CN Tower Achieves New Heights of Accessibility, with Gold-Level Certification from Rick Hansen Foundation

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - November 9, 2022) - Canada Lands Company, the corporation responsible for the CN Tower, one of Canada's most iconic landmarks and a recognized national symbol, today announced that the Tower has achieved the highest level of accessibility certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation. The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister responsible for Canada Lands Company, was at the Tower to accept the certification and celebrate this important milestone for the 46-year-old structure.

"Canada's most recognizable landmark is also one its most inclusive and accessible. Ensuring our communities and economy are inclusive makes them stronger and more resilient. By removing physical barriers of access, Canadians of all abilities are better able to participate and contribute," said The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

"As we work together to create an accessible and barrier-free Canada, we need to ensure that everyone can access spaces and buildings. The CN Tower is an important Canadian landmark, and it is critical that everyone can enjoy it. Congratulations to Canada Lands Company for your Gold-level certification! And thanks to the Rick Hansen Foundation for your ongoing work to make our build environment accessible and disability inclusive," said The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.

In a video message, Man In Motion Rick Hansen himself congratulated the CN Tower on its achievement: "In 2015, I was honoured to be one of the first people in a wheelchair to do an accessible EdgeWalk, at the CN Tower," he said. "In 2018, the CN Tower achieved accessibility certification from our Foundation, for reaching a level of meaningful accessibility for people with all disabilities. Today, I'm honoured to be able to congratulate the CN Tower for its accomplishment in achieving Accessibility Certified Gold, an even higher level of meaningful access."

Opened in 1976, the CN Tower was constructed as a broadcast antenna and remains among the most visited tourist attractions in Canada. A series of recent renovations have prioritized the removing of barriers to accessibility, part of a longstanding commitment by Canada Lands Company to ensure that everyone is welcome at Canada's National Tower.

For CN Tower Chief Operating Officer Peter George, retrofitting a building like the CN Tower has presented some interesting challenges. "Accessibility has been among the highest priorities for Canada Lands Company and the CN Tower, and our journey to achieving Gold certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation reflects that," he says.

Getting there has included the renovation in 2018 of the Main Observation Level, which saw the installation of floor-to-ceiling window walls and removal of barriers of access to the view that were a feature of the Tower's original construction. The work has also included the addition of high-contrast signage, railing retrofitting, ensuring menus for the Tower's 360 Restaurant are available in Braille, the installation of automatic doors, and accessible washrooms throughout the facility.

An extensive renovation of the Tower's Outdoor Terrace Level, which is currently underway, will further enhance accessibility throughout the site.

Renovations are conducted in consultation with accessibility experts. "Ensuring our building is accessible and inclusive means that everyone can feel welcome visiting the Tower. It also helps us attract a diverse team of talented people to work here, and that benefits everyone," George says.

For more information about the CN Tower's work to promote accessibility, visit https://www.cntower.ca/plan-your-visit/accessibility.

Quotes

"Canada's most recognizable landmark is also one its most inclusive and accessible. Ensuring our communities and economy are inclusive makes them stronger and more resilient. By removing physical barriers of access, Canadians of all abilities are better able to participate and contribute."

-- The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

"As we work together to create an accessible and barrier-free Canada, we need to ensure that everyone can access spaces and buildings. The CN Tower is an important Canadian landmark, and it is critical that everyone can enjoy it. Congratulations to Canada Lands Company for your Gold-level certification! And thanks to the Rick Hansen Foundation for your ongoing work to make our build environment accessible and disability inclusive."

-- The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

"In 2015, I was honoured to be one of the first people in a wheelchair to do an accessible EdgeWalk, at the CN Tower. In 2018, the CN Tower achieved accessibility certification from our Foundation, for reaching a level of meaningful accessibility for people with all disabilities. Today, I'm honoured to be able to congratulate the CN Tower for their accomplishments in achieving RHF Accessibility Certified Gold, an even higher level of meaningful access."

- Rick Hansen, Founder, the Rick Hansen Foundation

"Accessibility has been among the highest priorities for Canada Lands Company and the CN Tower, and our journey to achieving Gold certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation reflects that. Ensuring our building is accessible and inclusive means that everyone can feel welcome visiting the Tower. It also helps us attract a diverse team of talented people to work at the Tower, and that benefits everyone."

- Peter George, Chief Operating Officer, CN Tower

About Canada Lands Company
Canada Lands Company is a self-financing federal Crown corporation that specializes in real estate development and attractions management. Since 1995, Canada Lands has enriched Canadian communities and experiences by embracing the full potential of the properties it owns and operates. Canada Lands is a leader in attractions management with its operations of the CN Tower and Downsview Park in Toronto, the Old Port of Montréal and the Montréal Science Centre. Canada Lands Company strives to enhance economic, social and environmental value for Canadians. It has delivered more than $1.2 billion in economic benefits to Canada since inception. https://www.clc-sic.ca/

About the CN Tower
An enduring symbol of innovation, Canada's National Tower inspires and connects Canadians. Committed to sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity, the CN Tower is held in perpetuity. Self-sustaining and profitable, its successful operation as Canada's preeminent attraction returns value to and forms a lasting legacy for all Canadians. We stand tall, we elevate every occasion, and we celebrate infinite possibilities, as we welcome visitors from around the world to Canada's celebration destination. Visit cntower.ca for more information.

About the Rick Hansen Foundation
The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen's Man In Motion World Tour. For nearly 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. Visit www.rickhansen.com to learn more.

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For CN Tower media inquiries:
Jennifer Paige
CN Tower
jpaige@cntower.ca
(416) 262-1727

Jodie Hunt
CN Tower
jhunt@cntower.ca
(416) 200-1539

For Rick Hansen Foundation media inquiries:
Cynnamon Schreinert
Hartley PR
Cynnamon@hartleypr.com
(604) 802-2733

Visuals are available for download at https://clcl-sicl.mediavalet.com/galleries/f71999a6-64c9-4f8f-8bdf-5502c13c441e_889a768f-508c-4fb3-b462-7b30d3166799-ExternalUser

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/143682