Accessible City

Accessible beaches

The Accessible City Award recognizes outstanding leadership to enhance accessibility, inclusion, and elimination of barriers to full participation for persons with disabilities.

2017 recipients

Trevor Mills

Individual category

For Kitsilano Secondary School teacher and mental health advocate Trevor Mills, accessibility means breaking down the barriers that can get in its way. At his school, he uses hip-hop to debunk the stigma of mental disorders and ultimately unmask the topic so students feel free to discuss what it means to suffer from mental illness.

Trevor openly admits he became passionate about the subject since losing his older brother to suicide after a long struggle with depression. From that point forward Trevor committed to making a positive and impactful difference, resulting in him helping to raise more than $25,000 for mental health initiatives throughout the province and the creation of an album that went to benefit the VGH Mental Health Foundation.

Within his community, Trevor volunteers with Jarrod Cook, a severely-disabled George Pearson Centre client who needs accessibility assistance with mobility, speech, and sight. Presently, University of British Columbia electrical engineering students and Trevor meet regularly with Jarrod to build a customized device that will allow Jarrod to write and speak independently.

When Trevor isn't teaching, recording, or working with Jarrod, he can be found volunteering his time as a basketball and rugby coach at his school.

Physical Activity Research Centre

Organization category

The Physical Activity Research Centre (PARC) is a community-based research facility that is part of the University of British Columbia's spinal cord injury research centre at the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (I-CORD). Their goal is to advance research to create the best strategies for providing opportunities for people with complete or partial paralysis due to spinal cord dysfunction to participate in physical activity.

PARC is the first facility of its kind in Canada, featuring an innovative research gym equipped with fully-accessible, state-of-the-art exercise equipment. A beacon to those who suffer from spinal cord injuries (SCIs), PARC allows participants to exercise and improve their well-being in an inclusive and supportive environment. 

PARC’s mission is to engage Vancouver’s SCI community through exercise and science. Since opening in 2013, PARC has become a community hub, serving as an educational resource and meeting place where those living with SCIs share experiences and learn from each other. There are now more than 250 participants enrolled and the centre is completely run by volunteers. PARC offers students and young professionals opportunities to learn from this community, participate in bettering the lives of others, and to create a new generation of researchers and health-care specialists.

Previous recipients

How Vancouver is improving accessiblilty in the city

Coal Harbour sidewalks

Accessible city

Vancouver is an accessible and inclusive city, committed to removing barriers and creating equal opportunities for all residents. Find information on accessible City and Park Board programs and initiatives.