The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies’ VisitAbility Project held the Awards of Excellence in VisitAble Housing to showcase exemplary designs and practices of VisitAble Housing in Canada. The Awards were a one-time program and national in scope.

Eligible housing projects must have met all of the following criteria:

  • Have all three VisitAbility features incorporated.
  • Have been built, renovated, developed, and/or created between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2014.
  • The project must be in Canada.
  • Be in compliance with local building regulations at the time the project was built.
  • Anyone (e.g., architects, builders, developers, owners, general citizens) could submit entries regardless of their direct involvement in the project. Those submitting entries must have had permission from the owner at the time of submission.
  • Multiple entries were accepted.

The adjudication focused on the three Visitability features. The features were adjudicated according to specific criteria including, but not limited to the following (in no particular order):

  • Integration of VisitAbility features into the overall structure and site development
  • Affordability
  • Use of space
  • Aesthetics
  • Functionality
  • Construction techniques (e.g. dealing with challenges related to site, weather, drainage)
  • Innovation
  • Creative usage of building products

The Call for Nominations was very successful, and the Jury Committee is pleased to announce the results from the following categories:

Single-Family Detached Homes

First Prize – Platinum Living

This home was built for an individual to accommodate her disabilities. Air-quality was also paramount, as she also has multiple chemical sensitivities. This project called for innovative solutions within a tight budget. It is a smaller home with a simple design that matches the character of the neighbourhood and adheres to green principles. For more information on this project, please click on the following link: Platinum Living

Single-Family Detached Homes

Second Prize – Sands of Time

This home was carefully designed and built to accommodate future wheelchair accessibility. Throughout the design process, the current and future needs of the client were considered and accommodated. This energy efficient high performance home delivers superior value and comfort to the homeowner while maintaining a beautiful, classic design appeal. For more information on this project, please click on the following link: Sands of Time

Multi-Family Unit Development

First Prize – Place La Charrette

Place La Charrette showcases VisitAble and even exceeds into Universal Design in multiple apartment and bungalow layouts within the same housing project to enable a much more inclusive and family friendly environment for tenants and their guests. For more information on this project, please click on the following link: Place La Charrette

Multi-Family Unit Development

Second Prize – River Point Centre

River Point Centre plays a crucial service for Manitobans facing addiction issues. The 30 transitional housing units that are a part of the centre offer a convenient home for residents as well as a welcoming environment for all visitors. River Point Centre is a great example of a VisitAble housing project. For more information on this project, please click on the following link: River Point Centre

Special Recognition – Heritage Project

Government House Rehabilitation

Government House, home to the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor is a highly visited residence. Until the renovation, the house was not universally accessible. The 3-year renovation included installation of an elevator, accessible washrooms and paths of travel. The renovations make a strong public statement about visitability and inclusivity in Halifax. For more information on this project, please click on the following link: Government House Rehabilitation

Honourable Mentions

The following projects received Honourable Mentions. Please click on the name of each residence to see more information about them.

Crosbie Home

Roscoe Home

Faid Home

Gauthier Home

Vickers Ave

Donelon Home

Good Samaritan / Habitat for Humanity Residence

Irene Baron Eden Centre

Marie Rose Place


Our project would like to recognize the Awards of Excellence Steering Committee Members and Jury Committee Members for all of their tremendous efforts throughout this initiative.

Steering Committee

  • Alan Tate, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
  • Anne Sinclair, Architect, Halifax, NS
  • Glen Manning, Principal at HTFC Planning & Design, Winnipeg, MB
  • Mark Iantkow, PhD Candidate and accessibility consultant, Calgary, AB
  • Youn-Young Park, Project Manager, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Winnipeg, MB
  • Allen Mankewich, Communications Coordinator, Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, Winnipeg, MB

Jury Committee

  • Monica Giesbrecht, HTFC PLANNING & DESIGN, Manitoba
  • Paula Bowley, Paula Bowley Architects Inc., Ontario
  • Trevor Hoover, Home Builder, Habitat Studio, Alberta
  • Janice Rieger, Interior Designer, Alberta
  • Cal Schuler, Spinal Cord Injury Alberta, Alberta
  • Warren Reed, James McGregor Stewart Society, Nova Scotia
  • Peter Sobchak, editor, Building Magazine, Ontario