100 Perry Street - Shared Home Ownership

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

The Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI), part of the University Health Network (UHN), has one of the most technologically advanced rehabilitation research centres in the world. It is dedicated to revolutionizing rehabilitation and maximizing life for people living with the effects of disability, illness and aging–and to preventing injury by making homes, streets and workplaces safer.

Dr. Geoff Fernie (Institute Director) and Catharine Hancharek (Business Development Leader, Research) reviewed the architectural plans for 100 Perry Street with the developer and two of the buyers.   Both of those buyers intend to “age in place” – remaining in the 100 Perry Street house as long as possible.  

Geoff and Catharine offered valuable advice on several important safety and accessibility features.  Geoff kicked off the discussion by pointing out that, if all five residents grow old in the house, “at least one of you will be in a wheelchair or scooter”.  That provided the framework for the discussion.

The following is a partial list of the recommendations that Geoff and Catharine made.  We haven't been able to incorporate all of the recommendations, but have included as many of these features as possible.  Some (e.g. generator, hallway railings) will be installed after we build up our "contingency" fund a little more. We incude the full list here for others who may be planning a similar project.

  • Ramping of the front entrance, porch at the same level as the first floor of the house, wider than normal front door, railing on the side porch for safety
  • Sizing the elevator to handle a scooter or wheelchair with attendant
  • Wider than normal stair treads to reduce the risk of falls
  • Permanently “on” lighting on all stairways – safety and an automatic “night light”
  • Generator for emergency power
  • Bathroom design – including fixtures and handrails
  • Design of hallway railings (install when needed)
  • Fire sprinkler systems and “smart” fire and CO2 alarms
  • Advice on flooring styles,  type and placement of furniture