Hey Toronto — what’s up with all the basement bathrooms? I noticed this phenomenon pretty quickly when I moved here from Vancouver a few years ago. As a person without mobility challenges, I can use basement washrooms safely, but what about those with mobility-based disabilities? It seems that Toronto should be a lot more accessible by now, but it is not.
Why is that the case?
Bruce Hawkins, spokesperson for City Planning at Toronto City Hall told Now Toronto:
“Restaurants in Toronto are often on main streets and in older buildings. These buildings were built in accordance with the building code or municipal bylaw at the time of construction.”
And apparently they’re allowed to stay that way. Only newly built or recently renovated buildings are required to have accessible bathrooms on the main floor. But things are looking up… the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act says that full accessibility must be achieved in Ontario by 2025.
On that note, I’ve compiled a list of accessible Toronto establishments for all occasions and cravings:
d | bar
Location: 60 Yorkville Avenue (inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville)
From celebrated chef Daniel Boulud, this fancy restaurant and bar is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville. Perfect for special occasions!
Location: 663 King Street
This new Italian restaurant on King Street is absolutely gorgeous inside with its high ceilings and art deco design. It’s very spacious and accessible to boot.
Location: 573 Queen Street West
b.good is a chain of restaurants with quick, healthy and affordable food on the menu.
Location: 2277 Bloor Street
People are raving about this new and imaginative vegan restaurant, which also has accessible washrooms.
Location: 208 Bloor Street West
One of life’s greatest joys is going out for brunch with friends… even better if everyone can go to the bathroom comfortably on the main floor!
Location: 2125 Dundas Street West
This new brewery is incredibly spacious and perfect for large gatherings of local brew lovers.
Cacao 70 Distillery
Location: 28 Gristmill Lane
Chocolate enthusiasts will appreciate this Distillery District café and bistro, which features a variety of brunch and dessert options and a wide selection of chocolate.
Snakes & Lattes
Location: 600 Bloor Street West
Like board games but don’t have an extensive collection at home? This is the place to go to enjoy an extensive selection of games, plus food and drinks.
This list is by no means exhaustive. For more detailed info on accessible restaurants, bars and other venues in Toronto, check out Access.to.
What’s your favourite accessible hang-out in Toronto? Share in the comments!