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.

What's Up

Canadian Tire Jumpstart for the Sport Relief Fund

We are thrilled to have been selected by Canadian Tire Jumpstart for the Sport Relief Fund!

We are excited to announce that Abilities Centre has been selected by Canadian Tire Jumpstart to receive a grant from their Sport Relief Fund.

Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities Announce Five-Year Partnership

OTTAWA – In its first step to establish programming in a new community and recreation centre, the Abilities Centre Ottawa and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities announced a long-term partnership in support of children and youth, regardless of ability, to engage in a life of sport and physical activity.

The Abilities Centre Ottawa, was scheduled to be  a major component of the proposed redevelopment of LeBreton Flats. The scheduled build was to be fully integrated, fully accessible, inclusive, multi-purpose recreation and community facility for people of all ages and all abilities.

Moving forward Abilities Centre Ottawa continues to create opportunities, run programs and events in and around the National Capital Region as it seeks to find an alternate location or solution to ensuring the National Capital Region a community facility for people of all ages and all abilities.

A big heart for a good cause

Will Riley and his family continue to surprise us! 

Abilities Centre Ottawa wants to acknowledge this very special member of our community! William Riley is 15 years old and has been running Will’s Bottle Drive in support of the Abilities Centre Ottawa for 5 years! Over the course of five year’s, he has raised $10,643.15 for the organization!

We want to thank Will for his commitment, his dedication, his kindness and his generosity!!!

Please read this article detailing William Riley's journey!

To obtain any additional information please contact the Riley’s at

The ACO Facility

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

Our Team

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

Board of Directors


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 competed international for 6 sports in both summer and winter at the National and International Level.  Todd is a former governing Board Member for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and Chairperson of the IPC Athletes Council from 2010 to 2018.

For more than 30 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, was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Disability Hall of Fame and received the Athletes Can Leadership Award to name a few. Todd currently is a board member with the Abilities Centre Whitby and Chairperson of the board for Own The Podium.


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.

Bob 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.

Kathleen Stokely

Kathleen Stokely

Kathleen Stokely has over 30 years experience in publicly funded hospital and non-profit community-based health organizations with a local, regional or national scope mandate. Her roles have focused on health system wide and organizational strategic and operational planning and service design and delivery targeted towards population groups with distinct vulnerabilities and specialized health care needs. This has included successive increasingly senior leadership positions and responsibilities in long term care, adult and pediatric tertiary rehabilitation services, as well as central management roles in system transformation encompassing a total of four health organization mergers.


Over her 15 years as head of the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre (OCTC), the organization's mandate, program and geographic scope, and range of clients expanded significantly. Kathleen co-led OCTC's amalgamation in 2016 with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, to broaden a regional integrated system of care for families of children and youth with long term and complex special therapy and health service needs. Nationally she also participated periodically for many years as a certified surveyor with Accreditation Canada, an affiliate of the national Health Standards Organization.


Post-retirement Kathleen's volunteer involvements enable a continued contribution in the areas of advocacy, partnerships and innovation to   help foster an expanded and sustainable continuum of community health, social, recreational and developmental sector program opportunities to support greater self-choice, and quality of life for individuals and families facing significant challenges.

aAndrew Henry

Andrew Henry

Andrew Henry has over 32 years in international private industry with responsibilities including oversight of numerous multi-million dollar contracts. Andrew specializes in conflict resolution and has been credited with salvaging key customer/vendor relationships through open communication, collaboration, seeking out creative solutions and ensuring accountability of all stakeholders. Since 2010, Andrew has become increasingly involved in working with and advocating for persons with physical challenges. Andrew is a Board Member for Women’s Para Hockey of Canada, and past-President of Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario as well as having served on the Board of Sledge Hockey Ontario and as a volunteer for SkiAbility Ottawa and the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing.

Andrew’s interest in serving people with all abilities stems from a recognition of challenges that we all face in keeping active, especially those in our community who live with disabilities.

Steve Burwash

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.



Emily Glossop

Executive Director

Emily Glossop dedicated almost 20 years of her career to the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre and CHEO working as a Recreation Therapist with children and youth with multiple physical, developmental and associated behavioural needs.

She 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. She is also a motivational speaker, giving talks locally, nationally and internationally on the importance of physical activity for all, overcoming obstacles and following your dreams.

Emily is the recipient of the Order of Ottawa, Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Growing Up Great Award for Stable and Nurturing Relationships. Emily is extremely excited about her new role as Executive Director of Abilities Centre Ottawa and is dedicated to continually advocating for inclusion and equal access for all.

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.

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.

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.

Contact Abilities Centre Ottawa

#204 - 1339 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1Y 3B8
Tel: (613) 222-3207