Ville de Montréal takes to heart the universal accessibility to its buildings. In spite of all the efforts displayed, nonetheless, the Ombudsman de Montréal noticed improvements that were required in order to ensure adequate access to the City Hall, for users with reduced mobility.

Adequate signs

Three entrance doors are frequently used by citizens to access City Hall: one on Gosford Street, another, the main one, on Notre-Dame Street and a third, on Place Vauquelin. It is on this last door that a wheelchair access ramp and an automated door opening system are currently installed.

Yet, when a person in a wheelchair came to either of the other two entrance doors that are not wheelchair accessible, they found no indication whatsoever pointing towards the adapted entrance located on Place Vauquelin. At the request of the Ombudsman de Montréal, signs have been installed in this regard, all around the building.

Adapted entrance available at City Hall, regardless of construction work

We also noticed that the adapted entrance on Place Vauquelin was sometimes blocked for long periods of time, by contractors doing repair work on the building.

The Ombudsman de Montréal intervened again and she obtained an undertaking that, in spite of construction work that can occur at City Hall, contractors will be required to keep an adapted entrance accessible for wheelchairs at all times and, if the need arises, to install temporary signs informing citizens of the new location of a temporary adapted entrance.

Information on the Web

Before leaving home, citizens with reduced mobility will often search, on the City’s Web site, the location of the adapted access for people in wheelchairs: unfortunately, this information was not easy to find.

At our request, this information is now more accessible: it can be found in the Sherlock files posted on the City’s Web site and also under the “Accès Simple” heading. We also added this information on the Ombudsman de Montréal‘s Web site, under the heading “Contact” .

Adapted bathroom for handicapped people – Ground floor of City Hall – Automated door opening system

Some handicapped persons using the adapted bathroom located on the ground floor of City Hall had complained that this bathroom was difficult for them to use because, namely, of its heavy wooden door. These people often needed to ask for the help of a passerby so as to open the door for them when they enter and exit the bathroom.

Our investigation showed that the City planned to eventually improve accessibility in this bathroom, but only when it would renovate/upgrade the building, in the coming years: the improvement project, however, did not include the installation of an automated door opening system for this bathroom.

This is the only bathroom adapted for handicapped persons at City Hall and, therefore, this long delay, as well as the nature of the changes that were planned, did not seem sufficient to us. The Ombudsman de Montréal, therefore, ordered and paid with her own operating budget, an automated door opening system.

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