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PAAC – Retail business accessibility program

Concrete assistance to businesses in support of universal accessibility for clients with limited mobility

This subsidy program is designed to assist retailers who wish to offer universal accessibility to clients with limited mobility.

The program is managed through the Retail Business Accessibility Program By-law (PAAC – Programme d'aide à l'accessibilité des commerces) (RCG 17-011). Its budget for the 2017-2022 period is $1.6 million.

This retailer assistance program aims at making Commercial buildings universally accessible to anyone regardless of his or her physical ability, thus allowing them to benefit from the retailer's  offerings, both independently and simultaneously.

Updating to barrier-free design standards

Designed to promote a better quality of life among all residents of the Urban agglomeration of Montréal, the PAAC allows eligible retail businesses to update their built environment. The program applies to built environments that met the barrier-free design standards set out in the Québec Construction Code (the Code) or the regulations in force at the time of construction or after an alteration, but that no longer meet current barrier-free design standards and regulations.

Objectives

Through the PAAC, building owners or tenants renting a building or part of a building engaged in commercial activities may be eligible to receive a subsidy in order to:

  • Correct or reduce the number of barriers limiting the entrances and exits of commercial premises.
  • Carry out fit-up work to improve indoor circulation.
  • Provide access to various washroom facilities.

Eligibility

To receive assistance under the program, the applicant must:

  1. Be an owner or tenant  of a building engaged in commercial activities. 
  2. Plan to carry out work intended to make access to the building compliant with the barrier-free design standards set out in the Code or the regulations applicable at the time of application for a subsidy, and execute the work when no access to the building from the street is compliant, other than from an alley way.
  3. Obtain confirmation from an authorized professional stating that the building for which the application is submitted met the barrier-free construction standards set out in the Code and the applicable regulations, either at the time of its construction or at the time of the most recent renovation of said building.
  4. Complete the program application form and provide the required documents before December 31, 2020.
  5. Have a «Service de développement économique» representative de la Ville de Montréal visit the building where the work is to be performed.

Submitting an application for a subsidy payment

The owner or tenant of a building or part of a building engaged in commercial activities can submit an application to become eligible for a subsidy under the PAAC (RCG 17-011). The applicant must complete the application form and forward it with all the requested documents to paac@ville.montreal.qc.ca:

If the application is submitted by the building owner:

  • A document (letter of compliance) signed by an authorized professional  confirming that the unit/building housing the business met the barrier-free design standards set out in the Building Code in force at the time of its construction (year) or at the time of its most recent renovation (or alteration) in accordance with the effective Code requiring barrier-free design.
  • A document establishing that he or she is the most recent owner of the building cited in the application, according to the Land Register of Québec (Registre foncier du Québec).
  • A document establishing the mandate of any person acting on his or her behalf.
  • At least one itemized estimate for all the work planned.

If the application is submitted by the tenant:

  • The same documents as those submitted by an owner are required (see above).
  • The lease attesting the business status as a tenant renting the building or part of it.
  • A document certifying that the building owner consents to the work being carried out.

For both types of application, a visit from a  «Service de développement économique» representative de la Ville de Montréal will be scheduled to confirm that the work has not yet started.
The application period ends December 31, 2020.

Financial assistance

The PAAC offers a subsidy equal to 75% of the cost of eligible work, up to a maximum of $10,000.

Eligibility

The following work aimed at making the building or its amenities barrier-free is eligible:

  • Replacement of a door providing access to the building from the street and the commercial space
  • Installation of an electric door opener providing access to the building from the street and the commercial space
  • Installation of a bevelled plan
  • Installation of a ramp or lift platform
  • Work to improve indoor circulation, such as levelling the floors, widening the door and change rooms, installing an elevator and lift platform
  • Work that facilitates access for dedicated washroom facilities for clients with limited mobility
  • Replacement of toilets

N.B.: No subsidy will be awarded for work beginning before the date to which the subsidy application is declared eligible.

Carry-out renovation work

Once eligibility is confirmed, the applicant must:

  • Obtain the required permits to perform the eligible work.
  • Ensure that the work is performed by a contractor holding the proper license from the Régie du bâtiment du Québec.
  • Start the eligible work no more than six months after the date of the notice of application eligibility.
  • Complete the eligible work within 12 months of the date of the notice of application eligibility.

Payment of the subsidy

Once the work is completed, the applicant must:

  • Provide certification signed by an authorized professional confirming that the work has been completed in accordance with the barrier-free design standards set out in the Code and the applicable regulations.
  • Provide invoices, receipts and other documents indicating the cost of and full payment for the work (proof of payment).
  • Provide a copy of any permits for the eligible work.
  • Have a «Service de développement économique» representative de la Ville de Montréal visit the building where the work was completed.

The subsidy is paid in one full installment either by check or electronic payment.

It is the responsibility of an applicant to read in full the RCG 17-011 By-law to find out all the terms and conditions pertaining to the program.