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Promoting Accessible Tourism for All: Activating Accessible Approaches to Camping | Four Corners

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Experience and support barrier-free travel in Algonquin. Four Corners Algonquin is helping to lead an inclusive, accessible and “whole life approach” to tourism in South Algonquin, Ontario.

Camping. For some, this word means peace, nature and the songs of animals lulling you to sleep. For others, it brings to mind back aches and hassle.

At Four Corners Algonquin, we take care of the hassle by eliminating barriers and making our campsites fully accessible … and we have beds to help relieve the back aches.

What - you’ve never imagined camping in a tent in a bed? Don’t worry, we’ve thought of it for you!

At Four Corners Algonquin, our mission is to remove as many barriers as possible to help as many people as possible reconnect with the great outdoors. Whether it’s a tight budget, lack of equipment, minimal to zero camping experience, accessibility concerns or apprehension about camping, we provide options for everyone.

Accessibility is all about stretching limits, not accepting them. Accessibility is a way of thinking about the space we occupy that makes it universally useful to people of all ages, stages and abilities. It's about keeping infrastructure and activities within reach of the range of human abilities across the lifespan. Accessibility is about flexibility. Four Corners Algonquin prioritizes flexible, adaptive and inclusive strategies for development across ages, stages and abilities. Because we know you can do this and we want to be there when you do!

We’re proud of the campers we’ve helped to reconnect with the wilderness, and we like to share our stories. Here’s one we’re really excited about!

On October 19, 2021, we had a visit from Minister Raymond Cho (Ontario’s Minister of Seniors and Accessibility).

See him here in his yellow tie! →

Minister Cho came to see how the township of South Algonquin made more businesses accessible by writing (and receiving!) EAF funding grants for needed updates on and in their buildings.

The EAF (Enabling Accessibility Fund) is a grant that businesses can apply for to receive money from the federal government. The funding can be used to make updates on the exterior of buildings (eg, installing ramps or accessible doors), purchasing equipment (eg, para-hockey sleds), or making adjustments to the interior of buildings (eg, creating sensory rooms or accessible washrooms).

As you can imagine, these are projects that mean a lot to Four Corners Algonquin. We have made many improvements in accessibility to our facilities through EAF grants, and we want to see accessibility expand. South Algonquin is our community - and we want you to feel like you’re a part of it when you visit our site!

South Algonquin is located in the Nippissing District just south of Algonquin Park, and most of the town’s businesses are mom and pop shops that rely on seasonal income to operate. Without the EAF grants, they may not have been able to make accessibility updates to their buildings.

Our very own Angela Pollak, owner and manager of Four Corners Algonquin and secretary with the South Algonquin Business Alliance, ran workshops to help business owners write the grants - and they were hugely successful! In total, seven businesses were granted nearly $500,000 of funding for projects to increase accessibility in the township of South Algonquin. Read more about this in the stories by The Record and Bancroft This Week.

Now when you come to Four Corners, you can choose whether you stay in the woods, or trek off-site to a town that welcomes you, however you are.

Our visit with Minister Cho was a lot of fun (see him here testing one of our bicycles!) and a great opportunity to get our story out into the larger world.

It is important for small businesses to know that they can make their shops accessible through EAF grants so that everyone can enjoy them.

Angela told MyBarrysBayNow and MyBancroftNow that her hope is to see the amount of grant money coming to the South Algonquin community increase by 2025, which will make your future visits to Four Corners an even broader adventure!

Minister Cho was treated to an outdoor luncheon in our fully accessible outdoor seating area. Do you think Minister Cho has ever enjoyed such a breathtaking conference room as this one?

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