Find a space to start an adventure
There is only one way to look at things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes.
There is a great program that was brought to my attention called Access2card.
Directly from their website;
When an Access 2 cardholder (the individual with the permanent disability) presents their valid Access 2 Card at any participating venue partner, their support person receives free admission; the cardholder pays regular admission.
* Please note that there is a small administration fee when applying for an Access 2 Card. The cost is $20 for a Card valid up to 3 years, or $30 for a Card valid up to 5 years.
You can enroll for the program here.
There is a wide list of venues to explore across Canada. You can find Ontario venues here.
We’ve compiled a list of accessible venues for family’s to enjoy.
There are also many great articles outlining the specifics of each venue.
- Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto: washrooms, seating, elevator, automated doors, and Braille signage in the elevators and conference centre.
- Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto – underground parking to access aquarium directly, fully wheelchair accessible.
- Neb’s Fun World in Oshawa – assistive devices, washrooms.
- Cineplex – accessible seating.
- Ontario Science Centre in Toronto – accessible parking, automated entry doors, captioning and assisted devices, large print guide maps, washrooms, wheelchair availability, elevator access.
- Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto – wheelchair availability, accessibility maps, sensory friendly guide.
- Toronto Zoo in Toronto – accessible parking spaces, all pavilions are wheelchair accessible, free wheelchairs, automated entry systems on washroom and pavilion doors, ramps in lieu of stairs, washrooms for people with special needs, accessible seats available on rides such as Zoomobile and carousel rides (standard ride fees will apply) and reserved wheelchair spaces in our Waterside Theatre.
- Variety Village in Toronto – a wide variety of services, programs and events.
- Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls – listed as accessible.
- GlowZone360 in Mississauga – wheelchair accessible, 18 holes of Glow-in-the-Dark Mini golf and 90% of the Laser Tag Arena.
- Abilities Centre in Whitby – programs and services including mixed ability sport.
- Santa’s Village in Bracebridge – accessible parking/drop off, washrooms, wheelchairs availability, food services and retail shop accessibility.
- Adventure Bay Family Water Park in Windsor – Most attractions require transfer from wheelchair/transport device into/out of the attraction tube, Ramped attraction access is available to the Lazy River, and there is zero beach entry into the Wave Pool. All other attractions require at least one step into/out of the attraction. All waterslides (with the exception of those within the Splash Zone) require tubes or rafts. Tubes or rafts are to be carried by the guest from the tube pickup area to the attraction entry or are available at the top of the attraction (the Python). A pool lift is available in the Activity Pool; weight limit is 400 lbs. Flotation aids designed for adults who can support themselves in water but need assistance to walk are available. Life jackets are available to assist individuals who have a loss of autonomy and mobility.
Great resources ahead
Destination Toronto offers a great compilation of venues here.
Destination Ontario has an epic list of adventures in all corners of Ontario.
Take a trip to the beach!
The Great Lakes offer a great list of accessible beach features including beach mats and wheelchairs.
For all the details from Great Lakes please click here
The following beaches are listed on their website;
- Sandbanks: beach mats and all-terrain wheelchairs
- Wasaga Beach: beach mats, two all-terrain, and two amphibious wheelchairs
- Quetico: beach mats and all-terrain wheelchair
- Bonnechere: beach mats and two amphibious wheelchairs
- Long Point: beach mats
- Rondeau: amphibious wheelchair
- Woodbine Beach: accessible boardwalk and beach mat
- Pancake Bay: all-terrain wheelchairs
- Bell Park Beach: accessible boardwalk and all-terrain wheelchairs
- Sandpoint Beach: amphibious wheelchairs
- Presqu’ile Provincial Park: amphibious wheelchairs
Find the perfect playground
There is a great resource you can visit here that provides a list of playgrounds in the GTA.
We have compiled a list and added it to Google Map for easy review below.
Or, enjoy this video on a new playground in Oshawa Lakeview Park and Splash Pad.
Take a hike!
Ontario Trails has developed a great list with details for hiking trails here.
One of our favourite indoor playgrounds is a great venue for Littles on the spectrum. They have a calming room, resource fairs and are a great asset to our community.
Check out We Work The Spectrum in Oakville today!
Find a local event
Autism Ontario has a great resource to find local events here. You can search by region, event, etc.
Sensory days are available at local venues
Chuck E. Cheese offers Sensory Sensitive Monday’s at participating locations including Mississauga.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park offers sensory hours.
Cineplex Theatres offer sensory-friendly screenings including a ‘lights up-volume down’ environment.
The Toronto Zoo uses an app called MagnusCards which is designed to help people with cognitive special needs manage daily tasks. It aids in preparing for how time is spent at the zoo, is a step-by-step guide and a game.
The Toronto Zoo also offers a map that identifies Headphone Zones and Quiet Areas.
New to the zoo is their Adventure Access Pass. It supports those who may have significant trouble standing/waiting in line at Zoomobile, Conservation Carousel, Tundra Air Ride, or Gorilla Climb ropes course.
London’s Children Museum in London offers low sensory nights. They turn down the noise, the crowds, and stimulation of a typical day. Low Sensory Nights are free for children and their families, space is limited.
London’s Children Museum offer Adventure Backpacks with noise-cancelling headphones, transition timers, visual supports and a printed copy of their social story. They offer weighted blankets as well.
Vaughan Libraries offer Sensory Hour at various locations for grades JK to 6.
Find a playground
Check out this great resource for playground recommendations here.
Venues and spaces to explore
The lists we have provided offer many locations in the GTA. I would love to add more Regions and will continue to do my research.
Please check out this resource for venues to explore in the GTA.
Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto is a Certified Autism Centre and you can find more about that here.
I found this article to be super helpful as well with a great list of places to explore.
For a great list in the Peel area please click here.
Please give us your input!
If you know of a local venue I could add to our list, please contact us!