Making Way
For Ontarians with Disabilities

Illustration of Emerging Trends


Status of Accessibility Plan Submissions by Municipalities (from Michael Sullivan, Policy Adviser, Accessibility Directorate, Ministry of Community and Social Services)

  • In Year 1 (2003) of the implementation of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA), 82% of all municipalities with obligations to prepare an accessibility plan made a submission
  • In Year 2 (2004), 75% of municipalities with obligations submitted an accessibility plan

From Statistics Canada Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) 2001

Total Number and Percentage of People with Disabilities in Canada

  • Approximately 3.6 million people in Canada have disabilities, representing 12.4 per cent of Canada’s population

Total Number and Percentage of People with Disabilities in Ontario

  • Approximately 1.5 million people in Ontario have disabilities, representing 13.5 per cent of Ontario’s population

Disability Rate Increases with Age

  • Of the total Canadian population, 12.4 per cent have a disability. National statistics indicate that 40.5 per cent of people aged 65+ have a disability, while amongst those aged 15-64, 9.9 per cent have a disability. Of the total population of Canadian children aged 0-14, 3.3 per cent have a disability.

Projected statistics on Aging Population

  • Population projections estimate that by 2021, Canadians aged 65 and older will number close to 6.7 million or about one-fifth of the total population. The share of seniors in the Canadian population will be one of the highest among the industrialized countries (Statistics Canada Source: Family violence against older adults”, Family violence in Canada: a statistical profile, catalogue number 85-224-XIE, 2002; and “Seniors….The market to watch in the next millennium”, Travel-log, Autumn 1999, Vol. 18, no.4).

**PALS provides information on the prevalence of people with disabilities, their employment profile, their income and their participation in society.

Region of Peel Statistics
The Region of Peel is a rapidly growing community with a population of over 1.0 million persons at the present time. The Region’s plans anticipate this growth continuing over the next 30 years to a population of about 1.36 million in 2021 and 1.53 million in 2031. At present, the Region’s population is relatively young with about 8 per cent aged 65 or older, compared with about 12 per cent of the Canadian population aged 65 or older. However, by year 2021, forecasts for the Region indicate that about 15 per cent of the population will be aged 65 or older. Since the incidence of disability increases significantly with age, this trend indicates that the number of persons with disabilities and the related needs to access Regional services can be expected to increase at a relatively high rate over the next 20 years.

Based on Regional Planning Department data, the total population of Peel Region is expected to grow to about 1.36 million persons (i.e., approximately 38 per cent increase over 2001 population) by year 2021. However, with the anticipated aging of the population, the number of persons with disabilities is expected to increase at a higher rate than the total population. The number of persons with disabilities in Peel Region is expected to increase by 75 per cent relative to year 2001.

Population and Demographic Trends
The Region of Peel is one of the most rapidly growing communities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), with a population of over one million persons. Development in the Region includes large residential areas as well as significant areas of commercial, office and industrial development and the Pearson International Airport. There are also significant rural land areas in the northern section of the Region used for agriculture and other purposes.

The current forecast of future development indicates that the population of the Region of Peel will increase from about 1.0 million at present to about 1.53 million by the year 2031.

Data collected by Statistics Canada in the 2001 PALS survey and the earlier 1991 Health and Activity Limitation Survey (HALS) indicates the range and extent of disabilities in the general population. While the total number of persons with disabilities in the population is relatively large, the number of persons unable to use conventional transit services is less and the number of persons dependant on a mobility device is still lower.

Appendix IV (PDF 43KB, 5 pages)