The Abilities Centre Ottawa will be a fully-integrated, inclusive, multi-purpose and accessible recreation facility designed to meet the needs of ALL individuals and families.

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What's Up

Abilities Center

ACO Annual Golf Tournament - September 15, 2016

BIG Tournament news: Amazing prizes donated by the Ottawa Senators
Register Now!  

Proposed LeBreton Flats Abilities Centre 'a place for all,' proponents say


The Abilities Centre, most would agree, is one of the more appealing elements of RendezVous LeBreton’s redevelopment proposal for LeBreton Flats.

Read more   Emily Glossop Interview    Todd Nicholson Interview   

  • The ACO Facility

    The centerpiece of Ottawa's Abilities Centre will be the Field House.

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Board of Directors

The Abilities Centre Ottawa Board of Directors is committed to our mission and vision, and to a sustainable Abilities Centre.

Emily Glossop

Emily Glossop

Emily Glossop is a former member of the Canadian Para-Alpine Ski Team serving as guide skier to one of Canada's top vision-impaired skiers, (Retired) and winning many World Cup Medals. Emily has dedicated her life and career at the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre working with children and youth with multiple physical, developmental and associated behavioural needs. She is also a motivational speaker, giving talks locally, nationally and internationally on the importance of physical activity and following your dreams. Emily is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Growing Up Great Award for Stable and Nurturing Relationships.

Todd Nicholson

Todd Nicholson

Todd Nicholson spent 23 years as a player on the National Paralympic Sledge Hockey Team (Retired), including serving as Captain for 15 years. Todd competed in 5 Winter Paralympic Games, numerous World Championships and international tournaments. He has also spent time coaching at local and national levels. Todd is a governing Board Member for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Chairman of the IPC Athletes Council. For more than 25 years Todd has been a leader in the Paralympic movement nationally and internationally. Todd is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Queen's Golden and Silver Jubilee medals, Paralympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and in 2014, was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and received the Athletes Can Leadership Award.

Robery Glossop

Dr. Robert Glossop

Dr. Robert Glossop worked with the Vanier Institute of the Family as a cultural observer studying the dynamics of 'family'. The answers he found shed light on our nation's economy, social trends, culture and, ultimately, our prospects. His writings, speeches, and analyses have addressed a broad range of themes relevant to today's society. He is the recipient of the Lawson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, Honorary Doctorates from the University of Guelph and Trent University and he was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008.

Collinda Joseph

Collinda Joseph

Collinda Joseph has been working in the area of disability advocacy and accessibility to the built environment for over 25 years. Collinda has been a volunteer at the local, provincial and national level. She is currently sitting as a full voting member of the Canadian Standards Association B-651 Technical Committee on Accessibility of the Built Environment. Outside of the area of the built environment, Collinda's committee participation has included the Algonquin College Board of Governors, the Celebration of People Steering Committee, the City of Ottawa Accessibility Advisory Committee as well as several others. Collinda was awarded the Community Leader Award in Memory of Cathy Kerr in 2014 and in 2013 she was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Terrance Christopher

Terry Christopher

After graduating from St. Francis Xavier University and the Maritime School of Social Work, Mr. Christopher became a full-time member of the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces. His meritorious service in the Canadian Forces was acknowledged in 1982 when he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Military Merit and he was awarded the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty the Queen in 1994. He was the Manager of the Canadian Reception Centre, which acts as the entry point for all distinguished guests and Canadians who arrive in Ottawa by air. He has served with distinction to the Royal Family, four governors general and prime ministers as well as presidents and prime ministers from other lands. He was appointed Usher of the Black Rod on December 9, 2002, (ret'd March 5, 2008) the first naval officer in Canadian history to hold this post.

Barb Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell

Barbara Mitchell is the Director of Programming and Development of YOUCAN, working with Youth and providing services to equip youth to engage and inspire others to peacefully resolve conflicts and develop healthy relationships in their communities. Barbara is a member of PREVNet (Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network) sitting on its national steering committee providing a community based agency perspective. She is actively involved in her community including supporting initiatives at Adult HS and coordinating donations to local charities


Steve Burwash

Steve Burwash has worked for over 20 years in finance in both private and public sector. He has a financial background in both civil aviation and defense sectors. He brings solid credentials in global finance, acquisitions & integration and operations, but feels the more important lessons learned have been in customer satisfaction, team building and relationship development.

Our Dream

More than ever before, health professionals, employers and community leaders know that it is essential to create and promote healthy lifestyles and recreational opportunities for all people, those with and without disabilities. Ultimately, all of us will experience activity limitations at some point during our lives whether by injuries, neurological disorder, genetic inheritance or aging. The Abilities Centre Ottawa (ACO) will be a fully integrated, inclusive, multi-purpose and accessible recreation facility designed to meet the needs of individuals and families interested in recreation, sport, drama, dance and active living. Inspired by the first and successful Abilities Centre in Whitby Ontario, the Abilities Centre Ottawa was federally incorporated as a Not-for-Profit organization on September 4th, 2014.

The ACO will meet the pressing demand in the National Capital Region (NCR) to address the needs of an increasing proportion of its population that can benefit from the recreational, training, and rehabilitative services and programs that the ACO is uniquely designed to deliver. The ACO will be a hub for healthy living for all members of the local and regional community including persons with disabilities and activity limitations. The nature of staff training, programming and facility design will insure an inclusive environment delivering enriching sport, arts, drama, music and life-skills programming for individuals and families alike.

Significantly, approximately 15.4% of residents in he NCR are living with a disability and that proportion is growing. Statistics Canada has recently announced that Canada now has more individuals aged 65+ than those under the age of 14. Forty percent of all baby-boomers will retire with some form of disability. And a much larger proportion of the population will care about and for individuals with a disability. The facility is designed to meet the needs of all who seek to maintain or improve health, train for competition, recover form an injury or illness or better manage physical, emotional and behavioural challenges.

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Contact Abilities Centre Ottawa

1339 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1Y 3B8
Tel: (613) 222-3207

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