Ottawa arena revived into accessible hub

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Lois Kemp Arena in Ottawa’s east end has reopened as a new community hub that makes it more accessible and inclusive for everyone.

The expansion work entailed a 6,700 square-foot addition on the south side of the arena and a 6,000 square-foot renovation of the existing building. The almost $5-million investment was made possible through the City of Ottawa and Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund.

Some new features include: four full-size player dressing rooms; two alternate needs dressing rooms; an expanded lobby; a seating area in the addition; a new entrance vestibule with automated sliding doors; a meeting/multi-purpose room; a universal washroom; a bleacher seating area with an accessible ramp, six accessible seating spaces, companion seating, adaptive seating, and a mobility aid storage space.

In addition, the new dressing rooms have enhanced showering facilities with accessible shower, water closet stall, sink and mirror. Each dressing room is also equipped with a deeper accessible seat with grab bars. The accessibility features also expand outside with five accessible parking spaces in its new 100-space parking lot and accessible sidewalks leading to the building.

The entire project was designed to meet LEED Silver certification and the City of Ottawa’s Accessibility Design Standards.

City Council approved the commemorative naming of the former Blackburn Arena as the Lois Kemp Arena and the naming of the rink inside the arena as the Eldon Kemp Rink in 2019.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

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