Skip to Content

Outdoor Public Use Eating Areas

man sitting in a wheelchair at an outdoor table

Outdoor public use eating areas are public areas with tables and intended for use by the public as a place to consume food, such as picnic tables in parks, on hospital grounds or university campuses, and outdoor food courts at amusement parks.

The requirements apply to all organizations except small organizations.

When building new or making planned significant alterations to existing outdoor public eating areas, organizations must make sure:

  • At least 20 per cent of new tables added, and no fewer than one of the new tables, are accessible to people using mobility aids, such as wheelchairs,
  • The ground surface leading to and under the accessible tables is level, firm, and stable to accommodate mobility aids, and
  • Enough clear space around the accessible tables is provided so people using a mobility aid can approach the tables.

How many accessible tables do you need?

The 20 per cent requirement applies to the purchase of new tables added to a public use eating area.

For example, a town decides to purchase five new tables to add to the five it already has in the park. To comply with the law, one of the five new tables must be accessible (20 per cent of five is one).

Refers to a private or not-for-profit organization that provides goods, services or facilities to the public or to other organizations and has one to 49 employees in Ontario. It does not include the Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly, or designated public sector organizations.