We would like to ask for your help in making our community a safer and more accessible place for all individuals with mobility problems.
Almost 2 million Ontario residents (all ages) have mobility problems. In Elgin County, over 8,000 residents have mobility problems, half of which are 65 years or older. While these individuals make up a significant portion of the general population, many buildings are made without considering their special needs.
The Thumbs Up Access and Awareness committee has developed a program that is intended to raise awareness about safety and accessibility issues concerning public buildings in our community.
The Thumbs Up Program’s focus is to recognize businesses and services within a community, that have made an effort to be accessible, safe and user friendly for individuals with mobility problems. It is a positive and voluntary program and a Thumbs Up window decal is awarded after a spot check has been completed and the necessary requirements are found to be present. In order to pass the spot check, the premise inspected must meet the standard for being accessible to all who have mobility or visual problems of any kind, so as to enable them to enter, move about and leave safely. Businesses and services that have been awarded a decal are asked to place it so that it is visible to the public.
It is our hope that you will see the value in this program. As of 2025, the Ontario Government will have in place standards to make Ontario a safe, accessible Province. The coming of the new regulations make it even more important to start making changes now.
On April 27, 2006 , our committee won the civics award for the City of St Thomas
AGENCIES / SERVICES
Closing the Gap
112-10 Mondamin St. St. Thomas
Elgin Military Museum
30 Talbot St. St. Thomas 519-633-7641
Elgin Oxford Legal Clinic (EastSide Entrance)
98 Centre St., St. Thomas 519-633-2638
Employment Services Elgin
400 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-5470
First Choice Haircutters (Smart Centre)
1063 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-637-3492
Galaxy Theatre (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-5777
Jeff Yurek, MPP
201-750 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-0666
North America Railway Hall of Fame
750 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-633-2535
Shawn Jackson Funeral Home
31 Elgin St., St. Thomas 519-631-0570
135 Edward St., St. Thomas 519-631-5550
St. Thomas Parallel Transit
614 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-0001
Williams Funeral Home
45 Elgin St, St. Thomas 519-631-0850
Family YMCA of St. Thomas-Elgin
20 High St, St. Thomas 519-631-2418
Elgin Business Resources Centre
300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-633-7597
St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce
115-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-631-1981
St. Thomas City Hall
545 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-1680
50 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-1680
Southwestern Public Health
1230 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-9900
300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-633-2326
White Willow Homeopathy
203-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-670-9552
207-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-878-2313
Magic Light & Sound
208-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-619-1367
Gear Up Academy
220-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-517-8940
Edward Jones Investments
2-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas, 519-633-4334
St. Thomas Chiropractic
305-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 519-637-8880
Staff Jo Inc.
3-300 South Edgeware Rd.,
St. Thomas 1-866-311-4441
Central Fire Station
305 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-0210
St. Thomas Public Library
153 Curtis St., St. Thomas 519-631-6050
St. Thomas Police Service
45 Caso Crossing, St. Thomas 519-631-1224
St. Thomas Central Fire Station
305 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-0210
Captain Dennis Redman Memorial Substation
235 Burwell Rd., St. Thomas 519-633-0512
Railway City Tourism
605 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519 631-1680 Ext 413
PARKS & RECREATION
Memorial Arena & Auditorium
80 Wilson Ave., St. Thomas 519-631-4015
Joe Thornton Community Centre
75 Caso Crossing, St. Thomas 519-633-7112
93 Inkerman St., St. Thomas 519-633-7112
95 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-633-7112
2 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas 519-633-7112
Railway City Skatepark
Caso Crossing, St. Thomas 519-633-7112
Central Community Health Centre
359 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-633-7989
Elgin Audiology Consultants
66 West Avenue, St. Thomas 519-637-5925
460 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-8531
St. Thomas Family Health Centre
230 First Ave. St. Thomas 519-637-6301
St. Thomas Hearing and Denture Clinic
120 Centre St., St. Thomas 519-633-1624
Talbot Creek Midwives
66 West Ave., St. Thomas 519-637-2224
Talbot Trail Physiotherapy
102-460 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-637-1831
Windemere Family Medical Centre
460 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-5670
Health Centre Pharmacy
230 First Ave. St. Thomas 519-631-1550
Shoppers Drug Mart
204 First Ave., St. Thomas 519-633-3070
Wellington Medical Pharmacy Ltd.
460 Wellington St. St. Thomas 519-637-9900
519 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-3330
20 William St., St. Thomas 519-633-9370
1010 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-637-8570
Metro (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-633-8780
The Real Canadian Superstore
1063 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-637-6358
780 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-633-9528
The Open Kitchen
2-877 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-5151
Swiss Chalet / Harvey’s
1014 1/2 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-637-7280
184 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas 519-637-2757
145 South Edgeware, St. Thomas 519-633-9559
5-877 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-633-5569
Central United Church
135 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-3503
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
436 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-631-2641
Faith Baptist Church
345 Fairview Ave., St. Thomas 519-633-0976
Fellowship Christian Reformed Church
641 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-633-4422
First Yarmouth Plains Baptist Church
6071 Fairview Rd., St. Thomas 519-633-2883
Knox Presbyterian Church
55 Hincks St., St. Thomas 519-631-2414
St. Hilda’s – St. Luke’s Anglican Church
185 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-631-0504
Salvation Army Church
380 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-631-6202
Trinity Anglican Church
55 Southwick St., St. Thomas 519-631-7000
Redeemer Lutheran Church
271 Elm St., St. Thomas 519-631-4020
Kettle Creek Gardens
58 St. George St., St. Thomas 519-633-7647
45 Metcalfe St., St. Thomas 519-631-9393
St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre
225 Chestnut St. St. Thomas 519-633-2850
350 Burwell Rd., St. Thomas 519-631-1030
1073 Talbot St., St. Thomas
BC Royal Bank
1099 Talbot St., St. Thomas
269 Sunset Dr., St. Thomas 519-631-7624
Geerlinks Home Hardware/Furniture
295 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-2910
1010 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-5000
Coles Books (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-633-4717
TSC Stores Ltd.
115 Edward St., St. Thomas 519-637-8996
Van Pelt’s Print Plus
800 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-631-4407
Walmart (Smart Centres)
1063 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-637-7100
Horton Farmers’ Market
10 Manitoba St., St. Thomas 519-317-3398
Giant Tiger (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-631-9718
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-633-6046
Friends of the Library (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St.,
St. Thomas 519 631-6050 Ext 8027
916 Galleria (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-207-2934
EverWoods (Elgin Centre)
417 Wellington St., St. Thomas 519-207-3837
445 Talbot St., St. Thomas 519-518-2757
STAIRS - (Inside the Building)
- Ensure free from slip and trip hazards.
- Make stair edges more visible by using bright yellow coloured tape or non-skid paint to highlight edges.
- Use special lighting and warning signs to warn users of steep or irregular stairs.
- Ensure stairs are uniform – the rises should be the same height (7”)
and the tread should be the same width (11”).
- Use handrails that are round with a circumference of 120mm.
- Keep free from slip and trip hazards such as water, uneven surfaces.
- Wash floors before opening in morning or after closing in evening.
- Keep aisles free of clutter (boxes, merchandise, produce).
- Keep exit routes free from obstructions.
- Use slip-resistant floors to prevent falls if water or snow is tracked in from outside.
- Provide handrails on any stairs or ramps coming into or in the building.
- Doors to a public entrance should open easily with one hand – even for a person with limited dexterity.
- Doors should have a wide entrance* (at least 81 cm) and should not have steps that could cause trips.
- Use hydraulic springs to make heavy doors easier to open. This is a cost effective alternative to installing automatic doors.
- Use non skid mats
- Keep mats flat, clean and free of water and snow, using a mop constantly in the winter. Take mats up at night and hang to dry.
- Provide seating that is a minimum of 18 inches from the ground and have arm rests.
- Disabled parking space at least 12 ‘ wide and marked with a vertical sign.
- Remove snow rather than ploughing it into piles that block pedestrian travel.
- Provide adequate drainage where salt is used to melt snow, to prevent water from accumulating, freezing and creating a hazard.
- Ensure that all pedestrian routes are clearly marked and all obstacles are brightly coloured.
- Seniors need twice the illumination.
- Shiny floors can cause difficulties with depth perception.
- Braille signs inside of a building enable blind individuals to safely find their way around the building.
- The blind need touchable cues to warn of the presence of a staircase and the ending of a staircase.
- Locate washrooms so they are convenient, accessible and well-marked.
- Install round, slip-resistant handrails for wheel chair transfers.
- Locate hand towels near sinks to reduce the amount of water on the floor.
- Use slip resistant flooring.
- Secure shelves and racks so they cannot be moved or tipped when leaned against or grasped.
- Place heavier products on lower shelves.
- Keep floors cleared of clothes hangers and racks with protruding legs.
Information provided by: STEPS Project, Victoria BC, Safe Stores: "Stores Blitz", North Bay, ON, and the 2002 Canadian Standards Association (www.csa.ca), Toronto, ON
If you have any questions or require
additional information about
the Thumbs Up program, please contact:
Cathy Topping (519) 633-6919
To Make Your Business Safe and Accessible for all:
Download and print the "Thumbs Up" Checklist.
Download and print the "Thumbs Up" Helpful Hints brochure.
City of St. Thomas, Ontario - www.stthomas.ca
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities - www.accesson.ca
Canadian Standards Association - www.csa.ca
Abilities Canada Magazine- www.abilities.ca