2.3.3 Ramps in Beach Access Routes

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The Requirements in this Section apply to:
Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly, and Designated Public Sector Organizations Private / Not-for-Profit Sector Organizations
Large Small
Yes Yes Yes
Regulation Reference:
80.13 - Ramps

Where it is difficult to use gentlysloped walkways to negotiate changes in level, properly designed ramps may provide access for people using wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, or other mobility aids.

The Standard provides organizations with minimum design requirements for ramps on beach access routes.

It should be noted that this requirement does not mandate that beach access routes must include ramps.


The requirements of this Section apply to ramps located on newly constructed or redeveloped beach access routes that an organization intends to maintain.

Requirements for the Design of Ramps on Beach Access Routes

Clear width
Minimum of 900 mm.
Clear height
Minimum of 2,100 mm head room clearance above the ramp.
Firm and stable.
Running slope
No steeper than 1:10 (10%).
  • Locations:
    • At the top and bottom of the ramp
    • At abrupt changes in the direction of the ramp, and
    • At horizontal intervals not greater than 9 metres apart.
  • Size:
    • Minimum 1,670 mm x 1,670 mm at top, bottom and at abrupt changes in direction.
    • Minimum 1,670 mm in length and at least the same width of the ramp for landings located along a straight ramp.
  • Cross slope: Maximum 1:50 (2%).
Surface openings
Openings in the ramp or its landings must not allow the passage of an object more than 20 mm in diameter.
Provide handrails on both sides of the ramps, including at landings, and ensure they:
  • Are continuously graspable along the entire length.
  • Have cross-section with an outside diameter of between 30 mm and 40 mm if they are circular. Non-circular shapes must have a graspable portion with a perimeter between 100 mm and 155 mm and a diameter not more than 57 mm.
  • Are between 865 mm and 965 mm high, measured vertically from the surface of the ramp and its landings.
  • Terminate in a way that will not obstruct pedestrian travel or create a hazard.
  • Extend horizontally 300 mm, at minimum, beyond the top and bottom of the ramp.
  • Have a clearance of 50 mm, at minimum, from any wall to which they are attached.
Handrails that do not meet the requirements may be installed in addition to the required handrails.

Provide one or more intermediate handrails where a ramp is wider than 2,200 mm. These handrails must be continuous between landings, located so that there is no more than 1,650 mm between handrails and meet the requirements for handrails listed above.
Walls or guards
Provide a wall or guard on both sides of a ramp.

Where there is a guard:
  • The top of the guard must not be less than 1,070 mm above the ramp surface (measured vertically)
  • No element, attachment or opening located between 140 mm and 900 mm above the ramp surface will facilitate climbing.
Edge Protection
Provide edge protection where there is no solid enclosure or solid guard. Protection may be a:
  • Curb: Minimum 50 mm high, or
  • Railings or other barriers: extending to within 50 mm of the finished ramp surface.

Note: Both a guard and edge protection may be required if there is a gap between the guard and the ramp surface of more than 50 mm.

Better Practice Considerations

Clear width
A clear width of 1,100 mm will better accommodate larger wheelchairs and scooters, as well as people who cannot control their mobility aids precisely. Widths of more than 1,200 mm will prevent the use of both handrails at the same time, which would make it difficult for some people with disabilities to use the ramp.
Consider choosing slipresistant surfaces such as asphalt or well-compacted, crushed limestone screenings. For slip resistance values, refer to Appendix G.
Running slope
Consider using slopes gentler than the 1:10 (10%) ratio to make the ramp easier to navigate and help users maintain control when descending.
  • Size: Larger landings may help to accommodate larger wheelchairs and scooters. An 1,800 mm x 1,800 mm landing will accommodate most manual wheelchairs and some powered wheelchairs and scooters. A 2,400 mm x 2,400 mm landing will accommodate most wheelchairs and scooters.
  • Slope transition: Providing a high tonal contrast band at least 50 mm wide across the width of the ramp at the top and bottom of each ramp segment will emphasize the transition from the sloped surface to the level landing for people with vision loss. Locate the tonal contrast band on the sloped surface — not on the landing. Consider using a tonal difference with at least 70% light reflectance value (LRV). Refer to Figure for details on measuring LRV.
  • Height: Providing a second, lower handrail 600 mm - 750 mm above the surface of the ramp will enhance usability and safety for children.
  • Tonal contrast: Handrails that contrast in tone to the surface they are mounted on will be more visible to all users and particularly helpful for people with low vision.
  • Structural Loading: Will withstand the loading values obtained from the non-concurrent application of a concentrated load not less than 0.9 kN applied at any point and in any direction and a uniform load not less than 0.7 kN/metre applied in any direction to the handrail.
Surface openings
Consider openings that will not allow passage of an object more than 12 mm in diameter, to further reduce the possibility of small wheels, cane tips and shoe heels getting caught in openings, grilles and gratings. Position elongated openings approximately perpendicular to the direction of travel.
Avoid curved ramps if possible, as they are more challenging to negotiate.


Illustrated Technical Guide to the Design of Public Spaces