Wheelchair-bound Saanich resident Stef Barber poses with Saanich Coun. Nichola Wade on the beach at Cadboro Bay-Gyro Park. Barber lobbied Saanich to become more accessible to people with mobility issues

Saanich improves accessibility at Cadboro Bay

Residents with mobility issues can now access Gyro Beach, thanks to new ramp and roll-out mat

It’s been many years since Stef Barber has been in the sand at Cadboro Bay.

Barber, who uses a wheelchair, was unable to access the beach at Gyro Park as it wasn’t wheelchair-friendly.

Last week Saanich unveiled a new ramp that allow people with mobility issues reach the beach. At the end of the ramp is a 30-metre polyester roll-out mat that sits on top of the sand and allows people to roll across the sand.

“There’s so many people with disabilities, mobility issues that would love to be closer to our ocean and enjoy what Saanich has to offer, and we don’t see much accessibility around Canada. I just thought we could be groundbreaking in doing something new,” Barber said.

She contacted Saanich in 2011 about improving accessibility at Gyro Park, and now her vision is a reality.

“The beach area’s never been accessible for folks with disabilities, so as we’re redoing Gyro Park right now, this is one of the things we wanted to do,” said Coun. Nichola Wade, chair of Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation committee. “When you’re redoing that kind of infrastructure, that’s when we need to seize the opportunity and say, ‘Hey, let’s make sure Saanich, as best as we can, is accessible for all residents.”

Rae Roer, Saanich’s manager of parks, says the beach isn’t the only accessibility upgrade that Gyro Park will see. As part of the phased revamp of the park, the playground, trails and picnic areas will also become more accessible.

Barber says she’s proud to have been a part of instigating change in Saanich.

“I just hope that other municipalities, mayors and council members just follow our lead and make it a more inclusive place for everybody,” she said.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Greater Victoria records drop in building permit values

Values are up for British Columbia and Canada thanks to Vancouver

Rules grounding high flight crews for 28 days likely to be challenged

Lawyer says policy could compromise charter rights and personal liberties

Oak Bay Sausagefest 2019 to buoy Sea Rescue program

Firefighters’ June 22 charity event will support marine responders

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Clouds in the forecast for Monday

Plus a look ahead at your weekly forecast

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read