Accommodation Policy for Residents with Disabilities

In the Woodsworth Housing Co-op Accommodation Policy for Residents with Disabilities (“the Accommodation Policy”), the term “accommodation” refers to adapting or adjusting policies, procedures, structures, etc. for a resident with a disability, and not to its more common usage as lodging or housing. 1

Approved at a General Members’ Meeting on September 25, 2017.

1. Statement of Commitment

Woodsworth Housing Co-operative (“the Co-op”) commits to addressing residents’ needs in a manner consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code that is inclusive and free of barriers based on disability, unless to do so would cause undue hardship to the Co-op.2 This Accommodation Policy applies to all residents of the Co-op, as required by the Human Rights Code.

Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the principles of dignity, individualization, and inclusion. The Co-op will work cooperatively, and in a spirit of respect, with all partners in the accommodation process. 3

2. Appropriate Accommodations

The aim of accommodation is to remove barriers and ensure equality. Accommodations will be developed on an individualized basis. An accommodation will be appropriate where it results in equal opportunity to enjoy the same benefits and privileges experienced by others, and where it respects the principles of dignity, inclusion and individualization. Appropriate accommodations may include:

a) Unit adjustments
b) Transfer to a more appropriate unit;
c) Modifications to organization policies and practices;
d) Technical aids;
e) Provision of materials in alternative formats;
f) Building modifications;
g) Modification to membership criteria.

This list is not exhaustive.
Accommodation may take many forms. What works for one individual may not work for another. Each person’s situation must be individually assessed. In each case, the Co-op will implement the most appropriate accommodation, short of undue hardship.

3. Application of the Accommodation Policy

This Accommodation Policy applies to all residents of the Co-op. Residents include Members, Long Term Guests, the children of Members and Long Term Guests, and anyone else who may legitimately be permanent residents.

It applies at all stages and to all aspects of residence in the Co-op, including but not limited to participation in Co-op events, meetings and committees, access to and use of common and private areas of the Co-op, and termination of membership.

The Accommodation Policy also applies to the procedures associated with applying for Membership or Long Term Guest status with the Co-op.

New members will be informed of the Accommodation Policy and all residents will be able to access it electronically through the Co-op’s website, and in hard copy form at the Co-op management office.

Decisions under the Accommodation Policy will be made by the manager of the Co-op within his/her spending authority. If the requested accommodation will cost over the manager’s spending limit, the request will be referred to the Board of Directors for a decision.4

4. Requests for Accommodation

Requests for accommodation must be made, preferably in writing, to the Co-op management office and directed to the manager. 5
Accommodation requests should indicate:

a) The reason why accommodation is required; and

b) The specific needs related to the accommodation seeker’s disability.

All accommodation requests will be taken seriously. No person will be penalized for making an accommodation request.

5. Provision of Information6
The manager of the Co-op (or Board of Directors in more complex accommodation requests) may require further information related to the accommodation request in the following circumstances:

a) Where further information related to the individual’s limitations or restrictions is required in order to determine an appropriate accommodation; or

b) Where there is a demonstrable objective reason to question the legitimacy of the person’s request for accommodation.

In particular, the manager may request documentation from an appropriate health practitioner detailing the nature of the individual’s disability (a diagnosis is not required), any restrictions resulting from the disability, the expected duration of the restrictions, and the basis for the medical conclusions.7

Where further information is needed in order to identify accommodation needs or potential solutions, the accommodation seeker is required to cooperate in obtaining that information. Any costs associated with obtaining such information will be borne by the Co-op.

Failure to respond to such requests for information may delay the provision of accommodation.

The Co-op will maintain information related to:

a) The accommodation request;
b) Any documentation provided by the accommodation seeker or by health practitioners;
c) Notes from any meetings;
d) Any accommodation alternatives explored;
e) Any proposed accommodations that were refused; and
f) Any accommodations provided.

This information will be maintained in a secure location, separate from membership files, and will be shared only with those persons who need the information.

6. Privacy and Confidentiality 8

The Co-op will maintain the confidentiality of information related to an accommodation request. It will only disclose this information with the consent of the person who requested accommodation.

7. Accommodation Planning

Accommodation requests will be dealt with promptly. When required, an interim solution will be provided while long-term solutions are developed.

The manager of the Co-op, the accommodation seeker and, where appropriate, the Board of Directors and any necessary health practitioners will work together cooperatively to develop an Accommodation Plan for the individual.  9

The Accommodation Plan, when agreed on, will be put in writing and signed by the accommodation seeker and an officer of the Co-op. A signed copy of the Accommodation Plan will be maintained by the Co-op.

An Accommodation Plan may include the following:

  1. A statement of the accommodation seeker’s relevant limitations and needs, including any necessary assessments and information from health practitioners, bearing in mind the need to maintain the confidentiality of medical reports;
  2. Arrangements for necessary assessments by health practitioners;
  3. Identification of the most appropriate accommodation short of undue hardship;
  4. Clear timelines for the provision of identified accommodations; and
  5. Criteria for determining the success of the Accommodation Plan, together with a mechanism for review and re-assessment of the Accommodation Plan as necessary.

8. Monitoring Accommodations 10

The manager of the Co-op and the person receiving accommodation will monitor the success of the Accommodation Plan, and shall promptly address any deficiencies or relevant changes in the Co-op or the individual’s needs.

9. Undue Hardship

Accommodation will be provided to the point of undue hardship, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability. A determination regarding undue hardship will be based on an objective assessment of costs, outside sources of funding, and health and safety. 11 The standard for undue hardship is high, and the burden of proof is on the Co-op.

A determination that an accommodation will create undue hardship may only be made by the Board of Directors of the Co-op.12

An individual making a request for accommodation may be encouraged to offset the costs of accommodation by applying for outside funding or programs that are only available to individuals. The manager of the Co-op may assist in identifying these funding sources.

Where a determination is made that an accommodation would create undue hardship, the person requesting accommodation will be given written notice, including the reasons for the decision and the objective evidence relied upon. The accommodation seeker shall also be informed of his/her recourse under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Where a determination has been made that an accommodation would cause undue hardship, the manager of the Co-op will work with the accommodation seeker to develop and implement the next best accommodation short of undue hardship, or will consider phasing in the requested accommodation.


1. This policy is intended to be consistent with and complement Human Rights By-Law #70.

2 For more information on undue hardship, please see section 8.

3 The “Duty to Accommodate” under the Human Rights Code is not limited to needs related to a disability, but applies to all enumerated grounds under the Code, including race, age, sex, gender identity, family status, creed (religion), place of origin and citizenship, and the receipt of public assistance. While the focus of this policy is accommodating the needs of residents with disabilities, the principles apply equally to all enumerated grounds.

4 See Spending By-Law #47 and Human Rights By-Law #70, subsection 2.7.

5 It is important to note that some individuals may be unable to disclose or communicate accommodation needs, due to the nature of their disability. For example, persons with some mental disabilities may be unaware of their accommodation needs, or may be reluctant to disclose them because of fear of stigma or stereotypes. The Co-op may offer assistance and accommodation to persons who are clearly unwell and in need of assistance, or who are perceived to have a disability, even where no accommodation request is made.

6 The Co-op will be careful to collect only information that is necessary. A careful approach to the collection of documentation not only protects the privacy of the accommodation seeker, it protects the Co-op from potential complaints. All parties must exercise good faith in seeking and providing information.

7 An appropriate health practitioner is a member of a regulated health care profession such as a medical doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, occupational therapist or social worker who is qualified to provide an opinion on a request for accommodation. In some cases, the need for accommodation is obvious and there will be no need for supporting medical information.

8 Requests for accommodation may involve the disclosure of private or highly sensitive information. In order for individuals to feel comfortable when making accommodation requests, they must feel confident that the information they provide will be treated confidentially, and shared only as necessary for the accommodation process.

9 A formal accommodation plan ensures that the parties clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, and facilitates accountability and regular monitoring.

10 Accommodation needs and the Co-op’s realities may change over time. As well, accommodation may require adjustments during and after implementation in order to improve effectiveness or efficiency.

11 A detailed explanation of these three factors can be found in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on Ableism and Discrimination Based on Disability (2016) at section 9, available online at:

12 The determination that an accommodation will cause undue hardship is a complex decision, with potentially significant legal consequences, and should therefore be made by the Board of Directors of the Co-op. The basis for this conclusion should be thoroughly documented, and the accommodation seeker provided with clear reasons for the decision.

See also:
Member pamphlet – Guide to Woodsworth’s Accommodation Policy for Disabilities

On-Call Service

For after hours emergencies in Woodsworth.

Telephone 1-416-809-7851

  • Woodsworth’s On-Call service is only available during the week after 5pm and all day on weekends.
  • On-Call is not available on Thursdays during the day.  Call the co-op phone number and leave a message. 416-363-3418
  • However, On-Call is available on holidays.

    For other emergencies – fire, ambulance, police – call 911.

For City of Toronto services and information, call 311.

Rules By-Law #19



Adopted August 27, 1979; Passed 23 August 1980;
Renamed Schedule A of Original Occupancy By-law No.2
to The Rules By-law No. 19 – Passed 22 March 1990; Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.  Amended on September 23, 2013 by By-law 75.


Cable Television

Residents may not negotiate any cable television service from any source other than the Co-op's authorized supplier.



Members are allowed to keep pets in the Co-op. Pets must not interfere with another member's use or enjoyment of his/her unit or common areas.

Contained Pets

Pets that are normally contained in a cage, tank or other container may be kept in reasonable quantities and do not have to be registered with the Co-op. Examples of contained pets are birds, fish and small rodents.

Exotic Pets

No exotic pet may be kept by any member in the co-operative. The definition of an "exotic pet" will be left to the discretion of the Board.

Maximum Quantities

No household may have more than two adult pets (eight months or older), except as provided in paragraph 2.


Except as provided in paragraph 2, all pets must be registered with the Co-op.

Each member wishing to register a pet must sign an agreement to abide by this Policy and any decision made by the Board regarding his/her pet. Before signing the agreement, the member must provide, for each pet, the following information to be appended to the agreement: type of animal, name (if any), month and year of birth, description and a picture, plus such other information as the Co-op may require.

Condition of Animals

Pet owners must protect their pets against parasites (including fleas) and diseases. A certificate of inoculation against rabies and distemper for all mammals, plus F.E.R. for cats and hepatitis for dogs, must be filed with the Co-op at the time the pet is registered or when it has reached three months of age, and annually thereafter.

All pets six months of age or older must be spayed or neutered, unless they are being used for authorized breeding purposes, according to sub-paragraph (e). A certificate indicating that the spaying or neutering has taken place, issued by the Humane Society or a licensed veterinarian, must be filed with the Co-op when a pet is registered or within one month of the pet turning six months of age.

The requirement for inoculation, spaying or neutering of a pet may be waived or postponed, as appropriate, if the desirability of such waiver or postponement is confirmed in writing by the Humane Society or a licensed veterinarian. In such case, the pet must be kept inside the owner's unit, or under strict control when outside the unit.

If a certificate referred to in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) is not available because a member has owned a pet for a considerable length of time, then the certificate may be replaced by a written declaration that the pet has been inoculated, spayed or neutered, as appropriate.

Pets may remain unneutered or unspayed for breeding purposes, but only with the express permission in writing of the Co-op. Permission will only be granted to the owners of purebred pets and operators of licensed catteries. Breeding papers and proof of cattery registration must be filed with the Co-op before such an exemption will be granted.


STOOP AND SCOOP! A member must clean up any mess created by his/her pet through natural body functions or otherwise.

A member must repair any damage to the property of the Co-op or another member caused by his/her pet.

A member must control his/her pet to prevent any unnecessary noise, or noise that disturbs other members.


Dogs are only allowed in the common areas of the Co-op attended and on a leash. Dogs are allowed in the backyards of the units only if properly secured and there is a responsible person in the unit.

Cats may run loose, but if a cat creates a nuisance, it must be kept in the owner's unit.

Complaints and Penalties (amended April 23, 1980)

A complaint may be made by either a member or by an employee of the Co-op. Such complaints should be put in writing and submitted to the Co-op.

For the first complaint, the Co-op will send a written warning;

for the second complaint, a fine will be levied as set by the members of the Co-op;

for any subsequent complaint, the member will be served with a Notice to Appear (NTA) at a specific meeting of the Board to explain why s/he should not have his/her occupancy terminated; and

A member may appeal a warning or a fine directly to the Board of Directors.



Residents must not store gasoline, oil, large quantities of paint or other highly flammable or dangerous materials in their units. Residents shall not do or permit anything to be done in their premises which will significantly increase the risk of fire.

Residents must not obstruct or permit anything to obstruct the fire exits, stairwells, corridors, entry passages, and public thoroughfares.

Smoke detectors must not be disconnected or painted.

Garbage (amended April 23, 1980)

Townhouse residents and street access residents must place garbage on the street only on collection days.

Apartment residents must place garbage in the chutes provided. All garbage must be in securely tied bags which are small enough to fit down the chute. No garbage may be left in the hallways or garbage chute rooms.

Newspapers and magazines must be bundled securely with string. Apartment residents must place bundled newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans in the collection depot designated by the Co-op. Do not put newspapers, magazines, bottles and cans in the garbage chutes. Street access units should place bundled newspapers on the street for Wednesday newspaper pick up.

Large items (e.g. unwanted furniture): Apartment residents must be disposed of these items in the area designated by the Co-op. Street units should phone the City Garbage Collection for pick up.

No trash, garbage or unsightly debris should be stored on balconies, porches, patios, backyards, under porch steps or in doorways. Members with street access units should keep their front area clean. Members with yards or patios should keep them clean and free of trash, and those with pets must keep yards clean and free of animal feces.

No resident, including children, shall litter any common area of the Co-op: halls, stairs, sidewalks, roads, parking garage, etc. No resident shall throw garbage or shake rugs or mops from windows or balconies, or in hallways.

Garbage put anywhere except in designated areas is contrary to Co-op rules and City ordinances.

Pest Control

In the event of a serious bug problem in a building, the Co-op will have the right to order extermination services carried out in the whole building.

If members are incapable of preparing for extermination services, the Co-op will provide assistance.

Underground Garage

Vehicle engines must not be left running in the underground garage.

Vehicle maintenance must not be done in the underground garage. This includes washing, oil changes, repairs, etc.

Children are not to play in the underground garage, on the ramp or on the retaining wall around the ramp.

Consolidated up to April 2010 and adopted by the members on September 30, 2010.

Free Snow Removal from City of Toronto Sidewalks – application form


The form (below) instructs you to tick all that apply.

  • Resident of a one or two family dwelling
  • Over age 65 (must attach proof of Senior citizen card)
  • Under age 65 and have a physical disability. I am unable to remove snow from the sidewalk without endangering my health. Must attach proof of disability (i.e. accessible parking permit or doctor’s note)
  • No relatives under age 65 reside at this address
    Relatives under age 65 residing at this address have a physical disability. His/her/their health would be endangered by removing snow from the sidewalk.

The city does not clear apartment house walkways. If you are on Wilton Street, you will probably be out of luck.

Application form – click on the down arrow under the image (PDF) 
to download the document for printing.


Applying for an Accommodation for your Disability

S4S (Strategies for Staying) Committee has written a pamphlet on Woodsworth’s accommodation procedures.  It gives an overview of what you have to do to request an accommodation for your disability.

The pamphlet will be available in print in the 2nd floor photocopy room, in a plastic hanging sleeve near the door to the inner office.

It is also available online – click on Accessibility on the home page menu.

And for your convenience, here it is as well!

Seniors’ fitness programs in Woodsworth

Updated:  November 14, 2018

Free programs in the co-op! Exercise programs designed for seniors (60 and over) and people with disabilities led by a qualified trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the penthouse. Same times on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


3:00-3:45 pm – Falls Prevention program – balance and gentle exercises. This  program includes an evaluation of balance. Maximum number of members will be evaluated but others can participate.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Exercise. Chair and standing – More vigorous exercise.


3:00 -3:45 pm – Falls Prevention program – balance and gentle exercises. This  program includes an evaluation of balance. Maximum number of members will be evaluated but others can participate.

4:00 – 5:00 pm – Exercise. Chair and standing – More vigorous exercise.

One and two pound weights are available. No special gear except a theraband or similar may be required. No special clothing, just comfortable clothes that you can move in. No floor exercises!

The S4S contact for this program is member Maureen Millard.