"I'm a very hard worker," says one of the employees of Cristina's Tortina Shop, where nearly all the employees have either autism or Down syndrome.
Owner Mary Iusso says the decision is part business and part personal.
Her staff's work ethic "isn't something you could teach someone," she explains.
Iusso's daughter has Down syndrome, and Iusso created the shop for her.
"I knew that my daughter has greater potential than being capped at what society thought she would be capable of doing," she said.
Other Canadian business leaders are starting to take notice.
A not-for-profit organization is now encouraging Canadian businesses to hire more people with disabilities.
Canadian Business SenseAbility launched on Wednesday to help employers see that decreased staff turnover and lower training and safety costs are among the benefits of employing people with disabilities.
"This is not a charity event. This is an opportunity to improve your business performance by tapping into a workforce that you don't tap into typically," said Per Scott, vice-president of human resources at the Royal Bank of Canada.
"Hiring people with disabilities is simply excellent for your bottom line," said Mark Wafer, a business owner. About one-third of his workforce consists of people with disabilities.
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