As of January 1, 2016 the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) requires newly
constructed or reconstructed sidewalk ramps to have tactile walking surface
indicators (TWSI) installed. The City is complying with this requirement where
new sidewalks are being constructed or replaced.
The indicators that are
installed in the City of Mississauga are made of cast iron. Initially, cast
iron will develop a rusty red colour which may stain the sidewalk in the first
year following installation. The stain will eventually disappear and the cast
iron will develop a natural patina, which provides an even greater tonal
contrast with the sidewalk.
The City of Mississauga
undertook its own studies prior to installing tactile walking surface
indicators to meet the AODA standards. The City found bare, uncoated cast iron
plates superior as a result of their durability, safety and slip resistance.
Additionally, cast iron tactile walking surface indicators most closely meet
the CSA and Ontario Ministry of Transportation standards.
The City of Mississauga’s
decision to employ the use of bare, uncoated cast iron tactile walking surface
indicators also aligns with the best practices of many municipalities in
Ontario. In 2017, Staff performed a municipal scan of 16 municipal
jurisdictions, including: Brampton, Burlington, Halton Region, Kitchener,
London, Niagara Falls, Niagara Region, Oakville, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peel Region,
Sarnia, St. Catharines, Toronto, Windsor and York Region. Of the 16
jurisdictions benchmarked, 11 of them, use uncoated, bare cast iron for tactile
walking surface indicators.
Finally, it is our
understanding at the City of Mississauga that the use of cast iron tactile
walking surface indicators provides no serious health or environmental concerns
for the City of Mississauga. In particular, the City of Mississauga is not
aware of any other municipality in Canada reporting negative environmental or
health effects associated with tactile walking surface indicators — although
cast iron initially develops a rusty red colour which may stain the sidewalk in
the first year following installation, the cast iron will eventually develop a
natural patina which not only provides an even greater tonal contrast with the
sidewalk but is also safe for the environment and for all pedestrians who use