The Shaw Centre is committed to providing an inclusive and equal opportunity for everyone that walks through our doors. Guided by the Ontario Disabilities Act, we’ve taken several measures to ensure everyone feels welcome and has a seamless experience in our building.


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A Universal Design Approach

By law we are required to design to the Ontario Building code however a universal approach was taken to the design of the Shaw Centre, which meet the following codes, standards and requirements (whichever is more stringent):

  • Ontario Building Code (2006)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Americans with disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) (2004)
  • CAN/CSA-B651 (2004 and draft 2010), Accessible Design for the Built Environment
  • The Building Beta test that was conducted to test accessibility features and emergency communications protocols prior to opening was effective.

Although not required to do so in Canada, we voluntarily designed to meet ADA and ADAAG requirements, since the American convention market is important to us and the latter is a requirement for American groups.

How Our Areas Are Accessible


  • Accessible stalls (8 men’s, 8 women’s) are located on all meeting levels, plus four additional back of house staff washrooms and individual/family stalls (4) are on L2 and L3
  • Banks of washroom have a door-less entry
  • Lavatories and soap dispensers are hands free
  • Individual/family washrooms are at least 1500 x 1600 mm and include a sink in the room


  • All ramps have a slope of at least 1:13 (one foot in height needs 13 feet of distance for the slope)
  • Ramps have a colour contrasting warning strip at the top
  • No front of house ramp is longer than 9 meters
  • Ramps in the vicinity of the main entry are extremely comfortable which allows those in wheelchairs to navigate ramps without assistance


  • Areas of refuge/rescue assistance are included on each floor above and below the main level
  • Evacuation onto the terrace at Level 3 is possible
  • Visual alarms are located throughout the facility, including in all meeting rooms and washrooms


  • Colour cuing in the flooring, including carpeted areas to identify decision points (washrooms, elevators) and for way finding (dashed lines outside Canada Hall on L3)
  • Raised directional tiles and pavers
  • Tactile Walking Surface Indicators(TWSI) are installed in the exterior plaza leading to the entrance from the crosswalks and in the main interior lobby leading to the building directory at the elevator
  • Tactile and braille signage is available throughout the facility for identification of all rooms, including meeting rooms


  • Designed without nosings
  • Non-slip edge has been provided
  • Contrasting handrails
  • Tactile cueing


  • Height of handrails is 880mm, while the upward limit provided for in the CSA is 920mm


  • All entrances are accessible and contain Automatic door openers
  • Accessible interior parking on P1 and P2, with accessible entrance to Shaw Centre


  • Protection under escalators, stairs and ramps: a guard has been installed in all locations
  • Interior routes are wide and free of obstacles
  • Use of sound dampening materials and panels in meeting rooms and Canada Hall
  • Dual height drinking fountains are located between the orb washrooms on L4 and near the Rideau Centre entrance on L2


  • Retractable light shades are installed along the glass curtain wall on L4. Spot lighting is available in Canada Hall.
  • Projection services are available for captioning
  • Touch panel controls are located in all meeting rooms, which control light, temperature, sound, etc. Portable control units for persons of short stature or wheelchair users are available upon request
  • Assistive Listening Systems are available
  • Protection at ground level from underside of the Mackenzie King Bridge stairs (guardrails/bollards)
  • Locker room benches are moveable


  • Controls are on the wall adjacent to the seat within reach of the seat.
Accessibility Plans

To view the Shaw Centre Multi Year Accessibility Plan, please click here. (.pdf)

To view the Shaw Centre Accessible Customer Service Plan, please click here. (.pdf)

Upon request, Shaw Centre will provide or arrange for the provision of accessible formats and communication supports for persons with disabilities.
Please contact us at or 613-688-8209.

Request for Proposal