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Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

Level Contributor
39 posts
12 reviews
Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

I suffer from ms am still ambulant but struggle to walk long distances and stand for long periods of time, I walk with a stick, I am looking into travelling from heathrow to vancouver on my own to visit my son, I've been researching airport assistance which I've not had to use before which all seems pretty straight forward but I'm now wondering about vancouver itself, will it be easy for me to hire a wheelchair from somewhere also is it easy to get around vancouver? I will start researching this too but wondered if anyone had any advice on here? Thanks in advance for any replies

Level Contributor
2,686 posts
18 reviews
1. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

Hi I have used airport assistance at Vancouver airport, be warned they drop you at baggage claim and leave you to it, so if you can't manage your own luggage you will need a porter. Its not far to walk out to arrivals lounge maybe 100 yards at most, but thats a long way with a walking stick and suitcase.

As for Vancouver it is a lovely clean city, I can't really help to much here as we only stayed for one night before we went on a cruise to Alaska ( stunningly beautiful)

I hired a car and driver for the day to take us around the main sights so did not use public transport.

I think the best thing to do would be to also post on the Vancouver forum and I am sure people with local knowledge will help you and I think a simple google search " wheelchair hire vancouver " would answer your question on that.

Enjoy your trip and seeing your son.


West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
83,383 posts
103 reviews
2. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

Hi juefaz;

For questions about travelling to specific destinations, you can use the destination forums. The Vancouver BC forum is here on TA;


I would suggest posting your query on that forum, as well.

Best Regards

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
67,612 posts
65 reviews
3. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

You will not want to walk from the plane to Canadian Customs to the luggage carousel to the meet and greet foyer ar the exit doors to the street. I believe you need to make arrangements with your airline for assistance with that. Then I assume your son will meet you.

Vancouver is 100% accessible. Where there are stairs there will be also ramps. Where there are buildings there will be elevators. There are curb cuts on the sidewalks at all intersections.

All transit is fully accessible, buses have slide out ramps to join the sidewalk to the bus and space behind the driver with priority to wheelchairs, walkers, seniors and strollers. All washrooms will have either a wider stall for wheelchairs. They are not "reserved" for wheelchair folk but the disabled will have priority when they enter the washroom. Some washroom setups will have a family room, between or near the men's and women's washrooms. These are for wheelchair users and they are spacious.

It was Rick Hansen, the Man in Motion and a local boy whose journey around the world to raise money for spinal cord research, who initiated the transformation of Vancouver, physically and in attitude, into a disability friendly city.

Level Contributor
39 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

Thanks for the above post it's very helpful and nice to know vancouver has gone to such lengths for disabled people, this is all new to me as I've never had to use airport assistance or a wheelchair before so I'm a little apprehensive, I'm alerting the airline when I book my tickets but there was a reply above that said they only take you as far as baggage reclaim in vancouver airport but it isn't far to the exit apparently so my son will be there waiting so I think I will probably manage that part. Thanks again for your info

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
2,244 posts
88 reviews
5. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

If you request wheelchair assistance, the airlines are very good about making sure a wheelchair is waiting for you at the airport. Just make sure you ask the flight attendants to make sure a wheelchair will be waiting for you on arrival. There will be someone to wheel you through customs. The airline I flew with wheeled me right to our family member who was waiting for me outside the secured area while my husband wheeled our bags. I don't believe there are any wheelchairs available for your use without the airline attendant, so have them wheel you to the closest door where your sons can pick you up or you can catch a taxi.

6. Re: Is vancouver wheelchair friendly?

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