Victoria strives to be a destination that is accessible to everyone. There are many things to do and places to see that are easily accessible to people of all disabilities.
By law, all Canadian transportation carriers such as airlines, railways and ferries are required to ensure that travelers with disabilities do not encounter undue obstacles while using their services. Public buildings have ramps, properly equipped washrooms and automatic doors. Many commercial buildings also have similar facilities. At all public buildings and shopping malls, parking spaces for the vehicles of persons with impaired mobility are designated and reserved. Vehicles using these spaces are required to display a disability sign in the vehicle window.
Organizations such as ‘Power to be’ offer Adaptive Recreation programs to support people living with a disability or barrier in experiencing inclusive recreational activities while exploring nature and their natural abilities. See their listing at the bottom of this post for more information.
Travelers with Guide Animals
A person with a disability accompanied by a guide animal has the same rights, privileges and obligations as a person not accompanied by an animal. As well, a fee may not be charged for a guide animal accompanying a person with a disability.
Speech or Hearing Impairment
For persons with hearing or speech impairment, there are services available at the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Call 604-736-7391 (voice) or 604-736-2527 (TTY). For the Telus 24-hour Message Relay Centre call 1-800-855-0511 (voice) or 711 (TTY).
The City has designated 28 metered on-street parking spaces in the downtown core for use by people with a valid disabled placard on their vehicle. Drivers with disabilities are able to purchase up to two hours of parking time at these spaces. All 28 spaces meet the physical requirements of specially equipped vehicles. The locations of these on-street spaces were selected to provide maximum accessibility throughout the downtown core.
A map showing these parking locations is available by clicking this link: Disabled Parking Map
All business and shopping centres with large parking facilities have dedicated disabled parking spaces. You are required to display a valid disabled placard in your vehicle.
Travelers with disabilities can find information on accessible transportation and travel in British Columbia at www.accesstotravel.gc.ca. This Government of Canada website includes information on air, rail, ferry, bus and car travel, and airport accessibility. A list of local accessible transportation options in BC cities and towns is also provided.
Most of BC’s other larger cities feature a range of accessible public transit. Visit BC Transit for more information on transit in BC cities and towns.
Victoria taxis are well equipped for persons with disabilities. Approximately 15% of taxis are wheelchair accessible; reservations are not required when requesting a lift-equipped vehicle but may be prudent during busy periods. Click here for more info on Victoria’s Taxis.
Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is committed to providing fully accessible terminal facilities for people of all backgrounds and capabilities.
BC Ferries, one of the largest ferry operators in the world, provides passenger and vehicle service to BC’s coastal communities, including those on Vancouver Island. BC Ferries provides a variety of accessible services to ensure a safe and comfortable passage to persons with disabilities.
There are many accessible accommodation options in BC. It is recommended to check before booking for the accessibility rating
There is an excellent PDF guide to User-Friendly Trails in the Victoria region. It is available online by clicking the image or this link Trail Guide. It gives excellent descriptions and maps of the all the accessible trails in the Victoria region, allowing people of all disabilities to enjoy Victoria outdoors.
BC Parks also offers accessible features such as paths, trails and other amenities. Click the link to find out more: BC Parks Accessible Features
Power to be
‘Power to be’ offers Adaptive Recreation programs to support people living with a disability or barrier in experiencing inclusive recreational activities while exploring nature and their natural abilities. From land to sea, we adapt our programs to our participants and provide the equipment and support they may need to experience year-round adventures – and we encourage family to participate and share in the experience, too. Power to be offers kayaking programs from their facilities on Prospect Lake in Victoria.