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

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.


Just Posted

The City of Victoria is proposing a northern contraction from Haultain Street to Bay Street with a western contraction from Cook Street to Chambers Street for Fernwood. (Illustration/Google Maps)
Community association calls for input on Victoria boundary changes

City of Victoria proposes changes to neighbourhood borders

After seizing a handgun from his home on Tuesday, Victoria police arrested a wanted man on Wednesday after he fled officers on his bike. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man wanted on several warrants flees Victoria officers on bike

He was arrested after a brief struggle, transported to hospital with injuries

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

(Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Sooke Road reopens after gas leak at Colwood Corners

SD62 warns afternoon buses could be delayed

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read