Constructed by Ontario March of Dimes Non Profit Housing Corporation with funding provided by the Ministry of Housing, the building opened its doors to the first tenants in March, 1995. The building is totally accessible to people with physical disabilities, and offers tenants unique opportunities for social life and integration into the community.
By November, 1995, all but two of the 59 accessible, affordable, one- and two-bedroom apartments were occupied. Twenty-four of the apartments are attendant service suites and are fully modified, featuring the latest in accessible design features. These suites have automatic door closers, wheel-in shower stalls and special call features so that tenants with disabilities can maximize their independence. Ontario March of Dimes operates 24-hour, on-call attendant services in the building.
The remaining apartments are also accessible, and tenants are a mix of adults with and without disabilities. Features such as wide doorways, large bathrooms and user-friendly window controls have been incorporated into the building’s design. Other special features include accessible balconies, lowered wall ovens and roll-out kitchen cupboard units with heat-proof surfaces.
Don King, President of Ontario March of Dimes Non Profit Housing Corporation, welcomed guests to the opening ceremony. Tedd Smith, Councillor, Ward 3, brought greetings from the Mayor of Oakville. Terry Cooke, Regional Chairman, Hamilton-Wentworth region, delivered the keynote address to the packed room. Jeannette Shannon, President, Ontario March of Dimes, introduced Mrs. Jean Caine, Vice-President, Rehabilitation International, and Lifetime member of Easter Seals/March of Dimes National Council.
After an enthusiastic cutting of the ribbon to officially open the building, Bill Hoch, Member of the Non Profit Housing Corporation Board, invited guests to tour two of the apartments. Building tenants stationed in each suite demonstrated the special features.