A Toronto builder has caught onto the idea of intentionally designing condos that are easily modified to accommodate people with disabilities. Most builders don't currently offer accessibility as a standard option, and adding such features or retrofitting an existing unit can run to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
The Daniels Corporation will be developing two projects, in Regent Park in Toronto, and in Mississauga that will allow buyers to add a range of accessible amenities in the design stage with no additional cost. Their approach is rooted in "universal design," which espouses architecture that incorporates principles such as flexibility, equity and barrier-free access in all elements of a project.
According to The Daniels Corporation, accessibility will become standard on all the company's projects, with 15 per cent of all new units qualifying as barrier-free. The decision to offer customized accessible apartments isn't merely a good deed – it's a response to consumer demand and evolving demographic trends. It includes people with various physical disabilities and older buyers who are looking for accommodation where they can age in place.
As one of Daniels’ clients points out, when it comes to barrier free housing, currently there is very little available beyond purpose-built social housing complexes, which are available only to low-income tenants.