Ottawa is a very accessible city! But it is still making changes to ensure that it is accessible to everybody, whatever their needs be. Whether you need accessible transportation, a restaurant or a hotel, Ottawa is sure to have something to suit your needs.
If you’re coming to Ottawa and you need some information on accessibility, this is a great place to start. You’ll find some helpful information below!
Both public transportation and taxis offer many services. And as Ottawa is a relatively compact city, these are popular ways to get around. If you’re planning to travel outside of the city, VIA Rail Canada and several airlines also offer accessibility services.
OC Transpo, O-Train, and Para Transpo
OC Transpo– Ottawa’s public bus service – and the O-Train offer accessibility services in Ottawa. There is also Para Transpo, which provides door-to-door transportation for eligible customers.
Running from one end of Ottawa to the other, some of the features on OC Transpo buses include a ramp for easy boarding, a kneeling feature that allows the bus to lower to the curb, cooperative and priority seating, two dedicated spaces for assistive devices, colour contrasted handholds and grab bars, as well as slip resistant surfaces.
There are more than 180 accessible taxi cabs available to serve those with physical disabilities in the Ottawa area. Popular companies that offer accessible taxis include West-Way, BlueLine, and Capital Taxi.
VIA Rail offers many accessibility services to those such as seniors with difficulty walking, passengers with young children, pregnant women, along with passengers with reduced mobility. Passengers who need personal assistance must travel with a companion (companion travels free in the same class of service in certain circumstances). Also for those travelling with a guide dog or service animal, they will receive a second seat in economy or business class for the animal as well.
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
The Ottawa Airport provides many services for those who need personal assistance before or after boarding a flight. The airport has a corps of trained volunteers called Infoguides that will provide assistance to those with disabilities in person or by telephone. For those with visual impairments, the airport signage includes the use of high contrast colours, specially textured floors, and the use of tactile markers.
Anybody who needs assistance making their way through the terminal, needing help with luggage, or boarding or disembarking their plane, should contact the airport prior to their trip in order to make sure someone is ready and available to be of assistance.
With the list of accessible restaurants in Ottawa growing every year, it is making dining out easier for those with reduced mobility. There are a number of restaurants in the city that have wheelchair accessible entrances and washrooms as well as some with handicap parking. It is always recommended to call ahead and inquire about accessibility services. Below we have provided a list of a few accessible restaurants around the city. But there are many more!
Play Food and Wine (1 York Street)
At Play Food and Wine, you can expect to find amazing food and even better wine! They have a selection of small plates that are constantly changing, so you never have to commit to one meal. And with lots of choices, “Play” as it’s known locally, offers plates that are great for sharing. Here, they make everything from scratch and use local as well as seasonal products when possible!
Beckta Dining and Wine (150 Elgin Street)
Owned by the same restaurateur as Play – Stephen Beckta – this fine dining establishment offers gourmet food and interesting cocktails. Enjoy a delicious meal with a quiet ambiance in smaller dining rooms that are housed in one of the city’s well-know heritage buildings. At the entrance of the restaurant, you’ll find an elevator.
Johnny Farina Restaurant (216 Elgin Street)
A casual and comfortable Italian Restaurant, Johnny Farina’s boasts 35-foot ceilings and a main floor that was designed to make you feel like you are in a piazza of an Italian Village. Here you’ll find classic Italian Food; handmade pastas, rustic-style cuisine, and pizza baked in a wood-burning oven!
Spin Kitchen and Bar (100 Kent Street)
One of the best lounge experiences in Ottawa can be found here at Spin Kitchen and Bar. Located just a short walk from Parliament Hill, you can enjoy one of their many modern but comforting food items, maybe even from their “Spin 6” menu that includes items for just $6!
Most hotels in Ottawa have accessibility services such as main entrances, parking, accessible restaurants and lounges, and rooms with features inside to accommodate persons with disabilities. To learn more about Ottawa’s hotels, which range from the luxurious to the more affordable, click here.
But these are only a few helpful tips to get your trip started. For more information, browse Ottawa Tourism’s website. We also suggest getting in touch with establishments directly to make arrangements prior to your trip.