8 Accessible Attractions in Toronto

Add these top Toronto options to your group’s itinerary to enjoy a better, barrier-free and more inclusive visit to Toronto.

As a world-class destination, Toronto is proud of its standing as a welcoming and accessible city—a great place to bring groups and FITs when mobility is a consideration. And while the sports arenas, live theatres, hotels and shopping hotspots all provide easy access, consider these attractions below for their maximum engagement factor.

Many of them have accessible entries, elevators and washrooms, permits service animals and even offer a free ticket for a support person. Recent improvements on the city’s local and regional transit systems make it even easier. Let the Destination Toronto team help you plan a visit with dignity, independence and integration.

CN Tower

The Basics—At 553 metres, you can’t really miss it. The CN Tower is a skyline-defining icon, an engineering feat and a must-do on every visitor’s checklist. Practically everything is see-through, including glass-fronted elevators, floor-to-ceiling window walls and the renowned (and a little scary) glass floor. The SkyPod is the highest observation platform in the Western Hemisphere, and EdgeWalk is the world’s highest hands-free tower experience at 356 metres.

The CN Tower is part of the Access 2 Card program that includes a complimentary ticket to a support person.

The Specifics—Regular audits, by the Rick Hansen Foundation and other third-party consultants, keep the CN Tower in tune with its accessibility. Upon request, you can access the tower through the restricted mobility entrance. The CN Tower welcomes certified service animals for all parts of the attraction experience. The Main Observation Level and the first level of the SkyPod are accessible, and EdgeWalk is wheelchair accessible during the summer. In the works? Braille menus and more accessible table heights at 360 The Restaurant.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

The Basics—Nine galleries showcase the more than 20,000 aquatic animals that make their home underwater in downtown Toronto at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Visitors enjoy saltwater and freshwater environments from around the world, plus more than 100 interactive opportunities, i.e. touch exhibits. North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel – at 110 metres – features a moving sidewalk that glides you through it, looking up at sharks, green sea turtles, sawfish and moray eels. The jellyfish tank alone is worth the price of admission.

The Specifics—Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is also proudly accessibility-certified by the Rick Hansen Foundation. The aquarium hosts monthly sensory-friendly hours throughout the year sponsored by Autism Ontario, offering increased lighting, no music and a quiet room for those who need a break. You can download a sensory guide before you go to determine the sensory levels of each section of the aquarium, for each of the five senses.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada is also the first attraction in Canada to be designated as a certified autism centre, giving staff sensitivity and awareness training.

Hockey Hall of Fame

The Basics—There’s room to roam here! The Hockey Hall of Fame is spread across more than 6,000 square metres. Visitors can call the play-by-play and host their own SportsCentre in the TSN Broadcast Zone, watch hockey’s first 3D film and feel what it’s like to be inside an NHL dressing room. Wait, we’re leaving out the very best part – having your picture taken with the Stanley Cup. Check up on the stats of your favourite players, wade through the nerd-inducing hockey memorabilia and shop for all the hockey merchandise you can carry home.

The Specifics—Wheelchairs at the Hockey Hall of Fame can reach all of the areas – barrier-free, bringing maximum participation to all involved. P.S. Did we mention it was haunted? 

Bata Shoe Museum

The Basics—It’s an art collection and an ethnographic assemblage of almost 15,000 pairs of shoes and artefacts, spanning 4,500 years of history. The internationally recognized Bata Shoe Museum showcases various cultures and communities throughout the world. 

The Specifics—The Bata is fully accessible, offering unobstructed paths through hallways for wheelchairs and other devices. All public floors have plenty of maneuvering room at the elevator access. Menus and brochures are available in alternative formats, and some parts of the exhibit present hands-on artifacts for visitors who are blind or have low vision.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The Basics—The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of the most important art museums in North America, featuring more than 100,000 works of art, from contemporary to classic. Visitors find engaging visiting shows, along with a permanent collection that includes works by members of the famous Group of Seven, and by Indigenous, Inuit and Métis artists. The building itself is a bit of an art piece, redesigned with an architectural expansion by esteemed Canadian architect Frank Gehry.

The Specifics—In addition to being fully accessible, the AGO is BlindSquare enabled, wherein a GPS app assists the blind, deafblind and partially sighted. Guests can download large-print brochures of the current exhibitions online. Relaxed Visits welcome neurodiverse visitors, and a Multisensory Art Cart supplies Sensory Kits that include things like noise-reducing headphones, fidget toys and sunglasses. The Cart facilitator also does a scent scavenger hunt, a soundscape tour, textured-touch drawing programs. The gallery’s Access to Art resource hub has various programs that support the diverse communities that come to visit, encouraging them to participate.

AGO's Relaxed Visits welcome neurodiverse visitors, and a Multisensory Art Cart supplies Sensory Kits that include things like noise-reducing headphones, fidget toys and sunglasses.

Ontario Science Centre

The Basics—The list here is long! Ontario Science Centre has more than 500 interactive exhibits, live science demos, an actual rainforest, a science arcade, a planetarium and a giant-screen IMAX theatre. Programming is designed for kids of all ages – and adults, too.

The Specifics—Ensuring an accessible environment for all, the Science Centre starts with a trained staff, mindful and respectful, along with accessible parking and automated entry doors. Captioning and assistive listening devices are provided for viewing films, and large-print guide maps can be downloaded online. Programming geared to neurodiversity includes Sensory-friendly Saturdays—lights up, sound down, doors open! The Centre has also created social stories that use social cues to help individuals with disabilities prepare for their visit.

Royal Ontario Museum

The Basics – So many millions! But let’s start with the one million people who visit the 40 galleries in the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) every year. Canada’s biggest museum has a collection of 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens from around the world and across the ages. Major special exhibits change from season to season. The ROM’s permanent collection is a doozy, housing dinosaurs, South Asian art and artefacts, ancient Egyptian treasures – and that’s barely scratching the surface.

The Specifics – The ROM has inclusive museum experiences for everyone, with access to info, resources and hands-on collections a prime concern. People with hearing aids that have telecoil settings can request FM assistive listening devices for tours and lectures. The ROM also offers American Sign Language interpretation on request in advance. Many different accessibility maps are available online that guests can download. These include a mobility-friendly map for elevators and ramps, a quiet space map for privacy if you need it, and a sensory-friendly visit map (prepared in collaboration with Autism Ontario) that points out noises, slopes and other guidelines for enjoying the museum. Groups are encouraged to connect with ROMCAN (ROM Community Access Network), to find out how community organizations supporting people with disabilities can get free admission tickets.

Outside the Princess of Wales Theatre on King Street West in Toronto's Entertainment District

Mirvish Productions

Mirvish Productions owns and operates four theatres in downtown Toronto - the Royal Alexandra, the Princess of Wales, the CAA Ed Mirvish and the CAA.

The Basics— Mirvish Productions is Canada’s largest commercial theatre production company with four magnificent theatres in downtown Toronto and has presented the best in world-class entertainment for over 50 years. Every year, Mirvish Productions produces and presents dozens of plays and musicals chosen from the best theatre originating in Canada, New York, London, Australia and beyond. 

The Specifics—Mirvish Productions is committed to upholding the core principles and standards outlined in the Accessibility of Ontarians with Disabilities Act. All venues are equipped with services and facilities to help support your needs, along with a dedicated team of Front of House staff. Mirvish is proud to offer wheelchair-accessible, special access and bariatric seating options at all of their theatres. All venues are also equipped with private barrier-free washroom facilities, welcome support persons and welcome service/support animals.

Additional accessibility services include:

ASL-interpreted performances for select shows 
Assisted listening systems in all theatres
Galapro Performances - via the GalaPro app for select shows
Low vision accommodations 
Open captioned performances for select shows 

Please visit Mirvish Accessibility for more details.

So many possibilities – lots of support!

While this is in no way a comprehensive list, it will certainly get your planning started. Reach out to the Travel Trade Team for full range of programs and sites available and for any custom-curated planning assistance you need.

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