Accessible tourist spots in Toronto
September 13, 2018 6:39 PM   Subscribe

My Dad and his wife are currently visiting and we can't think of anything to do on the weekend. His wife uses a walker and can't really navigate steps or walk for more than a block or two. They went to Niagara Falls today and are doing a half day city bus tour tomorrow, which I assume covers most of the touristy stuff downtown. Help me!

I suggested trying to find a movie at TIFF, but they weren't really interested. I have no idea what they both like, only that neither of them want to visit museums, so the ROM is out. We will be accessing things by taxi.
posted by Kris10_b to Travel & Transportation around Toronto, ON (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
CN Tower?
Eat all the things!
Maybe do a lake cruise/dinner cruise depending on what the weather is like?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:45 PM on September 13, 2018

The answer will really depend on the kinds of things your dad and his wife are up for and also where they're visiting from.

I think If I only had a penguin's food suggestion is a good one if they're at least mildly adventurous. If they're from an area that's not as diverse as Toronto would they enjoy going out for dim sum or some other form of "try a lot of different foods you haven't tried before" small plate offering? Or if they don't like trying different international cuisines how about a weekend farmer's market -- get a bunch of harvest-fresh foods and make a special dinner with them?
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:56 PM on September 13, 2018

If they go for lunch at the CN Tower then it'll break up the walking involved so might be more enjoyable for them.

How about a musical like Come From Away?
Toronto FC is playing on Saturday. Would they be interesting in watching an MLS game?
For either of these you'd be getting tickets from other people/scalpers so it'll likely be $$$ but if it's something they're interested in then it still might be worth it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:07 PM on September 13, 2018

Theyre visiting from Canberra, Australia. Sadly, they're not adventurous food-wise.
posted by Kris10_b at 7:09 PM on September 13, 2018

Ah Toronto...a fun city for sure!

Sadly, Toronto Islands involves a bit more walking than they are up to, but an evening cruise onto the lake might be a great way to see the skyline and most of the boats are easily accessible for 'slow walkers'. There are a number of operators down on the waterfront, so check tourism sites for options (and coupons!).

The CN tower is neat, but can have long lineups on weekends, so go early if possible.

Although it's usually seen as more of a kids thing, the Toronto Zoo is decent and if you chose to focus on the Canadian Animals part, can be done with minimal walking (Zoo Mobile +/- renting wheelchair/scooter $).

Allen Gardens is a very low key attraction. Here, and is again minimal/self paces walking. Edwards Gardens/Toronto Botanical Garden is also a low key option.

Casa Loma/Spadina House are interesting if they are into Toronto History. Casa Loma looks like it's fairly accessible info here and is
interesting in a few ways. Spadina House is usually quieter, but less accessible.

Although you said Museums aren't their thing, there are some fun ones that are 'less museumey'. The Art Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum, Textile Museum.

Cinesphere (Imax Theatre) looks to have 2001 Space Odyssey playing at the moment (although call ahead to see how long a walk it is from the nearest accessible drop off point).

Ripleys Aquarium will be insanely full of small humans, so I'd avoid that, unless they are super interested. It's also $$, but some coupons are available.

If costs are less of an option, sightseeing flight of Toronto would also be a really neat low walking way to see the area.
Toronto Airways is a plane operator, which is usually cheaper than helicopter flights, but there are several options around, getting a flight for saturday might be tricky but still possible.

If they are up for another day with a bit of travel, African Lion Safari is another more family oriented, but low walking option.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas. In any case, have a great weekend!
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 7:34 PM on September 13, 2018

The CN tower is neat, but can have long lineups on weekends, so go early if possible

I have the opposite advice. For the CN Tower, look up what time sunset will be at. Go up sometime shortly before that. Stick around and see the view by day and by night. It's two views for the price of one. Also, I do find it worthwhile to get the pricier CN tower ticket that goes all the way to the second little bulb. The view really is even better up there. Again, time your trip to the second bulb so that you see the city by day and by night.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:51 PM on September 13, 2018

If they're not tired of tour-type stuff, taking the 501 streetcar from end to end is a neat way to see various Toronto neighbourhoods. With a day pass you could get on and off at various spots - City Hall, in the Beaches try Ed's Real Scoop for ice cream, or Bonjour Brioche in Riverdale...

The AGO has wheelchairs for visitors. (I used one when my leg was broken!) So does Ripley's Aquarium and probably other venues.

If they like escape rooms and don't mind the amount of standing/sitting with those, Casa Loma does escape rooms on weekends. I haven't done one but I have my eye on it. Casa Loma itself has wheelchairs but I would check that they are available for the escape room.

I have no idea what the ticket situation is but it's the Diversity Fellowship Showcase at Second City this weekend and there are other shows on. I've never been but there is a murder mystery dinner theatre in Toronto. I have been to Medieval Times and...the knights are pretty cool. I've also been to Famous People Players theatre with my parents and I have to say it's a bit...something, but they love it and go all the time. Rick Mercer video on the site.

It's not open on weekends but the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at U of T is pretty amazing. The Reference Library might be fun if they are readers.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:02 PM on September 13, 2018

I know you say they’re not food adventurous, but there’s a Ukrainan fest on Bloor West and Polish on Roncy and I’m going to eat all the borscht and pierogi.
posted by rodlymight at 6:26 AM on September 14, 2018

Sadly, Toronto Islands involves a bit more walking than they are up to,

If you are adventurous, you could take the ferry to the island and have a couple of the more mobile members of your group go rent a quadricycle. Head back to the dock and pick up the less mobile member of your party. Peddle around the islands. Pack a picnic or grab a bite at the Rectory Cafe.
posted by TORunner at 8:50 AM on September 14, 2018

If you are interested in CN Tower and Ripleys Aquarium (crowded, but amazing and accessible), I strongly recommend buying a Sea the Sky combo ticket. A decent deal.
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 9:49 AM on September 14, 2018

Just nthing lunch or dinner at the CN Tower. Two summers ago, we took my sister-in-law and her husband up the CN Tower for lunch (he'd never been to Toronto), and we were pleasantly surprised by the lunch we had up there - I hadn't been since I was like 10 or 11 years old (reservations needed).

For people who won't be able to walk very much, sitting in the CN Tower's revolving restaurant and enjoying a meal (the food isn't anything wildly adventurous, so should suit) might be just the ticket and the weather looks like it's going to be excellent for good visibility this weekend.

The price of lunch or dinner includes admission to the tower, so it's actually a pretty good deal, all things considered.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:39 AM on September 14, 2018

Seconding Allan Gardens to correct the spelling.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:59 AM on September 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I had planned to take them on a cruise or to Casa Loma, but they did all of that (and the CN Tower) on their tour yesterday. After they looked at the options, and ruled out the street fairs and the zoo, I convinced them that either the AGO or ROM and borrowing a wheelchair was probably the best bet. So today we're off to the ROM and tomorrow were just going to have lunch at Amsterdam Brewhouse. Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by Kris10_b at 9:45 AM on September 15, 2018

« Older Roaches. Why'd it have to be roaches.   |   Refinancing student loans while back in school Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.