If you can’t serve me now you won’t serve me later either

So, I decided that I should probably blog again, it’s been a while and between being sick and trying to keep doing my physiotherapy I’ve been crunched for time.

This time I thought I’d just write about why I sent that tweet a few weeks ago about restaurants and how I’ve decided that if they are not prepared to have me in their shop now I won’t be going in when I get some of my mobility back.

There are a lot of restaurants in this city, and a LOT in the core of my city, many of them are not accessible which I fail to understand…do those of us with disabilities not go out to eat? do we not eat at all? I don’t know what the logic is but despite the attempts to try to figure things out I have failed to come to a conclusion about it except to say I guess they really don’t care or just figure that the bare minimum of compliance is all that is required. Perhaps they don’t realize what would be needed to make their places accessible, I’d really like to believe that it is the reason for not being able to attend any restaurant I want, but rather that I have to scout them all out and then see if I can pick one.

The frustration I experience can leave me tired and saddened as I think about some of the places I used to go and some of the places I’ve wanted to go to but are now out of bounds. I also get angry and hate that I have been put in this position when in fact I should be allowed to attend their restaurant in the first place. I didn’t surrender my human card when I got a chair.

I wonder if they realize just how left out it feels to know that you can’t get into a place of business. It’s almost like when you get picked last for a team and you know no one wants you but you still want to be considered all the same.

Some make you feel like you are asking for too much or don’t belong in their establishment just by the way they look at you impatiently as if they hope you’ll just get tired of waiting and leave. Some even manage to look a bit embarrassed when they realize just how much of a problem it can be to go out to dinner and not have a place at the table (sometimes only after waiting an hour for a table to open).

Some are “marginally okay” some are outright impossible. Perhaps I should do a photo feature on the restaurant scene in the City of London, Ontario Canada so that other mobility and disabled customers like me will have a “data base” of what restaurants to avoid and what ones would be more than happy to have someone like me come and visit.

Anyone have any feedback to offer me? I’d love to know if you want to see pictures and/or have a small compilation on where you can go in the core to eat if you can’t easily get around.

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Adelaide and Huron

Strip Plazas on Adelaide St N and Huron.

When I don’t have money I don’t tend to go out much, so I have not checked out the Wendy’s nor the new location for Tim Horton’s yet.

There is a Pet Store, bank, FreshCo and various other shops along the strip. I didn’t visit every store but I have visited enough to know which are difficult and which are great.

The store Pet Paradise, ranks among the difficult. It’s hard to get in without actuators and there are TWO doors to get inside the pet store. It is very frustrating and makes me both happy to have someone along with me to make it easier to get in, and yet angry because it would be nice to have the freedom to do things on my OWN. Once inside it can be hard to get around because the shop has very narrow aisles and sometimes there are displays that crowd the way. For someone with vision issues it could be frustrating to navigate, so be glad that the staff is friendly.

They also have garden hoses out it seems every time I go there, so I can’t visit the fish department at all.

 

FreshCo. the anchor grocery store in this strip mall it is a nice sized store. One of the few complaints I would have is the entryway which has “flippers” at the front I assume so people can’t exit through the entrance. They are a real nuisance for a chair to go through especially if they are set so that the same hand you use to power your chair is the same hand you need to move the flippers. I’d love to see a push button flipper mover on the entrance side but I doubt that it will happen given the need to protect the store from shortages. I did ask the Manager while I was there if they could do something to fix up the bathroom, I haven’t been back in a while and can only hope they have taken my advice to heart. When I was there last the door was heavy to push, required me to use the same hand as my chair control is set on, and opened inward which in some ways is more awkward than if I had to pull it open.  They also had garbage cans too close to the toilet which would create a problem for those who require a transfer. (Keep your fingers crossed).  The only other complaint I’d have is the laneways. A large number of grocery stores I have been in seem to have only one real lane that a wheelchair can easily navigate down. It’s sad that we have to sit in line with customers just to leave their store should we not find what we need or in my case should I wish to get to the other side and bag the items for my husband.  I hope that eventually they figure out that a bit wider would be nice for laneways, but again I guess it’s a matter of “store security” over customer service.

Accessing the actual mall is a bit on the tricky side, especially from Huron St coming from Adelaide. The walkways are narrow, a bit angular towards the road and it ends with you having to “gallop” across the driveway to either the bank or the end of the mall. Since this is right on top of an entrance for cars and a parking space for bank customers it’s not really an ideal situation.On the opposite side of the mall one has to make for the Beer store and then follow the path all the way down and around to the end of the KFC.

 

All in all I hardly go to these shops and I think I have to say that between lousy bus service (this bus is habitually busy with strollers), and not so great ways to get around on sidewalks it’s just not high on my “to do” list.

I may have my husband take a few photos of the road from the East side of Adelaide to the west since there are some “issues” that exist there, including holes in the road (where one time in a push chair my husband got a caster stuck) it was a frightening experience, and a light pole in the middle of the sidewalk.

There are shops along the way heading up to Cheapside where Metro is, but since I don’t frequent them much I haven’t yet bothered to chat about them.

I’ll do Oxbury Mall sometime when I can get more pictures of the mall, last time we were in a wee bit of a hurry.

Argyle Mall (part 2) Restaurants I think…

Yesterday I shared information about sidewalks, roads and shops….today I finish off Argyle with restaurants. Now there are a lot of restaurants out there and I couldn’t do all of them, a few restaurants that are privately owned that I passed by had no actuators for doors, and sidewalks that would be too narrow to back up on to open a door. Very disappointing,  but I think these “big name fast food” ones should be more than enough to give you some idea of what they think about having to provide accessibility. (or at least what the owners of these franchises think)

A is for A&W

It’s in a decent enough location, and the approach is easy enough to take. They even have a nice parking area with the ramp set to the side not in front of the parking space, but *sigh* there were no actuators on the doors.

 

One photo shows how much space a wheelchair has to try to back up and pull the door open. I have short arms so I have to be practically on top of a door when I open it and it would leave me trying to not fall off the sidewalk while trying to open a door.  The inside door is no better, set on an angle I feel is just too tight to expect a wheelchair or scooter to navigate. Their front door, around the building isn’t much better, no actuator there either and it opens on the right. I have no idea which door I should use (should I follow the blue striped road?) but I opted for neither and left them.

 

B is for Burger King

Close to Dundas and Clarke Road and the bus stop in Argyle.  Problem is, if you are coming from Clarke Road you will have to drive all the way up and around the restaurant to get to the door. When you reach the end of the long sidewalk, you have to leave the sidewalk and take the road. Sadly there is a bush in the way so it is very difficult to see cars, and for cars to see you. After you get around them as you turn the corner and head into the “home stretch” you have to go by the drive through. There are blind spots there as well, I can’t tell if there is a car at the window and they can’t tell I’m there either.

They do have accessible parking, with a nice side ramp. They also have actuators on their doors. The problem is that the door is very narrow and when we said something to one of the staff outside, they said “you could just open the latches on the other door you know”. If I was paralysed I would have to reach up about 2 feet to get the upper and then down to the ground to get a lower one? Not likely and service dogs do not have fingers or thumbs. Oh and then what, push actuator, and try to pull a door while driving in? Oh wait I can’t do that I need the door open to get the latches and by that time the door will have shut on my chair. Inside door has an actuator as well but it’s tight going again and closes so fast you can’t even get lined up.

The debit machine is fixed in place and set back from the edge so no reach there. I didn’t even bother with the bathrooms since the corridor was so small I figured I’d just get stuck there, and if I had to open a door the wrong way it would be useless to bother.  Another “feature” of this place is the seating. There isn’t a really designated place, there is one table with only one chair but it’s a bit small to cramp into if you are with someone. It’s also in the bright sun and getting to it can be a bit of a nightmare.

 

 

 

E is for East Side Marios

 

Again I didn’t get a chance to go in, but from what I saw outside, the parking is accessible but the ramp is again at the front of the car, unless you want to go around to the door way ramp.  Easy to  spot actuators are a nice touch. I will someday have to visit them, if I have the time and money to do so.

 

H is for Harvey’s

Their burgers may be a beautiful thing but their accessibility here was not. I appreciate that they have a spot to park and a ramp but there are no actuators on the door and again the sidewalk is VERY narrow.  I may have to reconsider getting lessons from and escape artist if this continues much longer. Nothing about the inside, I didn’t want to juggle around to get in, I also call it, “not willing to go to that much trouble thanks”.

 

M is for McDonald’s (not the one in Walmart)

I am truly thankful that I don’t like their food, because this location is a pain. To start with, they have only one ramp to get onto their sidewalk to access the entrance. It’s on the side with the drive through…how thoughtful, would you like a side of fries with your bumper?  You also have to cross this drive through to get to it from a car….on “foot” you’d have to go past the restaurant, through their driveway and access it by driving back on it. I find it so sweet that they actually thought to put a speed bump at the biped entrance but at the wheelchair end nope, I guess it’s because they should be driving slow since they just got their goods and were at a complete stop when they did. (though I have seen some drivers accelerate like crazy out of places like these).  There is an actuator on the door on this side, miracles can happen but I didn’t feel like driving all over the place and in parking lots for terrible food. (sorry McD lovers).

W is for Wendy’s

I have been in this one, just not on this day. To start with, there is an accessible way from the sidewalk to the door. They also have a ramp near the parking…oh look it’s not in front of the car. The door is hidden towards the back.  To me it’s the most “un obvious” place for a door and if you are visually impaired you’ll probably be feeling around for it for a while.  There is a door on the other side as well but this side is the only one with actuators. When I was there last they weren’t working but my daughter was with me.  Finding a place to sit can be a bit challenging but at least I can sit at the table if a chair is removed. I didn’t have too many problems with getting the condiments either. The only other problem I could see would be the lining up, since it’s a “roped in type” of affair with bars instead of ropes so tight turns are a bit difficult.

 

As a shout out I just wanted to mention this private place called “Meat Heads”. I didn’t try their ramp because I don’t like ramps with thresholds…too much can go wrong, so I didn’t go up to the door I just figured I’d give them half marks for trying to make a ramp, I wouldn’t want to drive up it in winter …I have a wood ramp and they get very slippery in rain and snow….but kudos for trying harder than your counterparts who should have lots of money to spare for a few “luxuries” like accessibility seems to be. I also am very disappointed that for the visually impaired ANY of these restaurants could be a difficult to navigate experience.

meat-heads

I think as you read along in the next few days or weeks (depending on my time), you’ll find that I report again on the same companies, but…some of them actually get at least SOME of it right. I’d love to tell the Head Office to have everyone get together and share all the “rights” and remove the wrongs but I’m not a consultant with a fancy degree….I’m just a lady in a chair who doesn’t want to be there.

Next up….Oxbury Mall

 

 

 

Argyle Mall the streets and shops.. (part 1)

 

I decided in the case of some places I needed to divide them by restaurant, shops and street since some places seem to be worse than others at times.

So the first one is going to be street and shops, and the next one restaurants.  Nothing says barrier like a badly designed street or one that has been dropped into such a state of disrepair that it almost is a joke that they would think anyone could safely cross let alone someone who is unable to see, hear or walk well. The first picture I have opted to show is a crossing on  Dundas one light east of Clarke Road. This one is a real winner. To start with the button to ensure the walk sign is located in a “pit”.  With a chair you can’t get near the button without getting too close to the pit and I think we know how bad things would get if you couldn’t see just what you were getting into trying to find the button.

One area of sidewalk near a Mexican restaurant has a chunk of pavement missing from the middle of the sidewalk…not good for casters definitely not good for someone with visual issues.

hole-in-the-ground

Some of the walkways in the area are great since they lead straight from Clarke and Dundas right into the mall parking lot. It’s too bad they don’t have a nice pedestrian corridor to take you to the strip plaza, but we can’t have everything.

Some of the guiding lines to the bus stop are placed in oddball spots. They cross you from the ramp at the stop on the far side, across to the stops on the opposite side, and from there straight on over into a curb? So if you want to go to LCBO be prepared to either go straight down or take the parking lot since it’s quicker.

Near the Dollarama on Dundas the whole sidewalk was missing sending people to the street to access the driveway in order to get in to the store.  They have only ONE ramp and that is at the side where the destruction was. We didn’t see any evidence of disability parking. When you go up the ramp and push the actuator button, you have to stay on the far side because the door opens on the left. After getting in, there is a sign telling you to push another button but the button has gone AWOL. Guess it didn’t like the layout either. When you leave it’s out through the cashway. Then once you leave the store you have to wait for the door to close so you can go by it to get to that ramp.

Across the way near the A&W is a driveway to the side of Argyle Mall. I don’t know who dreamt up this lopsided street, but one half is in one place and the other side where your sidewalk is, is off kilter to it. Please note if you have problems seeing and no dog, I don’t suggest you try this one. You could end up in the ditch.

2glarmall

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Gold’s Gym had both accessible parking AND a very accessible building. Two actuators, flat curbs all such a beautiful thing. When you head towards the front side of the mall you encounter your loss of sidewalk. Instead you hug the building, don’t trip over the “mini ramp” at the mattress store’s side entrance and slip around to the front.

Most of the stores we visited were accessible. One button does all both in and out. It was a bit of a “minefield” trying to negotiate the Dollar Tree with all the stick out display boxes but at least the aisles are pleasantly wide.

2tree

At Toys’R’Us it was nice to see that the price scanners were down at eye level for a wheelchair user. Nice not to get a crick in the neck trying to look up. Walmart needs to take a page from their book for this one.

trus

The No Frills grocery was next, the only beef I have with No Frills, and Food Basic and FreshCo is their insistence on having only one or two lanes that a chair can actually fit into, and especially scooters. It’s no fun having to wait in line because you want to leave their store.

Just downhill from Walmart was a nice walking “bridge” that runs across the street, straight all the way to the bus stops. If I had one wish, it would be that they make these stops wider. When a bus ramp goes down, it blocks the path and you can’t get by until it raises back up. You can also get stuck trying to get to a spot where the ramp can be lowered and not meet up with a shelter because when it’s crowded with people it’s hard to manage. They also don’t have designated stops for each route so whatever order they come in…that’s where you have to get to in order to get on your bus.

Some things done right, some things done really wrong. I just wish we could get this sorted out and not have to fight with barriers wherever we go.

Coming up….the restaurants of Argyle (as many as we went by) and it’s not pretty.

White Oaks here we come

Continuing my photos to try to make a better place for those who have to live in it and don’t have the privilege of being on two good legs it’s time for White Oaks Mall. I swear I’m going to end up creating a series called “bathrooms good and bad” as well as “restaurants….do those in a chair really need to eat out?”. I have soo much material on both of these topics, but I’m getting off subject so…

We started outside by getting off the bus at the stop just outside the mall because we needed to go pick up a mouse from a strip plaza down the street.

The road at the corner where the mall is is not very nice for pedestrians but in particular for those in a chair.

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There are a lot of potholes and the sides of the sidewalk can almost be like a cliff. I know I have problems with this corner a lot of the time…I wonder how my fellow “disabled” folks in particular those who are visually impaired handle things here?

At the top of the corner pictured here is what I’d like to call the “cliff face”.

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The area right to the left with the worn path actually has a drop and it’s not insignificant in the least. I wouldn’t attempt it with wheels, and someone who can’t see this would have a really tough time of it, especially since the sidewalk veers to the right and actually goes on an angle down to the street. It’s a tricky spot.

Moving on towards my strip plaza, we passed by another plaza. There is one pedestrian entrance from Wellington…a set of stairs. I guess if you are like me in a wheeled contraption…you go down to the corner, up the side road. I get that the side there is steep, but I wish these places were more “walkable” or “wheelable” as the case might be.

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We finally got to where we needed to go and I took the road ramp down because I could not see if the sidewalk actually led to a ramp from my position. On the way back I took the ramp..that picture is coming. The ramp/sidewalk to the store has a bit of a hump in it to get over, not sure if it’s a problem for those with reduced vision, but it’s a pain for a chair, since it required me to put on a bit of speed to get up it.

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I think they extended the sidewalk or something because of the way it’s been done, but perhaps it will get smoothed out more in time.

Inside the store they had a RUBBER mat down. It had little grab piles of rubber on it, and when I drove over it, my wheels caught the mat and sucked it in. My husband was more concerned about getting the mat unstuck from the chair than taking a photo but it was pretty bad. I had to (lucky for me huh?) get out of my chair, so that it could be lifted up enough to pull the mat right out from under the chair, it was caught up in the drive wheel. I guess rubber + drive wheels = not such a good idea. They went back to a flat mat and rolled up the evil beast. (they said they had it down because of the rains).

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After our visit it was time to head back to the mall, I managed to find the ramp for the sidewalk and decided to give it a try. The sidewalk angled steeply to the right. Not sure that the photo can do it justice but I had to readjust myself after getting off it, since I was literally glued to the right side of the chair by the shift.

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It was a rather uncomfortable feeling being on this sidewalk.

We made it back across that nightmare street and decided to head in to  the mall from Walmart. I have to say that the approach to Walmart is fantastic. Wide sidewalk, light standards NOT in the way, plenty of room to drive on and for others to get by. This is a center aisle sidewalk done RIGHT.

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From the approach…..

down to the driveway (the hill’s a bit steep but not so bad). If you use a push chair you might have to hold tight if there is traffic.

To the main aisle.

Right to the end where the accessible parking is. It was a treat to get to the store without having to take the road.

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White Oaks you’re getting there!

Inside the mall, we explored the food court, which does have at least 4 accessible tables. Sadly they don’t stand out from normal ones so it’s hard to find them, and sometimes they are taken by folks with strollers so I can’t use them at all. It’s a shame because the tables are very well suited to a chair. Wide enough so we can get to the table top and not get caught underneath. I’d love to see them be a bit higher, since we’re almost a foot higher in a power chair, but if they could contrast the color so that it’s easy to see where they are and so that others can see it is for those with need, then we’d be all golden.

We also visited the 3 accessible washrooms that we found there. I think they are some of the best I’ve seen to date as far as size and usefulness.

But…if you have visual impairment, you won’t be able to find any bathrooms, since the signs are NOT at the level they can be found, nor are you able to find them by tactile means since the only signs outside pointing to them are stand up cardboard ones. I hope this is just temporary.

I’m also not sure about the height of the toilet for transfers. It was a bit low, but fortunately I’m only partially disabled so I can get up and out, not sure about anyone else.

I’ll leave that for those who have to transfer to decide.

We opted to leave and try to get to Canadian Tire, which is just across the parking lot further south from the mall. It’s not too bad for the going, there are sidewalks, some a bit narrow but otherwise passable. It’s when you get to where the driveway intersects with the entrance lane, that things get a bit frustrating. Short sidewalks with steep grade ramps are not fun, I almost tipped returning to the mall because of the steepness and the pressure from cars to move faster made me forget the cardinal rule of taking the ramp straight on. Never will make that mistake again.

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There is a small sidewalk that leads to the parking lot for Canadian Tire, I wasn’t sure if I could make it from my side so I continued to the corner. The way across from me looked like the picture below, problem was, the ramp sidewalk leads to no other ramps. I had to turn and go down onto the road and head up to Canadian Tire.

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Alongside of the Canadian Tire greenhouse was a path where the paint was worn out, if it was sprayed back up to yellow stripes it would make a wonderful pathway for those on foot and those with mobility aids to attempt to keep the cars out.

All in all it wasn’t too bad out there, it’s by far my favorite when it comes to accessible bathrooms. The mall staff did tell me that they are working on their directional signs though, since the original was made of paper. I liked that it wasn’t reflective, but it wasn’t tactile either. I hope their new one will be, though I have my doubts since when I said something about it she seemed surprised at the idea.

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Next up will be Argyle Mall.

just me

Thought I’d just drop by and say hi. I know I hash-tagged it when it’s not a picture of a barrier but…Not sure if anyone reads this thing, but perhaps I can at least keep the ghosts from wondering where I’ve been and the truth is I’ve been busy with catching up some studies, I’m not going to get credit for them but at least I can say I finished them, and with pretty decent grades. Still have one more class to complete so my posts about disabilities may be a bit thin. Also…I’m running out of things to share and write on since the buses in my city only work so often and go so far and I have no other means of transport.

I’ve also been busy going through my own private pity party. They aren’t as frequent as they used to be, but whenever I can’t go in somewhere or do something I used to do that feeling comes on, the feeling where I get angry and sad about the accident that led to my knees being a mess which lead to a chair and I still don’t know why it’s a chair and not braces but I can’t seem to find someone to give me answers. I just want to walk and now I’m waiting to hear from a clinic if they will be able to help considering I’m called “inactive”. I’m inactive because I got hurt, I went from walking and swimming to physiotherapy and exercising with a “hand bike”. I’m fat but I was getting fit when this stupid fall happened and I’m angry sometimes because I can’t go where I used to, the barriers are all there and it’s hard sometimes to judge whether or not you should “risk” the ramp or just take a pass and sit outside. I want to yell at those with two legs about how places are not as acceptable or accessible as they seem but feel like they simply say “we’re doing our best”.

We don’t seem to have a standard for best, it’s mediocre at best. Some places paying “lip service” to accessibility, pretending it’s accessible when it’s not. You just wait I have pictures of one that will make you wonder why one even bothers to go out.

Then there is the fight. I need a better door to get out of my home. I can’t seem to get one because the management said it would cost too much, their solution try to move me to a “disability unit” in the main building. I don’t want to live there I want to be where I am now. So I’m fighting their decision….but I can’t get a lawyer to help, because I’m not wealthy and my city seems to be a Human Rights desert. Who wants to help with the poorly paying “landlord” disputes when they can make money off the “my business fired me for the wrong reasons” disputes? My “property management” will have a lawyer, where is mine? I called up the HR folks and got impatience because I’m nervous about what will be coming up with mediation or tribunal. Instead of patience and tolerance I was told that I needed to LISTEN to her after all I had called “many times” on this matter so they were the ones to advise me. Problem is they’ve advised me in so many different directions because it’s never the same person twice…that I’m starting to feel less “advised” and more “patronized” since I have to take what they say at face value. I felt that she wasn’t listening to me, answering a simple question. I got what she told me about part of it, just wanted to know more about the process but she’s got no time. Why can’t I just get ONE person to help me through this process? Like my opposition will have.

Top it off with….my husband just had an upgrade to his layoff from temporary to permanent and ODSP is now a circus to try to apply for (not that I really want it but I NEED it with this stupid chair that I have to take care of).

Anyway..that’s the reason why I haven’t written anything as an update lately, why I have gone out but haven’t done the photos or tweets or anything like that. Sorry I’m not good at this getting out the posts regularly thing. I’m just an artist, and a mom and a person who went from using two decent serviceable legs to a wheelchair in the space of 2 years and am just fed up with the whole thing. The inability to get around, the lack of independence I feel. The exclusion and frustration at not being able to participate fully anymore.

Some days I feel less like a person and more like a chair.

Northland Mall (sorry but White Oaks must wait)

Well I’ve been a bit under the weather lately and bogged down with some school catch up work online so I’ve not been getting out as much but when I have it has been to go to appointments.

Most recent was a doctor’s appointment, they really have a problem at the Dundas LIHC (London Intercommunity Health Center) they might have an actuator on their doors, but the rest of the place is pretty much inaccessible. When a motorized wheelchair user leaves her chair at home and opts for a push chair you know there’s an issue. Issue 1. size of the waiting room, it’s not really big enough to support clients with wheelchairs and scooters, it’s really quite small. 2. Appointment rooms, too small for a chair, and doors not wide enough to accommodate them. As in, we struggled to get the push chair in, and if I’d used the motorized…I would have left it in the waiting room it’s so small.  All I can say is…I really hope they get to move soon because this is just not working well at all.

Now on to the trip to Northland Mall. It’s really not so much a mall anymore as a strip mall. The area has 5 strip malls. One is up a wee bit on Huron, the other 4 are on each of the intersections of this area. I only covered 3/5 since I didn’t really need anything from the other two. I started off with a ride from Voyageur to get to my eye appointment. Those who do not use the service probably don’t realize that it is a 3 day in advance booking for this service. It costs a bus ticket (no transfers) and takes you straight to where you need to go. Problem is my eye doctor has such a small building for the appointments that the accessibilty is really nil. The ramp was in a bad place, the sidewalk tiny to get in and out through the door of the building. No actuator and the office was really small as well. I had to leave the chair more than once to attend appointment because it’s just not easy to get around in there. I do hope someday they change locations since I doubt they could ever get this place to be accessible in any reasonable fashion.

After the appointment I didn’t take Voyageur since I never book a return trip. One never knows how long an appointment will take so I figured I’d shop for a bit and either see if I could get a return trip or just take the city transit. We opted to check out Talize and that is where we went first. I am happy to say that the strip mall that Talize occupies is a breath of fresh air in the accessibility dept. (Talize itself needs to fix their door issues since you need to remove a “bar” to exit the store (meant to keep their shopping carts inside I’m sure). ). The mall itself was a dream.

Look folks….NO CURB to get in the way. Almost the entire length of the mall is like this, accessible from any point you come from.

talize very nice

We left that strip mall and crossed the street to Northland Mall. Again it was quite nice to see that there was a ramp that led to Williams Coffee.

not bad

it has a bit of a “curb” on the end of it so a push chair might have to work a bit but it’s much better than what comes at the library so I’d take it as a blessing. I didn’t get a chance to check out the sidewalks leading to the mall but from what I recall they weren’t great but not awful either. At least there is no shrubbery in the way ;).

Oh and check out this parking.

wow yes

and this.

yes again

I don’t drive but I’d have to assume that this is soo much better than what I’ve been showing off lately. Again a nice curb-less place to get from road to sidewalk. The only place with curbing is down near Walmart at the far end of the store not near the front entry so I call that another win.

We decided a trip to Giant Tiger was next on the list so we headed for the next strip mall. There is NO sidewalk or pedestrian walkway that leads directly to the other strip mall so you either go out to the street or walk along the driveway/parking area. All pedestrians have to do it so I don’t feel so left out this time.

When we decided to leave the strip mall is when we encountered the first obstacle. There is no way for a mobility user to get from the sidewalk of the strip mall to the sidewalk on Huron without going through a driveway. It isn’t that a sidewalk doesn’t exist, because there is one, it’s just got no ramp for getting back onto the sidewalk.

how to get away from the strip mall to the street

I don’t think the yellow lines were meant to tell me I could go anywhere, just to show contrast for a driver I guess.

We went to the pedestrian crosswalk to head to the library since I figured if I was going to get a Voyageur it might be easier to get it from there. Turns out I ended up taking the City transit back home because well….since I didn’t book Voyageur, I was told that because it was busy I’d get a pick up, but there was no idea of what time that would be…1/2hr, 1hr, 3hrs. No ETA meant I’d rather try for LTC since it runs more frequent. We cancelled the attempted pickup and went by city bus. BUT when we went to library to wait we discovered “hell”.

This is the pedestrian walkway on the strip mall side of the road.

what a mess

Chunky, messy, easy to trip especially if you have visual impairment issues. Here’s another view from the road.

another view of bad pavement

Once across we looked at the sidewalk on the same side as the library.

swing out into traffic

The ramp  is near the main roadway, you can’t go straight from one sidewalk to another without the curb and of course no mats in this entire area to alert the visually impaired that they are about to meet a road.

This is the sidewalk on the way to the bus stop and library. I wouldn’t want to be unable to see this thing.

yikes trip to library

the faded orange paint really doesn’t help either.

We arrived at the only sidewalk up to the library and saw this.

sidewalk at library from road

This library recently had a fix up done too bad the sidewalk wasn’t part of it. I can only hope that the white lines mean they plan to fix it but somehow I don’t really think so.

This is was the sidewalk path. Car overhanging the sidewalk. It was a pain to get by I ended up driving a bit in the “garden”.

sidewalk block on only sidewalk to library

This is the only ramp they have for access. It’s all curb except for that x marks the spot ramp.

only ramp at library

Here is a shot of the bathrooms. I’m not sure if I have a bathroom there, or if I use the family bathroom or what but I’m glad I didn’t need to go.

which one is for me

another bathroom not sure

I think they are tactile but I didn’t really check sorry guys. The water fountain was impossible to use too it was a bit high up and awkward.

The doorway I entered with was a bit of a charmer. The actuator on the inside door is broken so they propped the door open, but the doors are so narrow they are very tight to get in and out. I worry about larger scooters being able to navigate. They had a giant chessboard on the floor which meant going the long way around for movies, just crazy there.

 

After all our errands I had a tough time getting home, a local business had their electric bikes on the sidewalk….literally.

It was no fun passing by that pillar because there is a giant hole if I leave the sidewalk by accident. I sort of have to wonder why on earth they are on the sidewalk in the first place. Evil me wanted to tip or tap one of them to see if they would all have the alarms go off. YES I resisted.

Anyway that’s the Northeast end. Some big wins and some big fails.