Friday, June 20, 2008

Toronto offers beach wheelchairs as free public service

The City of Toronto has added two beach wheelchairs to its services, allowing people with mobility limitations to now enjoy Toronto's beaches, The Mirror reports.

The balloon-wheeled units will be loaned for free from the Donald Summerville Pool for up to two hours at a time in a program that runs from June 14 to Aug. 31.

"The city decided to try it out. It's a unique experience for people to enjoy the city's beaches," said Wayne Reeves, a project manager with the city's Parks, Forestry and Recreation department, adding that the City of Toronto has identified accessibility as a priority. "We're really talking about people that have mobility issues. The focus is on people who require mobility aids to get around. Now everyone can finally use the beach."

Toronto is only the second Canadian city to offer the chairs. Beach wheelchairs are currently available in Vancouver and at some Ontario provincial parks.