After six hours and 1776 stairs, Canadian athlete Jeff Adams became the first person in a wheelchair to climb the CN Tower.

The six-time world champion wheelchair athlete completed the climb Thursday to publicize the challenges people with disabilities face.

Adams, 31, used a specially-designed chair with wheels that roll in only one direction.

"The symbolism of doing this is overcoming barriers, one step at a time," Adams told CBC News.

"This issue is really something that affects every Canadian. It affects a guy who is pushing a baby carriage as much as it affects a guy in a wheelchair."

His pace while climbing the tower was so fast he slowed down so he wouldn't catch fans waiting on the top by surprise.

Adams, who says Terry Fox and Rick Hansen were his inspiration, will put the money raised by the feat towards school-outreach programs that will teach young people to value differences.

Adams also hopes his efforts will encourage Canadian lawmakers to pass legislation that makes stores, buildings, restaurants and transportation more accessible for people with disabilities.

He's a two-time Olympian, three-time Paralympian and six-time world champion in the 1,500 metre men's wheelchair event.

He's been in a wheelchair since he was nine. A viral infection left his legs partially paralyzed.