When: November 7th-9th, 2013
Total length: 3 days
Area of Hotel: Financial District
Weather: Cold and windy (~8 °C)
This was a quick trip to Toronto to attend the Buffer Festival. Therefore we only drove an hour to get here. The Toronto Airport is approximately 25 minutes away and accessible taxis can be ordered (http://www.royaltaxi.ca/royal_accessible.htm). *Please note that I have not personally tested out this company. But I would choose them if I required it*.
The Hotel- Royal York Hotel
We had a Groupon (hotels are often at great discounted prices) and therefore had breakfast, valet services and room at a great price. Since we required an accessible room, we were upgraded to a deluxe suite.
Doorways: all doorways were extra wide. I found the bathroom doorway to be a bit tight close to the bed.
Beds: We requested that two beds were put in the room.
Bathroom: No bathrooms in the hotel are walk in shower and also wheelchair accessible. I had a shower chair that I brought. The hotel offered to order a transfer bench or shower seat to be placed in.
Overall Service: The service here was impeccable. The staff were attentive and willing to help with anything and everything. I was very impressed and would return just for the great staff.
We ate here twice for breakfast, located in the Royal York. It was a buffet style and offered a vast variety of foods for breakfast. But it wasn’t just any old buffet with eggs, toast and coffee. There was smoked salmon, fresh eggs, two types of sausages, crêpes and even an omelette station. Try the potatoes, they were amazing!
Benihana Sushi Restaurant
We ate here twice for dinner (once ordering to the room). This restaurant is located below the Royal York. It is a bit pricey, but absolutely delicious. The shrimp tasted so fresh, I had to eat the Dynamite Roll twice in two nights!
The PATH walkway is an underground “mall” like area that connects many of the downtown area’s buildings. It also connects with the subway system. We decided to use it to get to the festival without having to walk outside in the cold. Although it seems straightforward, it is actually pretty complicated for first time users in wheelchairs. We must use alternate routes to access elevators, and not all buildings are accessible. For example, the Royal York has a direct connection to PATH, but the building is so old that elevators do not reach down to the lower level. Therefore, we had to cross the street to the RBC Plaza and go underground. It can be tricky, but once you get a hang of it, it is great to use. Note: it can be very busy on the weekdays when commuters are going to and from work (i.e. 5 PM is chaotic). Everyone is helpful in giving directions.
Weekends are when almost all of the stores are closed and the walkway is empty.