Sorry Coffee Co.

102 Bloor St. W. Toronto

Sorry Coffee Co. is located in the back portion of the Canadian retail store, Kit and Ace. This is Kit and Ace's second location in Toronto, but the only one with a coffee shop in the same space. The front doors off Bloor Street to the main clothing store are not wheelchair accessible. Only the doors around the back on Critchley Lane will allow access to the space. Thankfully the entrance here is wide and powered. 

Seating inside the smallish space is pretty standard stuff. Some small moveable tables and bar stools along the window facing into the park. I was able to navigate the space without any trouble. There is also a fully accessible washroom to the right of where you place your order. It's nice to find accessible washrooms in any coffee shop that isn't a Starbucks. 

The only trouble I think you might have is that the area for preparing your coffee if you take milk and sugar would be hard to reach if you're sitting in a wheelchair. Personally I take my coffee black so it wasn't a problem for me. However the Staff were extremely friendly bringing my order over to my table anyway so I think if you needed any other assistance they would be more than happy to help you. 

The closest subway station is Yonge and Bloor and then about a 10 min walk west from there. There is underground parking in the area though being downtown Toronto it will be expensive of course.

Toronto Evergreen Brickworks

The Toronto brickwork has become one of my favourite place to head on the weekend this summer. They have a year round farmers market but it's outside may through October. The farmers market with its large variety of vendors is the main attraction for me. It's nice to go and pick up a week's worth of local fruit and veggies.

Even if you're not into the farmers market or you decide to go throughout the week when the market isn’t open there is still lots to see. It’s best to check their website for all the going ons of course. Through the week this summer though there are things like, Camp Night where you can sit around a campfire and make bracelets with the kids. Or perhaps pizza night where you can grab a pizza from the on site woodfired over then go for a bike ride after. There is a bike rentals and a bike repair shop on site so you don't even need to bring a bike. 

To get there you can either take a wheelchair accessible shuttle bus from broadview station or a TTC bus from Davisville subway station. The TTC bus only runs Saturday and Sunday though. I prefer going via davisville because the bus is easier to board. The shuttle bus has a lift but it's very small with limited tie down options. I don’t suggest trying it with a larger power chair. Both bus options only run every 30 minutes.  

The site is generally pretty wheelchair accessible. There are accessible washrooms in the main building. There is one large stall in each of the mens and womens washrooms. My only complaint was the automated hand dryer was too high up for me to use that well. The grounds can be a bit uneven depending on your route. I don't think most will have much trouble let with this though.

Over all the Brickworks is a fun place to go. It’s perfect for families but you’ll enjoy it even if you’re on your own or just going as a couple. It some how has a different feel than being in the rest of the city. Kind of a place to escape a bit even if you’re just in the Don Valley.

St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market is one of my favourite places in Toronto. No matter where I travel I always try and find a nice local market or grocery store. As I've written about before here it's great to have some nice food to keep in your hotel room for a snack in the afternoon or evening. Often I pick up cheese or fruit, whatever is local and in season. 

St. Lawrence market is really two spaces. There is the main market building that is open Tuesday through Saturday. The building contains over 120 vendors. There is a huge selection of meats, cheeses and pretty much anything else you could possibly want. There are vendors that sell every kind of seafood you can think of and a few good places that have lots of fruit and veggies. There are also a few vendors on both levels that sell prepared dishes. The highlights are Busters Sea Cover for great seafood and Carousel Bakery for their pea-meal bacon sandwich. So wether you have just have a small hotel room or a AirBnB that has a full out kitchen or grill you'll find something here to take back with you. 

If you're around on a Saturday morning there is also a farmers market. Currently located south of the main St. Lawrence building. Here local farms and vendors come out to sell directly to customers. I love this place as I really like dealing with the farmers directly. Almost everything is amazingly fresh and the prices tend to be quite good. 

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Accessibility 

The best way to enter the main building is off Front street. There are three doors off of front street and the elevator is located near the middle one. This will take you down to the washrooms in the lower level. There isn't any wonderful transit to get out to the market. It's about a 10 minute walk from Union Station and The Sherbourne bus # 75 is also just a few blocks away and can take you up to Bloor Street.

The Places I would go - 2015 edition

Like most years 2014 had been a year of ups and downs. I didn't do a lot of traveling in 2014 but my wife and I did go to New York for a week which was great. This year won't hold a ton of travel either. In fact this post obviously was go up in January. However a new addition to the family came a bit early and I just never got the time to finishing writing this until now. That said I though I'd provide a list of some of the places I'd go in 2015 if time and money were no issue. That's okay I normally don't travel until the spring anyway.

Paris 
When we were starting to plan our trip to New York last year there was a bit of a debate. New York or Paris. Since clearly New York won out in the end I'd go to Paris this coming year. I went once when I was in my mid teens but that was quite a while ago now. It might be the most popular destination for tourists in the world but I think that's with good reason. Everyone goes to Paris for their own reasons. For me its the food and get culture institutions like the louvre.  Though I think that's going to be a trend with the rest of this list too. 

Chicago 
I've visited Chicago in the past. It remains on of my favourite American cities though and I'd love to go back there. The art galleries and museums are top notch of course and I'd probably visit them again even though i've been. But like visiting anyplace for a second time there are things missed the first time around that I'd like to get to. I wouldn't feel that pressure though and it would be a more relaxing trip.

Montreal
One of the oldest cities in Canada. The history, the culture and the food. Those are the reasons you visit Montreal I think. I made a brief visit to Montreal in early highschool. However visiting it at this point in my life would be vastly different of course. Like many large cities Montreal is build out of a number of distinct neighbourhoods. Getting around Montreal by wheelchair could bit a little bit of a challenge it seems. Just like Toronto all the buses are accessible but the subway system leaves a lot to be desired. 

Iceland
Iceland seems to be the photographers dream location these days. This is doubly true if you're into landscape photography. I'm more of a street photography but I'm not immune to just how outstanding gouges Iceland looks. If i'm honest I don't know a lot about the country but I that's part of why it's interesting to me. From what I've read Iceland also seems to be reasonably wheelchair friendly too.

Ecuador
I have a few friends who have family in and visit Ecuador each year. I've never been to South America myself and I'd love to make Ecuador the first visit. there The capitol city Quito is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. Ecuador also has one of the highest number of different species of animals for a county it's size. Because Ecuador had Lenin Moreno, a vice president who uses a wheelchair the country is more wheelchair accessible than most in South America. So the changes of being able to get around see what you want might be better than most places. 

New York City - Days 3 and 4

Day 3 in New York included the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, both on the upper east side. It was a pretty rainy looking day so the museum thing was a good choice. It was also killer hot outside so we also appreciated the air conditioning. For lunch we hit up the hahla cart outside the metropolitan museum. It was surprisingly good. It's also amazing how many choices that pack into one cart. That said there are about a dozen different carts all parked right in front of the Metropolitan Museum so you’re bound to find something you’re interested in.

In the evening I went out for another walk to take some photos. I didn’t go far just in the around around Harold Square. It was a warm evening so there were lots of people out and about hanging around the park. I found it interesting that stores in the area were open to 9 or 9:30 when I’m used to things in Toronto closing around 7 during the week.


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Day 4

On Day four of our trip we went up town again to the American Museum of Natural History which is on the west side of central park. This place is large and super confusing to navigate. There is an app that is said to use GPS to guide you around. It installed it using the free wi-fi but it couldn't locate me and didn’t work. The app has good reviews so I have to assume it does work most of the time for people. We saw the Dark Universe show which was also worth the time. It’s narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson who you might know from the new Cosmos tv show. The dinosaur exhibit of course is what the place is best known for and it is well put together. However I felt that some of the exhibits haven’t been updated in a really long time and could use some attention. Also a lady in the gift store told me “I hope you feel better”. I guess she thought I wasn’t feeling well because I was using a wheelchair? It’s people like this that drive me crazy.

For a late lunch we walked over to the near by Shake Shack. It was pretty good but honestly no better than Smash Burger was on day one. There was also quite a line to get into the place, but it moved quickly.

In the late afternoon I stopped in at the 5th Ave. Apple store and FAO Swartz because it seemed like the thing to do. Both the stores are huge and crazy just as you expect them to be. Also yes the Apple store here smells the same as all the others, is that a thing?


5 Accessible Things to do in Tel Aviv

1.Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is Israel's largest art museum and houses a reasonably impressive collection of classical and contemporary art. This includes works by Cezanne, Chagall, Dali, Monet, Henri Moore, Auguste Rodin, Archipenko, Picasso, Klimt, Kadinsky. There was a new wing opened in the fall of 2011 which looks amazing but I unfortunately didn't get to visit. It's a close walk over to Rabin Square, #4 on our list as well. So you can visit both in the same day. 

2. Old Tel Aviv Port

This used to be a derelict stretch of warehouses and garages. However it's now been transformed into a great area to visit. Filled with a lot of restaurants and shops spread out over a great boardwalk.  You'll find the port along the north end of the beach front. So it's a bit of a walk from many of the hotels. However you can easily take a taxi or a bus up near the area. It is fenced in to pedestrian traffic only so you can only get so close by car.

3. Carmel Market

This is a great street market and is open every day of the week, except Saturday. The market mostly sells food but also a variety of home and decor items. Thursdays and Fridays there are extra vendors down another street and the side streets. You'll find jewellery and art for sale on these days as well. A lot of the stalls are covered but it can still be super hot so keep that in mind when you're heading out. 

4. Rabin Square and memorial 

A really nice large open public square in the middle of Tel Aviv. Renamed Rabin Square November 4th 1995 after Yitzhak Rabin as assassinated there the same year.  The square is surrounded by busy commercial streets that have a good variety of cafes and restaurants. 

Check out this sweet google street view of it here https://www.google.com/maps/views/view/streetview/israel-highlights/rabin-square/keTxNNeyUymqgZrz3aLoQA?gl&heading=336&pitch=99&fovy=75

5. Hit the beach and walk the promenade 

All of the west side of Tel Aviv is one long beach. It's split up into sections name after various hotels and beaches near each one. Along the beach is a great pathway that you can stroll back and forth along. It's a bit rough but most wheelchairs should be okay with it. Even if going along it did eventually start to shake the bolts out of my side guards. There are also section of boardwalk that let you get right down onto the beach as well. 

Bonus

6 Old City of Jaffa 

When I was in Tel Aviv I made a trip down to the old city of Jaffa. Being such and old city the terrain around here is pretty rough. Not all wheelchair users are going to be able to manage it unfortunately. However if you feel you're able to make the trip it's worth the time to go down and take a look around. Looks of neat shops and places to eat. Also we climbed way up the hill for an amazing view back along the Tel Aviv beaches.