Council, I am pleased to share with you the City of Toronto’s Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (2020-2025).
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and one of the most diverse cities around the world. The City of Toronto serves an ever-changing population, including more than 400,000 Torontonians who have disabilities and 426,945 seniors. The seniors population is anticipated to double in the next 25 years. We recognize that planning for accessibility helps us create a more vibrant city for all residents to enjoy. That is why it is so important for us to continue to move forward on creating an accessible city and to ensure that we meet our goals.
We have made significant progress since our first multi-year accessibility plan, but there is more work to be done. As a government we need to work hard to remove barriers that limit the full participation of all those who live, work, play and visit Toronto. We must ensure we are creating a fully accessible Toronto.
As a world class city I appreciate the commitments made by the City Manager, staff and the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee to ensure Toronto is a leader when it comes to accessibility. I look forward to implementing this important plan and as Mayor I am committed to ensuring accessibility is a priority for our city.
Mayor John Tory
Message from Toronto City Manager
As Toronto City Manager, I am proud to present the City of Toronto’s 2020-2025 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) which outlines our continued commitment to identify, remove and prevent accessibility barriers.
As an employer, the City of Toronto has been recognized as one of Canada’s most diverse employers for four years in a row, as of 2019. The Toronto Public Service (TPS) strives to be a model for the rest of the city by embracing our differences and reflecting the diversity of the communities we serve. To achieve this, we strive to foster a work environment that is free of harassment, safe and welcoming, and inclusive for all employees. Embracing diversity and inclusion is one of our key workplace culture themes.
There have been significant accomplishments at the City to advance accessibility and our senior leadership is committed to making accessibility a top priority across the organization. The new MYAP is based on consultation and an in-depth review of accessibility status and planning efforts across the TPS. The plan reaffirms the City of Toronto’s commitment to accessibility and guides us as we continue on our accessibility journey. This plan is supported by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the City’s Corporate Accessibility Policy which was adopted by Toronto City Council on June 28, 2018.
The City’s commitment to providing accessible, equitable and barrier-free services to all residents, visitors and employees helps us enhance the City’s capacity to achieve customer service excellence, meet legislative and policy obligations, and make Toronto an equitable, inclusive and prosperous city.
Chris Murray, City Manager
Commitment to an Accessible City
The 2020-2025 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) outlines goals and initiatives that reaffirm the City’s commitment to creating an accessible City and advancing efforts in building an equitable and inclusive society that values the contributions of people with disabilities.
The City is committed to the identification, removal and prevention of accessibility barriers. By doing so, the City will provide an accessible environment in which employees, residents and visitors with disabilities can access the City’s goods, services and facilities, including buildings, public spaces, information and communications, in a way that meets their individual needs.
The City is equally committed to supporting City employees through advice, policies, tools, resources and governance structures that promote an inclusive workplace and support employees in delivering accessible goods, services and facilities.
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) municipalities are required to develop a multi-year accessibility plan. The City of Toronto’s MYAP outlines how the City will advance accessibility in the following areas:
- General Accessibility
- Information and Communication
- Customer Service
- Built Environment and Design of Public Spaces
While the City of Toronto is compliant with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA, the City’s MYAP focuses on maintaining and monitoring compliance, as well as promoting accessibility by design beyond legislative requirements. This plan covers the period from 2020-2025 and includes both new and continuing priorities that support the City of Toronto in the ongoing identification, removal and prevention of accessibility barriers.
The 2020-2025 MYAP was informed by consultations with the public, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) and City Divisions. It is a document which will be reviewed and updated every 5 years with annual status reports posted in consultation with the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee.
 Accessibility barriers can include any of the following types of barriers:
- Attitudinal barriers include negative attitudes and assumptions about persons with disabilities.
- Systemic barriers include policies and procedures that create barriers to full inclusion.
- Information, communication and technology barriers include communication formats that are not available in accessible formats (e.g., screen reader compatible, braille, plain language, etc.)
- Built and physical barriers include elements in the physical environment that create barriers for persons with disabilities (e.g., lack of a ramp or elevator to access different levels, door widths that prohibit access for users of mobility devices).
 The Toronto Transit Commission maintains an independent multi-year plan and reports directly to the Province of Ontario on AODA compliance.
 Accessibility by design is understood in this document as intentionally incorporating accessibility into all planning, programming and delivery of goods, services and facilities.
The following MYAP principles serve to guide the City in actions, decision-making and service approaches pertaining to the delivery of City of Toronto goods, services and facilities.
1. Leadership and Accountability
The City of Toronto will lead by example in accessibility excellence by striving for maximum accessibility over minimum compliance. Senior leadership in all areas and at all levels of the organization are accountable for advancing accessibility in their areas of responsibility.
The City will:
- Foster a culture of equity and inclusion both within the City organization and throughout the communities the City serves by challenging assumptions and biases when planning and delivering City goods, services and facilities
- Identify and address discriminatory systems, processes and behaviours
- Establish an accountability and compliance framework to ensure accessibility goals are achieved
2. Dignity and Independence
City of Toronto goods, services and facilities will be provided to people of all abilities in a manner that respects the inherent dignity, diversity and abilities of all individuals.
The City will:
- Create and maintain an atmosphere of dignity and respect for all City employees, residents and visitors
- Provide services in a caring, compassionate, non-judgmental manner, free from discrimination and harassment
- Respect the independence of employees, residents and visitors with disabilities by enabling their access to City goods, services and facilities
3. Integration and Equity
City of Toronto goods, services and facilities will be provided to people of all abilities in a similar way, unless an alternative measure is necessary to enable people with disabilities to obtain, use or benefit from the goods, services or facilities.
The City will:
- Ensure people with disabilities can access and benefit from the same goods, services and facilities in an equitable way as others
- Seek permanent accessibility solutions for employees, residents and visitors with disabilities to access and benefit from City goods, services and facilities
- Take into account individual needs and proactively provide accessible formats, communication supports or other accommodations to ensure equitable outcomes
- Take an approach that reflects the impacts and opportunities of intersectionality during all stages of policy, planning and delivery of goods, services and facilities
4. Accessibility by Design
A barrier-free environment is achieved when accessibility is intentionally incorporated into the design of all City planning, procurement and implementation of City goods, services and facilities to address the diverse needs of all employees, residents and visitors.
The City will:
- Incorporate accessibility in the earliest planning stages and throughout the design, development, implementation and procurement of City goods, services and facilities
- Create permanent inclusive solutions ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities is not an afterthought
- Ensure accommodation processes incorporate an approach that recognizes and addresses accessibility barriers (e.g., attitudinal, systemic, information, communications and technology, built / physical environment)
5. Innovation and Adaptability
The City of Toronto seeks new approaches and solutions to accessibility and adapts to new technologies that facilitate increased participation of City employees, residents and visitors with disabilities.
The City will:
- Take a holistic approach that recognizes that accessibility solutions may need to address multiple barriers and that a single solution might not meet the accessibility needs of everyone
- Seek to embed an accessibility lens towards continuous improvement of processes and procedures
- Investigate technologies, products and services that will improve accessibility for City employees, residents and visitors with disabilities
6. Collaboration and Engagement
Addressing accessibility barriers requires a collaborative approach and is a shared responsibility of City Divisions and staff, City Council and Torontonians. Accessible employee engagement / public engagement processes will help the City make more informed decisions, and build strong relationships with the communities the City serves.
The City will:
- Commit to ongoing, meaningful engagement with diverse stakeholders including employees, residents and visitors with disabilities when designing and implementing City of Toronto goods, services and facilities
- Consult with the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee on decisions related to accessibility planning, as outlined in AODA
- Consult with Divisional Program Advisory Committees and accessibility stakeholders
- Ensure that employee and public engagement activities are accessible
- Ensure City Divisions work together to align and advance accessibility priorities
 Intersectionality recognizes that identities are not single social categories but are better understood as interlocking systems of social categories such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality that shape people’s lives through interactions across individual, institutional, cultural and societal spheres.
The general requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA require the City to have accessibility policies, a statement of commitment, and a multi-year accessibility plan. The development, implementation and maintenance of corporate policies governing how the City will achieve accessibility have been established, including:
- The City of Toronto’s Statement of Commitment to Creating an Accessible City was adopted by City Council in August 2009
- The City of Toronto Corporate Accessibility Policy was adopted by City Council in June 2018.
- Establish a corporate Accessibility Governance Structure and Accountability Framework to oversee the implementation of MYAP (People & Equity).
- Develop relevant divisional implementation plans which will include detailed deliverables and timelines (All Divisions).
- Develop, maintain and monitor accessibility guidelines and tools to support implementation and AODA compliance assurance (People & Equity).
- Provide status updates on the City’s MYAP to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee on an annual basis and ensure updates are posted on the City’s website (People & Equity).
- Promote accessibility awareness within the organization as well as all the communities we serve through education and awareness campaigns (People & Equity and Social Development, Finance & Administration).
- Host employee meetings and public events in facilities and public spaces that are accessible (All Divisions).
- Continue to engage and consult with the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and disability communities in Toronto to advance accessibility (All Divisions).
- Continue to engage and seek advice from City Divisional Program Advisory Bodies (PABs) on advancing accessibility and inclusion. Accessibility advisory bodies may be established for one time consultation on a specific topic or established for ongoing engagement within a specific service area. Current advisory groups include:
- Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services (Transportation Services)
- Community Disability Steering Committee (Parks, Forestry and Recreation)
- Elections Accessibility Outreach Network (City Clerk’s Office)
- Equity and Inclusion Advisory Group (People & Equity).
- Continue to embed accessibility into the Toronto Seniors Strategy as work proceeds on accessible and age-friendly commitments and recommendations (Seniors Services and Long Term Care).
- Continue to embed and train staff on the use of the Equity Lens Tool to consider equity impacts of all new planning, projects, policies and initiatives (All Divisions).
- An organization which fosters a culture of equity and inclusion, that values and includes employees, residents and visitors with disabilities.
- City employees, residents and visitors are aware of resources and can easily utilize accommodation and accessibility services when accessing City goods, services and facilities.
- City employees have the support and tools needed to actively identify, prevent and remove accessibility barriers.
- Clear roles and accountabilities for advancing accessibility across the organization.
The City of Toronto is required, under the AODA, to provide training on the requirements of the IASR and on the Ontario Human Rights Code to all employees, volunteers and persons who participate in developing City policies or provide services or goods on behalf of the City of Toronto.
- Ensure all employees and volunteers continue to complete mandatory AODA and accessibility training appropriate to the person’s role as soon as possible and in a variety of formats (All Divisions).
- Enhance leadership knowledge and skills to ensure compliance with City Policies, Human Rights legislation, AODA and other related legislation (People & Equity).
- Continue to record and track employee learning and development activities specifically related to AODA and accessibility requirements. (People & Equity).
- Ensure that all training, activities, course materials and learning approaches are developed and delivered in accessible formats (All Divisions and People & Equity).
- Continue the development of Toronto For All education program to help City employees understand human rights obligations, unconscious bias, and power and privilege to promote equitable outcomes for people with disabilities (People & Equity).
- Apply an equity and accessibility analysis to all organizational learning and development activities (People & Equity).
- City employees understand their responsibilities to provide accessible goods, services and facilities that take into account the needs of employees, residents and visitors with disabilities.
- Employees with disabilities have equitable access to learning, development and career growth opportunities.
The City of Toronto is required, under the IASR, to incorporate accessibility design, criteria when procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities, except where it is not practicable to do so. The City’s Purchasing & Materials Management Division has established accessibility requirements to support City divisions in procurement activities.
- Continue to ensure accessibility criteria are key requirements of the procurement process when acquiring or purchasing goods, services and/or facilities (All Divisions and Purchasing & Materials Management).
- Provide tools and resources to assist City employees in meeting accessibility obligations in procurement, such as training, templates, sample language and guidelines that embed accessibility considerations at all stages of procurement (Purchasing & Materials Management, People & Equity and Information & Technology).
- Review and update resources and tools for accessible procurement to ensure that current best practices and technologies are considered (Purchasing & Materials Management and People & Equity).
- Ensure an accessibility analysis of all projects and purchases before funding is requested (All Divisions).
- Continue to include provisions for vendor accessible customer service training requirements and a declaration of compliance with Anti-Harassment / Discrimination Legislation and City policy for all City procurement contracts (All Divisions).
- Continue to work with vendors and community partners to meet or exceed accessibility requirements (All Divisions).
- Continue to apply the City’s Social Procurement Policy and practices (All Divisions).
- Accessibility is embedded into City procurement processes to ensure public funds are not inadvertently used to create or maintain accessibility barriers.
- The needs of employees, residents and visitors with disabilities are considered at all stages of the procurement process to ensure that City goods, services and facilities are accessible.
- People with disabilities have equitable access to goods services and facilities procured by the City of Toronto.
- Leveraging the City’s procurement processes to promote accessibility and help build a more inclusive society.
The Information and Communications Standard under the IASR requires the City of Toronto to communicate and provide information in ways that are accessible to people with disabilities. The Information & Technology Division established an AODA Compliance Public Facing Project Team to ensure AODA compliance and accessibility by design leadership in all City of Toronto digital communications and web content. The City of Toronto Digital Accessibility Standard was established to ensure digital accessibility in all services and information the City provides to employees, residents and visitors.
24. Continue to notify the public about the availability of accessible formats and communication supports (All Divisions).
25. Continue to ensure that any process for receiving and responding to feedback is accessible by providing or arranging for accessible formats and communication supports (All Divisions).
26. Continue to ensure that City employees understand the accommodation request process, including the requirement to arrange for accessible formats and communication supports, and the requirement to consult with the person making the request in order to determine suitable accessible formats or communication supports (All Divisions).
27. Research and develop a streamlined process for City employees to access American Sign Language (ASL), Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) and other accessibility services and supports to provide equitable access to City employees, residents and visitors with disabilities (People & Equity and Purchasing & Materials Management).
28. Develop and implement accessible information, communication and technology guidelines and standards to ensure the City is providing clear, accessible, appropriate and timely information and communication (Information & Technology and Strategic Communications).
29. Conduct annual reviews of the City of Toronto Digital Accessibility Principles and Guidelines and update to reflect current best practices in digital accessibility (Information & Technology and Strategic Communications).
30. Continue to ensure that the City’s websites and web applications incorporate the foundations of the City of Toronto Digital Accessibility Standard (Information & Technology).
31. Regularly review compliance and usability best practices in order to identify ways to improve accessibility in information, communications and technology based on broader accessibility sector advancements and legislated requirements (Information & Technology and Strategic Communications).
32. Develop and implement a process to review and assess requests for exceptions based on practicability and risk management as part of the City of Toronto Digital Accessibility Standard (Information & Technology).
33. Continue to evaluate and remediate City website content and ensure that it meets or exceeds accessibility compliance requirements by providing the appropriate frameworks, tools, guidelines and training for use by all City Divisions (Information & Technology and Strategic Communications).
- City employees have the tools and resources to develop and provide information in accessible formats.
- City employees, residents and visitors with disabilities will have equal access to City information through communication supports, alternate formats, accessible websites and digital content.
The City of Toronto is committed to customer service excellence. This includes service provision that is both accessible to and inclusive of employees, residents and visitors with disabilities. The Accessible Customer Service Standard under the IASR requires the City of Toronto to provide accessible services for people with disabilities and to have policies and procedures in place to support accessible customer service.
34. Continue to embed and strengthen the focus on accessibility within the Customer Service Centre of Excellence (Corporate Services).
35. Review the Guide to Good Practice accessible customer service guidelines and update to reflect the highest standards in accessible customer service (People & Equity).
36. Continue to work with the Elections Accessibility Outreach Network to improve accessibility of election services through the identification, removal and prevention of barriers that affect electors and candidates with disabilities. (City Clerk’s Office).
37. Develop a comprehensive Accessibility Plan for municipal elections based on learnings from Election Accessibility Reports and consultation with the Elections Accessibility Outreach Network (City Clerk’s Office).
38. Continue to evaluate City programs and services to ensure inclusion and equitable participation of employees, residents and visitors with disabilities in City operated programs (All Divisions).
39. Embed an equity analysis within customer service processes at the City through the Fair Outcomes project (Corporate Services).
40. Formalize and implement accessible public consultation requirements to ensure all consultation activities are accessible and inclusive (All Divisions).
- People with disabilities receive City goods and services of the same quality and within the same timeline as others and benefit equally from customer service initiatives.
- City employees have access to tools, resources, policies and procedures to support accessible customer service.
The Employment Standards under the IASR requires that the City of Toronto support the recruitment and accommodation of employees with disabilities. The City of Toronto is committed to advancing accessibility, diversity and inclusion of employees with disabilities. The People & Equity Division will continue to support the organization by providing quality people services.
41. Develop and implement an employment strategy for equity-seeking groups, including people with disabilities (People & Equity).
42. Develop a targeted outreach strategy for recruiting people with disabilities and ensuring an application process that is barrier-free. This will include increasing partnerships and outreach with organizations and agencies that support the employment of people with disabilities (People & Equity).
43. Continue to embed an equity analysis into all recruitment processes to remove any unintended accessibility barriers (People & Equity).
44. Review people services policies and procedures to identify, prevent and remove barriers to employment and development opportunities. This review will also serve to ensure ongoing compliance with legislation (People & Equity).
45. Continue the practice of preparing individualized accommodation and emergency response plans for City employees with disabilities (All Divisions).
46. Foster a culture of employee engagement and inclusion through analysis of the Employee Engagement Survey and the development of action plans in partnership with Communities of Inclusion, including the Employee Disability Network (People & Equity).
47. Continue to conduct an employment equity survey – Count Yourself In – to inform workforce planning priorities through data-informed decision making (People & Equity).
48. Support the Employee Disability Network (EDN) to promote professional development opportunities for employees with disabilities (People & Equity).
- Increased employment, engagement and advancement of employees with disabilities within the City organization.
- Equitable, clear and consistent employment and accommodation policies and procedures that seek to remove systemic barriers and ensure people with disabilities are able to participate fully as job applicants and employees of the City.
The Transportation Standard under the IASR outlines requirements to prevent and remove barriers to public transportation which are applicable to the Toronto Island Ferry, design of bus stops and shelters, and licensing of vehicles-for-hire, which includes taxicabs and private transportation companies. In addition to AODA requirements, the City of Toronto is committed to increasing accessibility and usability of all City sidewalks and roadways.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) manages conventional and specialized transportation services, and maintains their own policies and plans.
49. Implement a Vehicle-for-Hire Accessibility Fund Program to help offset the higher cost of providing wheelchair accessible service, funded through a regulatory charge on members of the industry that do not provide this service (Municipal Licensing & Standards).
50. Continue to integrate accessibility considerations in the application of Toronto On-Street Bikeway Design Guide by consulting with the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and the public, and by incorporating best practices (Transportation Services).
51. Continue to research and incorporate methods to improve accessibility on the City’s streets and sidewalks (Transportation Services).
52. Prepare the City of Toronto for automated vehicles, ensuring accessibility considerations are incorporated in the earliest planning stages. This includes consultation with Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee to ensure an accessibility analysis is applied to future policies and plans (Transportation Services).
53. Include accessibility considerations and implications in the City’s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan by consulting with the community and the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (Transportation Services).
54. Ensure public transportation equipment purchased, including Toronto Island ferries, meets or exceeds all provincial and federal legislated requirements for accessibility (Parks, Forestry & Recreation).
55. Conduct a review of snow clearing policies, practices and procedures using an accessibility and equity analysis and develop a strategy to reduce barriers that significantly limit the mobility of people with disabilities (Transportation Services).
56. Continue to fulfill requests for Accessible Pedestrian Signals and install with all new traffic signals and replacements of existing traffic crossing signals. (Transportation Services).
57. Install Tactile Walking Surface Indicators at all corners during state of good repair road rehabilitation projects (Transportation Services).
- Sidewalks and roadways are accessible and facilitate easy and safe mobility throughout Toronto for all residents and visitors.
- Access to a range of accessible transportation services in Toronto to meet the needs of all residents and visitors.
- Increased awareness and consideration of accessibility in the City’s transportation-related strategies, planning and policies.
 The Toronto Transit Commission maintains an independent multi-year plan and reports directly to the Province of Ontario on AODA compliance. Visit the TTC’s Accessibility webpage for details.
The City of Toronto recognizes that built environment barriers are a form of discrimination and is committed to increasing the accessibility of public spaces. The Design of Public Spaces Standard under the IASR requires that newly-constructed or redeveloped public spaces are accessible. In addition, the City is compliant with the barrier-free design requirements of the Ontario Building Code and strives to achieve a high level of accessibility in public spaces as well as all City workspaces.
58. Continue to maintain and update the Toronto Accessibility Design Guidelines (TADG) (Corporate Real Estate Management).
59. Continue to prioritize and retrofit existing built environment barriers at facilities under its management to comply with the TADG (Corporate Real Estate Management, all Divisions with responsibility for the management of City of Toronto owned facilities and spaces).
60. Continue to implement accessibility improvements as part of State of Good Repair AODA Capital programs (Corporate Real Estate Management, all Divisions with responsibility for the management of City of Toronto owned facilities or spaces).
61. Ensure accessibility considerations are incorporated into Shelter Design Guidelines through best practice research and consultation with people with disabilities and the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (Shelter, Support & Housing Administration).
62. Continue to maintain accessible elements in public spaces through monitoring and regularly planned preventative maintenance of accessible elements (All Divisions with responsibility for the management of City of Toronto owned facilities and spaces).
63. Continue to respond to temporary disruptions when accessible elements in public spaces are not in working order by notifying the public and prioritizing remediation (All Divisions with responsibility for the management of City of Toronto owned facilities and spaces).
- Improved accessibility of City of Toronto public spaces and workplaces by incorporating accessibility into the design of new facilities as well as during renovations and redevelopments of existing facilities.
- Prevention and removal of accessibility barriers within City facilities through the mandatory use and enforcement of the TADG for new City facilities and during renovations and redevelopments of existing facilities.
 The TADG acts as a standard of best practice in accessibility for constructing and renovating City facilities and public spaces by meeting or exceeding the Ontario Building Code (OBC) Barrier-Free Requirements and the AODA Design of Public Spaces Standards.
The City of Toronto is committed to the prevention, identification and removal of accessibility barriers. The Multi-Year Accessibility Plan (MYAP) will be monitored by the People & Equity Division on an annual basis and status updates will be posted on the City’s website. The MYAP will be updated in 2025 in consultation with employees, residents and visitors with disabilities, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and City Divisions.
Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility and will be incorporated by design into the work of all City Divisions. The City’s MYAP will coordinate across all service areas to create a shift in the workplace culture with respect to attitudes about accessibility and disability. The City of Toronto will demonstrate and maintain accessibility excellence as an inclusive employer, service provider and municipal government.
For inquiries about this plan or to request an alternate format, please contact email@example.com or 416-338-2632.