“How is it even possible that two brand new hospitals … were both constructed at cost of billions of dollars, without washrooms that are fully accessible to the frail, elderly or wheelchair bound? Details like misplaced soap dispensers and heavy doors are defects that should not be found in supposedly state-of-the-art hospitals of all places.”Allison Haines
City Columnist, Montreal Gazette
Issues explored: inaccessible buildings, access to transportation, public spaces
"For a city in a province with a rapidly aging population, Montreal all too often fails those with mobility issues. From big obstacles like the dearth of elevators in métro stations to small ones like a step up to get into a shop or a building, there are countless hurdles put in the way of people who already face challenges getting around.
Some of these failures are a result of Montreal being an old and dense city with many heritage structures that were simply built before accessibility was a consideration.
But there are recent failures so flagrant, preposterous and shameful, that they betray a sad reality: accessibility is too frequently an afterthought. How is it even possible that two brand new hospitals, the McGill University Health Centre and the Centre hospitalier de l’université de Montréal, were both constructed at cost of billions of dollars, without washrooms that are fully accessible to the frail, elderly or wheelchair bound? Details like misplaced soap dispensers and heavy doors are defects that should not be found in supposedly state-of-the-art hospitals of all places."
Other Montreal stories and resources:
"We're going to need people to understand that disabled people belong in every type of space," she said. "We're going through the same stuff. We have the same sexual awakenings and we have the same desires to meet people, and to make friends, and to be in relationships, and to drink, and do drugs, or to go out and party, like we want to go out and do all these things but because there's this belief that we don't, we aren't included in those spaces. I know that a lot the charm that is Montreal is how old the buildings are and while I understand that in terms of the architecture, I think it's important to understand this city should not keep its people out. We shouldn't allow the city to discriminate against those that live in it or the tourists who want to visit it."
- Alicia-Ann Pauld, disabled queer Black woman, activist, public speaker and educator