At Power To Be, we want everyone to feel included. We are proud of the adaptive and inclusive approach we use in our programming, so when the opportunity arose to build a new facility at our Prospect Lake site, we wanted to apply that same approach to our building design.

Our new building project gave us an opportunity to create a functional and adaptive space for our entire community. After an extensive search for an architect that shared our beliefs and passion for the outdoors, we found Christine Lintott, whose vision and values matched our intention for the build. This project was a true collaboration, with open channels of communication and consistent discussions with participants, staff, volunteers and the Rick Hansen Foundation. Our goal was to make the space safe, comfortable, and accessible for everyone.

On the outside of the building, we built a curb-less entry so it is easy for people who have reduced mobility to get inside. We also built wide parking stalls and pathways made of easy-to-navigate materials (e.g. concrete, packed small gravel, etc.). When visitors enter the building, we want them to feel like they’re at home and don’t need to worry about whether they can access a room or use the appliances. The building features high-contrast colours for those with vision impairments, like white walls with black trim, and touchless lighting. Hallways were made wider than average so two people using wheelchairs can pass each other easily. Our kitchen is ADA compliant, and our offices all feature adjustable sit-and-stand desks. In addition to accessibility, we wanted inclusivity to be at the forefront of our build. We opted for a Stalled! approach so that everyone can use any washroom in our building: they are all single-stall, not gendered, and accessible.

We have also developed lots of adaptive infrastructure outside of our new building. The waterfront at Prospect Lake has a dock with a wide ramp to make getting into the water easy for everyone. On land, our campsites feature raised tent pads, including pads with ramp access.

We at Power To Be are proud of the spaces we have created because they help us share our love for the outdoors with our community. We are grateful for everything that our staff, participants and volunteers have contributed to making this project a reality. We will continue to improve our infrastructure to make everyone’s experiences the best they can be.