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Tour Bus Whistler, British Columbia is Accessible

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At 8am the West Coast Sightseeing Tour Bus arrived at the hotel. The back of the bus had a lift to transport people in wheelchairs inside. Only one wheelchair per tour is able to participate because there is only one set of locking mechanisms. Once the driver secured my wheelchair in place, we were off to pick up the remaining guests of the tour. On the way to Whistler, the tour driver narrated along the carefully selected course starting with Stanley Park. It was a quick drive through the park to reach the Lion’s Gate Bridge, named after the...

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Victoria, British Columbia Accessible Travel Tips

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I did not have much time in Victoria. By the time I got to the hotel it was near three o’clock and my body was tired of sitting up, so I took a necessary half hour to lie down and recharge my body.  The day was slipping away and so did my plans to visit the Butchart Gardens. I had actually visited the gardens as a kid so I wasn’t completely destroyed. I was more focused on exploring the town. In the heart of downtown are many historical buildings, including the British Parliament, The Empress Hotel, the gothic Christ Church...

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Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

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I spent three nights at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia, Canada while my wife attended business meetings there. From an accessibility standpoint, I would give this facility a grade of C+. It was obvious that the hotel has made some improvements in terms of accessibility since I was last there about ten years ago, but it still has a long way to go. Hotel Access On entering the hotel you are met with a flight of stairs between the front desk and the elevators. Wheelchair access to the elevators is through another door at the far end...

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Accessible Restaurants in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Al Porto Ristorante (Italian) – This restaurant is wheelchair accessible via the elevator through the Water Street entrance; wheelchair accessible bathrooms inside. Located in the Gastown District. Cardero’s (Seafood) – Take the Seawall at Harbour Green Park to reach restaurant right overlooking Coral Harbour. There is a nice large outdoor patio and inside seating as well. Chambar (Pacific Northwest) – Fully wheelchair accessible including the washrooms. When making reservations, it is best to specify wheelchair accessibility as some tables have easier access than others. Only open for dinner. Cork & Fine Restaurant (Pacific Northwest) – Located on the ground...

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Wheelchair Taxi Cabs in Victoria, British Columbia

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Victoria, British Columbia –  Yellow Cab of Victoria, B.C. has a wheelchair accessible taxi. It has a spot in the back for one wheelchair. A ramp lowers down and then the wheelchair is strapped down. There is a seatbelt too, which like the straps is secured by the driver. It’s up to the wheelchair user to let the driver know if the belt is too tight or whatnot.  Call Yellow Cab at 250.381.2222 if you need to go somewhere and want to use a...

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Accessible Taxis in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Wheelchair accessible taxi cabs in Vancouver, B.C. include access for one wheelchair the in back of the van. The wheelchair is then secured down with two straps in the front and back. In 2012 I used a number of different taxi companies and are the following: Black Top Cabs — 604.683.4567 Kimber Cabs — 604.488.8888 Maclure’s Cabs (1984) — 604.831.1111 Vancouver Taxi Ltd. — 604.255.5111 Vancouver Taxi — 604.871.1111 Yellow Cab — 604.861.1111 [Show...

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Wheelchair Accessible British Columbia, Canada

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There are plenty of good reasons why British Columbia is touted as being “The Best Place on Earth.” Firstly, Vancouver, British Columbia is the third largest metropolitan city in Canada which is not only known for its beautiful landscape and majestic Coast Mountains but also for its continuing efforts to make itself one of the most accessible cities in the world. The 2010 Olympics left a legacy of accessible venues in Vancouver including the fully accessible Canada Hockey Place, the newly renovated University of British Columbia Thunderbird Arena (fully accessible with elevators) and the Pacific Coliseum, (partial wheelchair accessibility...

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Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, British Columbia

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Gourmet chocolates and cookies greeted me when I entered the room to the Fairmont Pacific Rim. The bed was at a reasonable level to transfer smoothly and each side of the bed was accessible. The general layout allowed maneuvering space though the carpet will slow you down if using a manual wheelchair. The bellman offered to move additional furniture out for easier access to the room setting controls and had him do so. What was particularly high tech about the room were touch pads to control lights options, blinds and temperature. The closet was right near the front door,...

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Overview: Accessible Cruising and Cruise Lines

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Why take a cruise? Cruising on a various cruise line is one of the most popular means of travel for those who use a wheelchair or have some other limited mobility. The allure of having a guaranteed accessible space to return to after a day of exploring is the main draw, but not all cruises are created equal. When it comes to booking an accessible cruise it is all in the details, so be sure to ask questions. This is why it is important when planning a cruise to Be Your Own Advocate! You know what you want and need better...

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Bus System in Victoria, B.C.

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Victoria, British Columbia – The Victoria Regional Transit System, or the bus, is an easy and convenient way to get around Victoria for a wheelchair traveler. All buses are wheelchair accessible and at each bus stop you’ll see the universal symbol. If your bus is approaching then try to make eye contact with driver and move towards the bus. The bus will lower and a ramp will flip out so be sure you are not in the way. Once inside there will be a space indicating it to be priority for the disabled seating.  Most of the time there is...

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Boat Travel: Vancouver, B.C. to Victoria, B.C.

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One the easiest and popular ways to get between Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia (B.C.), Canada is by the BC Ferries. Grandmothers take it across for a day trip to have lunch, as I overheard on my ride.The port in Vancouver is called Tsawwassen and for those going to the Butcharts or Butterfly Gardens or downtown Victoria should head to Swartz Bay. From 7am to 9pm boats run between these two ports so traveling is convenient and reasonably priced at less than $15 in 2011 for a one-way ticket. The boat itself is massive and is usually carrying cars,...

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USA and Canada Accessible Snow Skiing

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The following is a growing list of adapted snow skiing companies in both the United States and Canada that make this enjoyable winter activity accessible. Please add a company not listed by writing a comment in the box found at the bottom of the page. Getting Started: Questions, Answers, Tips The start and end to ski seasons vary, so be sure to check. Reservations: Always make reservations as far in advance as possible. Some places require weeks of notice others 48 hours. Some places require extra paper work (usually insurance liability) to be filled out in advance. What kind of...

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Vancouver, Canada Accessible Attractions

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I love Vancouver. The sustainable design of the city filled with friendly, diverse people makes it a model city of the future. From a postman to a Muslim businessman, I had the pleasure of really talking with a several locals, all warm, welcoming and just a joy to be around. What is it about this city that makes people so happy here? Perhaps, it is the clean air. Vancouver integrates plants with urban life. All around the city you see people with plants on their porches, roof-top gardens that will include large trees or even grass all over the...

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Sea Adventure in Glacier Bay, B.C.

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It’s always a bit risky taking a journey to a remote destination where accessibility may be in question.   But seven years after his accident, Steve Pisano, a T3-4 paraplegic, packed up his cameras and ventured to Alaska for an experience of a lifetime aboard the Sea Wolf Adventures cruise ship. It was through Craig Hospital, where Steve did his rehab, that he learned about Sea Wolf Adventures (SWA).  Two recreational therapists at Craig, Laurie Womeldorff and Stephanie Deml, coordinated the trip plans for group cruises aboard SWA for their alumni patients.  They both had been on a few...

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Hostels and Wheelchair Access–A Growing Trend for Budget Travel

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Some baby boomers are revisiting their youth by experiencing hostels as they now travel as seniors. A stay in a hostel is most attractive to the budget conscious, adventurous traveler. There are thousands of well-maintained hostels all over the United States and most other countries worldwide from which to choose. However, for seniors also needing to consider accommodations that cater to travelers with disabilities, the decision to include hostels as part of your next vacation may or may not be a wise choice. Hostels are a mainstay of the youth travel movement but more and more seniors are enjoying the...

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River Rock Casino Resort in B.C.

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(Review provided by Maureen Fisher) My sister-in-law and I just returned from a wonderful six-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where we stayed at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond for the second time. The River Rock is located a short 7 minute ride from the airport on the Canada Line and is connected to the train via a covered sky bridge to the Bridgeport Station. The Canada Line easily accommodates a power wheelchair. The ticket price from the airport is expensive, $7.50 each, however to travel from the hotel to downtown Vancouver or back to the airport is...

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SkyTrain in Vancouver, B.C.

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Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada has a great public transportation for getting around the metro area for those in wheelchairs. One of them is the SkyTrain. The train covers 49.5 kilometers around the region on the Expo and Millennium lines through 33 stations. SkyTrain is one of the safest rapid transit systems in the world. Maps and route information are available to help you navigate at each station. Elevators take you to the loading platform where the train arrives, which is not driven by a person but automated. This feature made the ride noticeably smooth, especially the stops. Automatic doors let passengers...

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Wheelchair Accessible Hostel in Vancouver, B.C.

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Located in a residential neighborhood on the west end of Downtown Vancouver is a wheelchair accessible hostel (HI-Vancouver Downtown). The neighborhood itself is quiet but filled with independent shops and restaurants. Major downtown attractions are also very close by. Conveniently, a bus stop is located about a block away from the hotel on Davie street.  The hostel is very hospitable. For one a continental breakfast is provided in dining room consisting of muffins, bagels, toast, cereal, jam, fruit and juice. For most of the year breakfast is from 8am to 9:15am but from June to September it’s 7:30am to 9:30am....

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Accessible Places to Stay in Vancouver, B.C.

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  A number of wheelchair friendly hotels are located in the Downtown Vancouver Area of British Columbia, Canada. Of course specific access features do vary but overall these are good recommendations to start with. You can even find a wheelchair accessible hostel in Downtown Vancouver.     Fairmont Waterfront 900 Canada Place Way Vancouver BC V6C 3L5 Ph: 604-691-1991 Toll free: 1 866 540-4509 • Twelve accessible rooms with grab bars, lowered sink and wider doorways • Right across from the convention centre Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown 1110 Howe Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1R2 Ph: 604-684-2151 Toll Free: 1-800-663-9151 •...

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Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. Canada

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My parents and I recently had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful 4-star luxury Pan Pacific Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada for one night before departing on a cruise to Alaska.  I had heard and read many great reviews about Pan Pacific while researching places to stay in Vancouver and one of the most attractive points about the hotel is it is directly connected to Canada Place where cruise ships embark from Vancouver.  The hotel also offers many great restaurants, select luxury boutiques, beautiful views of Vancouver Harbour, downtown Vancouver and the Coast Mountain Range.  Pan Pacific is...

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