Charter Files

For many years, universal accessibility of Ville de Montréal buildings and installations has been a topic of considerable interest to the OdM. We intervene on a regular basis to improve site accessibility and to ensure that universal accessibility is addressed by the City at the outset of any project.

Some of these long-term files were closed in 2017. Here is a summary of them.

Quartier des spectacles – Phases 1 to 3

We intervened in 2010 following a complaint highlighting accessibility and security issues for persons with reduced mobility.

An independent monitoring study is then conducted by the City, in 2012: several gaps in universal accessibility and security are identified, particularly at intersections.

The City thereafter begins planning for corrective measures.

We follow up on an ad-hoc basis on the implementation of these measures.

Some of these improvements are now completed: markings were added to steps to make them easier to detect; an unprotected higher level is now blocked by street furniture; lighting was added near a dark passageway; etc.

Furthermore, the City has confirmed that additional improvements will be brought in 2018 for safer street-crossing in the Quartier des spectacles: audio-signal traffic lights; addition of tactile paving stones and of pedestrian crossing markings; etc.

Following this commitment, our office closed this file. We will, however, ensure that the undertakings are complied with.

Quartier des spectacles – Final Phase – Esplanade Clark

In light of its previous interventions, the OdM deems it appropriate to initiate a preventive file to ensure that universal accessibility is addressed and integrated upstream at the project’s outset.

The Service de la culture de Montréal confirms that it has mandated the expertise of an external organization in order to better integrate the universal accessibility component in the development of Esplanade Clark. This expert organization is associated with every design phase of the project and intervenes on universal accessibility issues throughout the entire process. The OdM therefore closes the file.

Other Files Under Investigation

Bicycle Path Alongside Boulevard de Maisonneuve, in the Quartier des spectacles

In the course of our intervention in the Quartier des spectacles, we find out that the surrounding bicycle path reveals security issues: the potential for conflict between pedestrians and cyclists is of particular concern. We decide to intervene to explore possible solutions with the City in order to resolve the problematic findings. This intervention is still ongoing.

Restaurant Terraces on Public Land – Arrondissement de Ville-Marie

Since 2013, we have taken an interest in universal accessibility of terraces installed on public land in some areas of Arrondissement de Ville-Marie: the pedestrian area in the Village (Sainte-Catherine Street between Saint-Hubert and Papineau), in Place Jacques-Cartier and on Saint-Paul Street in Old-Montréal.

Several terraces were not complying with universal accessibility standards: lack of access ramps or impassable ramps; insufficient clearance on terraces to allow for the flow of pedestrians with reduced mobility, etc.

Five summer seasons have elapsed since we first intervened. The Borough has gradually reviewed its approach and adopted control procedures to ensure universal accessibility on terraces located on public land. At first, progress was little. However, we noticed major improvements in 2015, 2016 and 2017, particularly in the Village area.

This file was closed at the end of summer 2017. In view of the Borough’s efficient follow-ups, our intervention is no longer deemed necessary. Nonetheless, our renewed intervention on this matter is not ruled out if warranted.

Access to Montréal City Hall

Two of the pedestrian entrances that were considered accessible by the City were problematic: the Gosford Street entrance and the entrance located at the back of the building, on Champ-de-Mars.

Gosford Street Access

The installation was not optimal: it has since been improved. Snow removal operation gaps are also less frequent. This entrance is sometimes outright closed in winter, due to possible snowfall from the roof. We intervene on an ad-hoc basis, as needed, to ensure that at least one accessible entrance remains available and there adequate signage to redirect citizens.

Back Entrance

This entrance was hardly conducive to wheelchair access: lack of an automatic door opener, drop at the threshold, doorbell/intercom located too high to be reached. Our office concludes that improvements are required.

In 2015, the City confirms with us the following remedies: the threshold will be levelled; the doorbell/intercom will be lowered; exterior signs announcing the accessible entrance will be added. We undertake several follow-ups.

A new camera/doorbell/intercom system is installed in 2016: the height of this installation is adequate from a universal accessibility viewpoint.

The scheduled installation of exterior signs is done in 2016.

However, the City notifies us that the installation of an automatic door opener and the levelling of the marble threshold will not be performed before major renovation of City Hall takes place, as of 2018. We recognize that this constraint can be reasonable regarding the automatic door opener.

However, the threshold drop is still of concern to us: we insist that a temporary solution be put in place and suggest that a sloping metal plate be installed.

This sloping metal plate is finally installed in front of the actual threshold in 2017: a wheelchair can therefore go through this door without having to deal with the drop.

Furthermore, the City confirms that handicapped persons who shows up at this entrance can ask the post officer for help by using the intercom or doorbell. The officers have been directed accordingly.

This temporary compromise is acceptable. We close our file.

However, we plan on intervening in 2018 to ensure that the universal accessibility component will be integrated in the planning of City Hall renovation work, namely for the back entrance.

Place Vauquelin

In 2017, the entire Place Vauquelin was rebuilt and levelled to match the thresholds of the access doors. Thus, there are no longer steps or drop to deal with to access City Hall through this entrance.

Moreover, the installation of the new zigzag-shaped ramp that now links Place Vauquelin to Champ-de-Mars (whose level is lower) was adjusted to take into account the comments we submitted to increase safety.

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