Accessibility Standard for Real Property

Establishes minimum requirements for the accessibility of real property.

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1. Effective date

This standard is effective November 1, 2006.

2. Application

This standard applies to all departments within the meaning of section 2 of the Financial Administration Act, unless specific acts or regulations override it.

3. Context

The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) gives effect to the principle that all individuals should have equal opportunity to have their needs accommodated, consistent with their duties and obligations and to function as members of society, without being hindered in, or prevented from, doing so by discriminatory practices.

The CHRA prohibits discrimination in the provision of goods, services, facilities or accommodation customarily available to the general public and prohibits the adverse differentiation between individuals.

4. Purpose

The Treasury Board Policy on the Management of Real Property holds Deputy Heads responsible for providing barrier-free access to, use of and exit from real property in accordance with this standard. This standard establishes minimum requirements for the accessibility of real property to meet the objectives of the policy.

This standard is issued pursuant to the Financial Administration Act, subsections 7(1), 9(1.1), 9(2) and the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, subsection 16(4).

5. Accessibility requirements

5.1. In the management of real property, custodians shall at a minimum, provide access to and use of the following:

  1. Entrances. Frequently used points of access to the property must be equipped with a power door operator at main entrances to real property. Where entry to or exit from the facility is through a series of doors in a vestibule-like arrangement, at least one complete set of doors allowing access to the vestibule area shall be so equipped.
  2. Passenger elevators.
  3. Public areas (including, but not limited to, cafeterias, lounges, recreation areas, eating areas, patios, libraries, and walkways).
  4. Federal work areas (including, but not limited to, offices, on-floor storage areas, meeting and training rooms, computer rooms and spaces for business machines).
  5. Interior doors and corridors.
  6. Washrooms.
  7. Public telephones. When banks of public telephones are provided, there must be at least one public telephone per bank accessible to persons in wheelchairs and one public telephone per bank accessible to persons with hearing impairments. All direct-line telephones and at least one charge-a-call telephone, when provided, shall be similarly accessible.
  8. Drinking fountains. One accessible cooler or fountain shall be provided in each location where water coolers or drinking fountains are provided.
  9. Tactile signage. Tactile signs shall be provided for the following: washrooms, emergency exits, elevators and stairwells.
  10. Where employee or visitor parking is provided, the quantity of accessible parking spaces provided shall conform with municipal by-laws or the following table, whichever has the higher number of accessible spaces:

    Total Parking Spaces Minimum No. of Accessible Spaces Total Parking Spaces Minimum No. of Accessible Spaces
    up to 25 1 151–200 6
    26–50 2 201–300 7
    51–75 3 301–400 8
    76–100 4 401–500 9
    101–150 5 more than 500 2% of total

    Accessible parking spaces shall be within a reasonable and safe proximity of the federal facility but may be distributed among distinct parking areas.

  11. Accessibility shall include routes from accessible parking areas, local public transit stops and all drop-off areas that are within the limits of the federal property to main entrances.
  12. Accessible seating spaces shall be provided within auditoriums, theatres and other general assembly areas in the quantities identified in the National Building Code of Canada.
  13. Classrooms, auditoriums, meeting rooms and theatres of more than 100 square metres shall be equipped with an assistive listening system encompassing the entire seating area.

5.2.In meeting accessibility requirements for real property, departments shall apply the technical standard found in the publication entitled "Accessible Design For the Built Environment'' (CAN/CSA-B651-04).

Note: This technical standard has applied to the accessibility requirements of real property acquired (including lease renewal), under construction or undergoing major refit since October 1, 2004. It does not apply retroactively to accessibility requirements of real property in the inventory prior to October 1, 2004.

5.3. For Crown-leased real property outside Canada, custodians shall make best efforts to meet the standard.

5.4. Departments shall adapt residential units to the technical standard when employees or their immediate dependants require accessibility.

Exemptions and minor variations

5.5. Certain elements of real property may be exempted from the full accessibility requirements unless the intended use requires public access or the job requirements are such that a person with a disability could meet these requirements. Custodians shall establish internal procedures for identifying and seeking the deputy head's approval of full or partial exemptions from the accessibility requirements of this standard. They shall document the rationale for these exemptions and maintain records of all real property that is partially or fully exempted in accordance with this standard.

5.6. If the criteria that justified the exemption change, the custodian shall reassess the real property against this standard to ensure that the exemption is still justified.

5.7. Custodians may allow minor variations from the accessibility requirements of this standard (including the technical standard). However, such variations shall be consistent with the general intent of this standard and shall not affect the general accessibility of a specific property.

5.8. Where the accessibility requirements of this standard will significantly reduce the heritage quality of the property, some deviation from this standard is permitted. In deviating from the standard, custodians shall ensure that the following requirements are met:

  1. access shall be provided to at least one main level of the building;
  2. there shall be full access to government services and employment opportunities;
  3. where washroom facilities are provided in an inaccessible location, equivalent facilities that are accessible shall also be provided; and
  4. for inaccessible exhibitions, another version of the exhibition, such as a video display, shall be provided in an accessible area.

6. References

7. Enquiries

Please direct enquiries about this policy instrument to the organizational unit in your department responsible for this subject matter. For interpretation of this policy instrument, the responsible organizational unit should contact: TBS Public Enquiries.

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