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Need Wheelchair Accessible Restaurants

I have a friend who is in a wheelchair. When we make plans to meet for dinner, we are always on the lookout for fully accessible establishments. While many places are easy enough to roll into, most places that say they are accessible have washrooms in the basement. It can really compromise an evening if one can't use the toilet.

Most expensive restaurants are fully accessible, but it's not always possible to shell out big bucks for a meal.

Any suggestions for reasonably priced restaurants with washrooms on the same floor?

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  1. Been in a similar situation. All I can really say is: call ahead. Most restos are more than happy to describe their situation on the phone in detail and it's the only way not to have a big surprise on arrival.

    1. Based on my recollection of places I've been to the in the last few weeks, Niagara Street Cafe, Wish, and Bar Mercurio all have ground floor washrooms. All three are reasonably priced (with Bar Mercurio likely being the most pricey of the three) and all three have been discussed frequently on this board so there should be plenty of information on these places for you to peruse. Personally, I'd pick Niagara Street Cafe over the other two.

      1. Seoul City on Queen West has ground floor washrooms.

        1. Are you looking for restaurants within a certain area? I can think of a couple of the top of my head - Blowfish has washrooms on the main floor. They are unusual washrooms, mind you, but I think they are wheelchair accessible. It's a chain, but Moxie's at Yonge and Sheppard's washrooms are ground floor. Le Cafe Vert's on Queen East. Sweet Basil in Richmond Hill too. Centre Street Deli in Thornhill also. If I think of others, I'll add them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pescatarian

            Cafe Vert is not wheelchair accessable according to the Now ("two steps at door, small washroom on main floor") and Blowfish definitely has three or four steps at the door.

            If you search the Now's restaurant guide, they have a barrier-free category. However, they say that washrooms, although on the same floor, may not be handicap -equipped.

            Go to the drop-down menu under Accessability and hit Barrier-free.

            http://www.nowtoronto.com/restaurant/...

            I often don't agree with their reviews, but its the only site I've found that tells you what exactly to expect in terms of access.

            1. re: Herb

              Sorry, I was thinking of the washroom being on the same floor as the dining room and a restaurant where you enter at street level.

          2. I can't be entirely sure but you may want to try Celestin (http://celestin.sites.toronto.com/). The reason why I say this is because the chef, Pascal Ribreau is himself in a wheelchair.

            Incidentally, here is his story: http://www.torontolife.com/features/s...

            3 Replies
            1. re: oishi

              Thanks for the tips. Please keep them coming. Having a list of accessible restaurants makes meals out a lot easier to plan and enjoy.

              1. re: oishi

                Wow - what an incredible and inspiring story for all of us! Celestin has been on my "list" for a while and this has moved it to the top. What's not to want to support in Ribreau? - a passion for life and for excellent and interesting food as well.

                1. re: jcanncuk

                  Pascal in fact developed his own wheelchair which allows him to stand up and move laterally in the kitchen. It is quite incredible to see. The food at Celestin is outstanding but it is not inexpensive.

              2. Hi... I'm a wheelchair user and avid restaurant goer.

                The suggestion about calling restaurants is a fair one. However, most restaurant staff are pretty clueless as to what constitutes barrier-free. Can't tell you the times I've been to a restaurant that claims access only to find a step up or more...

                One of the nicest restaurants with a fantastic gender-neutral washroom is Izakaya on Front Street. It's not authentic Japanese, but the food is good and well-priced.

                I'm also a big fan of Mill Street Brewery. There's lots of space for access. Servers are friendly and not weird about the whole disability thing. The Distillery restaurants in general are accessible, but the food is expensive. It's a hard balance between finding good food and access.

                If you and your friend can travel, most places in Markham, a.k.a. New Chinatown are accessible, as are their washrooms.

                Admittedly, I don't go into the washrooms of most of the places I've eaten for the very reasons you've cited.

                It's amazing just how inaccessible the restaurant industry still is. This isn't the case in most U.S. cities where access is a legal requirement.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Lotus Seedling

                  There's a place on the Danforth called Mocha Mocha that is wheel chair accessible. No steps and washrooms are on first floor and of good size. Although I would say it is more of a lunch spot than dinner. They have amazing quesadilla's, great salads and sandwiches, omelets, and a few specials each day. The food is as fresh as can be!!! Definitely worth a visit for lunch.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    GIovanna's on College at Clinton....has a main floor washroom...been there a friend in a wheelchair...good food too...Miranda