Cast iron outperforms in Pilot Project

Published in TWSI Blog
  • on Thursday, 21 May 2015

cast iron outperforms

Cast iron recommended for City of Toronto standard

Results are in after a year-long Pilot Project to determine which four materials of tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI)’s would be recommended as the new City of Toronto standard. And the winner is- cast iron!

In order to comply with the Design of Public Space Standards (Part IV.1 of Ontario Regulation 191/11, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005), which included new legislative requirements to have TWSI’s at the bottom of curb ramps and depressed curbs to provide alerts for those with vision loss, the City of Toronto started a Pilot Project to best decide what standard they should adopt for TWSI’s on their sidewalk surfaces.

Conducted from November 2012 to December 2013, the Pilot Project tested four different TWSI materials, all installed at the four corners of the intersection of Shuter Street and Victoria Street in downtown Toronto. The four materials included plastic/composite polymers, clay brick pavers, concrete pavers and Neenah Foundry’s cast iron plates supplied by Landmark by Crozier.

Neenah Foundry’s detectable warning plates (also known as TWSI), were inset into the concrete and split into two segments. The plates are constructed with a rigid surface as well as a raised set of bumps for the best possible tactile warning for the visually impaired.

Throughout the course of the project, the different plate types were evaluated on installation, durability (physical condition) and cost. The public were encouraged to visit the project site to view and experience the materials first hand. Urban designers and landscape architects were among those providing feedback, with many choosing Neenah as their favourite because they felt the patina of the cast iron plate would enhance streetscapes.

After a full evaluation, a summary of the performance of the various materials was released by Pedestrian Projects, Transportation Services, City of Toronto on March 28th, 2014 entitled“Testing Different Materials for Tactile Walking Surface Indicators- Pilot Project Evaluation Report.” At the end of the thorough report, it was recommended that the City of Toronto use cast iron as the new standard for the following reasons:

“Cast iron is the material that has performed best overall based on durability after winter maintenance and effectiveness in terms of the detectability of domes. Installation and costs were all within a relatively similar range. The durability of the cast iron, however, sets it apart in terms of reducing the costs of maintenance and replacement due to the need to replace the tactile indicators less frequently,” as quoted in the Summary of Assessment.


Landmark by Crozier, a division of Crozier Enterprises, is a proud distributor of Neenah Foundry’s cast iron TWSI’s. Contact Landmark to find out how you can get started on installing the chosen standard TWSI’s in your community.

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About Neenah Foundry:Since 1872, Neenah Foundry has been known for consistent quality, functional performance and design aesthetics. They offer an extensive selection of castings for construction and municipal use including manhole covers and frames, catch basins and curb inlets, cast iron downspouts, airport and port castings, bridge scuppers and many other specialty products.