Principles of Service

  • We respect and encourage autonomy by offering a full range of services to support independent living by our consumers
  • We recognize and value the uniqueness of individuals by ensuring our services are self-directed according to individual needs
  • We provide flexible services that support individuals to live up to their full potential
  • We reduce physical barriers for our consumers
  • We promote acceptance and tolerance among people
  • We provide a safe environment for our consumers and staff
  • We behave with the utmost honesty and integrity and ensure our hiring practices support these values
  • We are accountable for meeting the needs of our consumers in a financially prudent manner, which does not compromise service quality
  • We work collaboratively with other service providers and within our community

Our History

Access Independent Living Services was conceived in the fall of 1986.

At that time a group of concerned individuals living and working in a transitional living center providing 24 hour per day attendant support services for adults with physical disabilities, formed a committee to implement a permanent apartment project providing the same services. This was in response to a shortage in Toronto of accessible housing with attendant support services. This ongoing shortage results in many individuals with physical disabilities being forced into inappropriate living situations, such as nursing homes, chronic care hospitals and other institutions.

In the spring of 1987, Access Independent Living Services was incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in order to address this concern. A housing search was undertaken and a proposal was submitted to the provincial government to secure ongoing funding for support services.

In the fall of 1987, Metro Toronto Housing agreed to provide 10 two-bedroom wheelchair accessible apartments in a building being constructed at 2468 Eglinton Avenue West.
Access Independent Living Services began providing services on March 1, 1989. Premier David Peterson officially opened it on June 27, 1990.

In 1993 Access Independent Living Services started providing services in an additional 14 two-bedroom apartment building at 2155 Lawrence Avenue East.

The Outreach Program was funded in May 1997. This program provides assistance to people in their homes, at their workplace or at school from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, 7 days per week.

In 2005 Access began providing services to an additional 18 units (various sizes) in St. Mark’s Court at 7 The Donway East.

2006 – Access’ Executive Director appointed as Co-Chair/Banker for the Abuse Prevention Working Group

2007 – Local Health Integration Networks established and funding relationship changes

2010 –  Access Apartments officially changed its name to Access Independent Living Services

2013 – Access Independent Living Services became Accredited through CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities)

2014 – Access Independent Living Services received a base funding increase to our Outreach program, which allowed for an expansion of services to more Outreach consumers.

2015 – Attendant Outreach service expansion

2015 – Access leads “Aging with a Disability” research project

2016 – Access receives another three year accreditation status from CARF international

2017 – Access is funded to pilot the Mobile Attendant Service program

2017 – Access develops a three year strategy for Attendant Services and ABI services that was adopted by the Central LHIN

2018 – Access is funded to expand the Mobile Attendant Service program

History of Independent Living
Multi-Sector Service Accountability Agreement (MSAA)