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World’s first fully-accessible condominium to be built in Pickering

Pickering has approved the world's first fully accessible condo. As Aaron Streck reports, it's a development that will fill a need in both the community and the region.

Pickering has approved the world’s first fully-accessible condo, planned for a parcel of land north of Highway 401 on Pickering Parkway.

It’s a development that officials say will fill a need in both the community and the region.

“I’ve sat on the accessibility committee here in Pickering for about four years now and we saw a number of designs and graphics and blue prints that would come in for development in the community, and none of them were accessible or they’d be minimum,” said Dan Hughes, Liberty Hamlets Inc., president and managing director, explaining that the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires condominiums to be 15 per cent accessible.

“I wanted to come in and build a company that was focused on building a unit fully-accessible, designed 100 per cent that way,” Hughes said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s truly Pickering’s time’: Pickering swears in longest-serving council

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Axess Condos has been Dan Hughes’ vision for the past three years and it will soon start to take shape.

“There’s nothing that’s been built, purpose-built that actually meets the needs of this community,” said Pickering mayor Dave Ryan, “and I think that’s the exciting and innovative proportion of it.”

The facility will house 336 units. Since launching a registration list three weeks ago, 105 people have signed up, including Peter Bashaw.

The retired senior is looking to downsize as well as a place for his family.

“My daughter is 26 right now, she’s living with us, she has disabilities,” Bashaw said. “This would give her maybe some independence, and there would also be some respite care for us.”

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“We brought in a company called Trillium Support Services out of Peel Region and they will be providing PWS and respite workers right in the building so that services can be purchased right at the concierge,” Hughes added. “And so it really is providing a building that is all encompassing for all the supports and cares a family needs with an adult with a disability.”

The plan is to break ground in June, with the fully-accessible facility expected to be completed and owners ready to move in in early 2021.

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