Waterfront Toronto announces new accessibility advisory committee

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Waterfront Toronto has announced its new accessibility advisory committee, tasked with implementing accessibility design guidelines.

“Our vision is a vibrant waterfront that belongs to everyone. That vision is only possible through a strong commitment to accessibility in everything we make and do. To help us achieve this vision, we are pleased to announce the members of the new Waterfront Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (Committee). The Committee’s role is to help implement the Waterfront Accessibility Design Guidelines, helping us create accessible and inclusive public spaces on the waterfront where everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate.

Following is a brief description of each individual. More detailed biographies can be found here.

Dan Euser is a Landscape Architect who specializes in water feature design. In 1997 Dan founded Dan Euser Waterarchitecture (DEW), award-winning projects include urban centers, gardens, museums, memorials, waterfronts, and theme parks. In 2006 he received the OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence.

Ipek Kabatas is a parent of a young adult living with disabilities (quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, as well as bilateral hearing loss). For the past 19 years Ipek has fought discrimination and advocated for inclusivity as well as the elimination and removal of barriers. He has been serving as an Executive Member of the Ontario Disability Coalition since 2017.

Diane Kolin is a PhD candidate in musicology at York University whose research focuses on disability and music. As a disability rights activist and accessibility advisor, she founded ArtsAbly, a multiservice company dedicated to accessibility in the arts.

Roman Romanov is an internationally experienced architect with a disability and brings a wealth of lived experience to his work as an architect, designer, educator and accessibility specialist. Roman has worked with clients and projects in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as most provinces and territories of Canada, before launching his practice, Linear Nonlinear Inclusive Design. He is passionate about amplifying disabled voices in architecture and design in order to attain equitable access, and he works at the intersection of empathy, design excellence, and usability.

Chris Stigas has more than 20 years experience in electrical work and construction, and has extensive knowledge of AODA legislation and Building Codes. His expertise has been further enhanced through recent training and certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program. Motivated by his own life-altering spinal cord injury, Chris has channeled his experiences into a powerful mission for positive change. His unique perspective combines pre-injury professional expertise with lived experience. Chris served on the Accessibility Advisory Council at University Health Network (UHN) since 2017 and a three-year tenure on the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT).

Bruce Drewett retired from the Ontario Public Service in February 2021, where he served for over 33 years. Bruce has volunteered with several organizations.

Amanada Karahanas is an avid sailor and has sailed competitively in Canada and the US. As the President, Board of Directors, Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario (DSAO) for the last seven years, she brings a wealth of knowledge from her experiences both on and off the water, adding to the committee’s mandate of making Toronto’s waterfront more accessible.

The committee will review public realm projects being led by Waterfront Toronto, including new construction and projects that have reached the end of their lifecycle or require upgrades at the Schematic Design stage (30% design), and additionally, if required. The Committee’s comments will also be shared with the Waterfront Design Review Panel during its review of projects.

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