To go or not to go? The establishments featured in Hotel Intel have instituted pandemic protocols, and travellers from red zones are asked to respect government guidelines.
Breaking down barriers. Getting rid of obstacles. Paving the way.
That’s what Kéroul does. The non-profit resource centre provides details about more than 2,000 tourist attractions and lodgings certified as “fully accessible” or “partially accessible.” But even more compelling than Kéroul’s extensive database is that the organization lets people with reduced mobility know there is always a way, whether they want to hike, ski, paddleboard, visit a museum or simply relax in front of a fireplace.
Through Kéroul, I recently learned about an exciting platform for downhill skiing: former Alouette Steve Charbonneau, executive director of the Adaptive Sports Foundation, has created innovative programs for physically challenged athletes. And to round out a ski or sports vacation, Kéroul also steered me to Chalets U, an attractive pair of cottages in the Eastern Townships, ideal for people seeking accommodations with accessible features.
Chalets U: One of the most progressive and attractive adapted lodgings in Quebec, Chalets U is designed to be inclusive for all — for both travellers with limitations and their families. The U stands for “universal accessibility.”
Chalets U consists of two three-bedroom country houses in the Magog-Orford region. Le Chalet Malaga overlooks Holland Pond near Magog on the south side of Highway 10, and Le Chalet des Diligences faces Lac Orford and the mountains around Mont Orford. Both are tucked into the woods, and both were custom-built in recent years.
The nods to visitors with limited mobility start at the parking area — it’s paved, large enough for a van and protected from the elements by a canopy, so you’re shielded while moving from your vehicle to the house.
And both vacation homes have lots of interior space, with oversized rooms, so wheelchairs can move around easily.
Lodgings certified as accessible by Kéroul are equipped with adapted details such as light switches at an accessible height and doorways without thresholds, even to the outdoor terrasse. At Chalets U, the beds are adjustable, the bathrooms have roll-in showers and grab bars, and the kitchens and bathrooms have sinks that can accommodate users in wheelchairs.
This is upscale living, with attractive décor, designer kitchens, outdoor hot tubs and firepits available year-round, and barbecues for summer grilling.
Para-sports: The Adaptive Sports Foundation keeps everyone active, regardless of physical challenges.
ASF started with adaptive alpine skiing at Owl’s Head 26 years ago, and has broadened to include waterskiing and hiking, as well as occasionally canoeing, paddle-boarding and horseback riding.
“We expanded quickly,” said executive director Steve Charbonneau, who played on two Grey Cup-winning