How accessible is your city? Announcing the Accessible Cities Award!

Sonia Woodward By Sonia Woodward On November 4, 2016 RHF News
Over the past few years, many cities across Canada have begun planning accessibility into their built environments and encouraging their communities to be more inclusive for people with disabilities - a transformation we are very excited to see happening.

So, to recognize and celebrate the great work that Canadian municipalities have done to improve their communities’ accessibility and inclusivity, we’re launching the Accessible Cities Award. If your city is working hard to become more accessible, it could be awarded the title of Canada’s Most Accessible City!

What is the Accessible Cities Award?

RHF’s new Accessible Cities Award is a national award designed to recognize and celebrate municipalities – and the planners, developers, architects and builders they work with – for creating accessible places for people with mobility, vision and hearing challenges.

The Award will allow Canadian municipalities to exhibit their efforts to increase universal access in the built environment, and will also allow us to:
  • Highlight success stories and best practices in accessibility;
  • Offer a way to measure progress made in access and inclusion;
  • Provide a platform for discussion about accessibility issues;
  • Raise awareness of accessibility challenges in the built environment;
  • Facilitate the sharing of valuable information; and
  • Encourage greater progress towards an accessible built environment across Canada and the world.

The Accessible Cities Award will showcase the work that’s been done in creating accessible places and spaces across Canada, and will inspire and assist other municipalities (as well as companies who are designing and building accessible spaces) to create barrier-free environments.

How does it work?

This Award is an opportunity to highlight leaders in our built environment. Any municipality in Canada (regardless of population size) can apply.

Municipalities can nominate their city for an Accessible Cities Award, and can also nominate up to five public or private sector places within their city that illustrate best practices in universal access to win a spot in the “Circle of Excellence.”

A panel of judges including professionals in the building and development sector, members of the social planning and urban design community, people with disabilities, and staff from RHF, will review the submissions and award first, second and third place to the three most accessible Canadian cities. The panel will also award up to five inductees into the Circle of Excellence.

Where can people apply?

Applying for the Accessible Cities Award is easy and free. Municipalities can find supporting information and the application on the Accessible Cities Award webpage. All applications must be submitted by March 3, 2017, and we'll announce the winners in May 2017.

What can I do?

We want to hear about the amazing efforts your city is making to promote universal access and improve the lives of people with disabilities. We want to recognize these initiatives and inspire others to match – and maybe, even, exceed – what’s been accomplished in your community! So if you think you live in Canada’s most accessible city, encourage your municipality to apply today at


About the Author

Sonia Woodward is the Content Specialist at the Rick Hansen Foundation.

Read more posts by Sonia Woodward

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