Why does the Econo Lodge at 335 Jarvis St. have a push button automatic door with a handicap logo on it, but a single staircase that leads inside? Why does Bar Burrito on Yonge & Sheppard have a step leading into their restaurant, while the restaurant right next door is on level ground? Why does the Quiznos across from College Park have a step outside the front door, when other places on the same strip are fully accessible? Perhaps the biggest riddle of them all, why are Toronto buildings failing where buildings in other cities across Canada succeed? Sure, there are other buildings all over the place that are inaccessible, but Toronto is the only one I’ve lived in that defies logic and juxtaposes accessible and inaccessible features in the same place, like the automatic door button together with a set of stairs.
After last week’s entry, Walking between Worlds, one reader encouraged me to investigate Toronto’s real accessibility polices. Was Salad King violating the building code? I decided to find out, and I found the guy responsible for answering any Toronto developer’s nagging building code questions. However, in typical bureaucratic fashion, he is slow. So stay tuned next week, when I get to the bottom of the accessibility portion of Toronto’s building code.
Aaron is a freelance journalist living in Toronto. His work has appeared in Financial Post Business, Investment Executive Newspaper, and TV Week Magazine, along with Askmen.com. He is a regular contributor to Abilities Magazine and is currently plotting a weekly web comic called GIMP, with artist Jon Duguay, about a handicap school bus driver who wakes up after a crash to find he’s the last able-bodied person on earth — and he’s being hunted.