I'm currently visiting Winnipeg, my first time West of Ontario, in order to see for myself all of the wonderful things that have been accomplished in the Bridgwater neighbourhood (http://www.bridgwaterneighbourhoods.com/). The Manitoba government imposed a 50% requirement for VisitAbility as the developer of this neighbourhood, which will produce 1,100 VisitAble homes once fully developed in 2021. As with other international efforts for VisitAble homes, there was initial resistance by the housing industry and low interest or indifference from consumers but a few years of experience have fixed these issues. What we now see in Bridgwater Lakes, one of the four sections of Bridgwater, is inclusive urban design and beautiful VisitAble homes. I've had the pleasure of touring quite a few of the show homes on Lake Bend Road and they're stunning, the most impressive ones offering walk-out basements overlooking trails and greenspace.
I started off talking about VisitAbility in Winnipeg, which then spilled over into Universal Design...it's all with the goal of encouraging all of you to consider these features for any type of new dwelling to make them more sustainable, by giving you one home for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Now, if I could only convince the developers and home builders in Ottawa to catch up to this innovative home design. Trust me, it hasn't been easy, I've been trying for years. Please reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, and as someone who has worked with adults with various disabilities since September 1994, I'm very passionate about barrier-free design for new dwellings because it's simply the right thing to do.