Accessibility Plan

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Women March On: Toronto supports the full inclusion of persons with disabilities for this event. A successful event depends on the collective commitment to offer support to people with disabilities or who are deaf/hard of hearing. This is a peaceful demonstration and is intended to be family-friendly.

This document is a work in progress. We will be updating information as details are finalized. If you feel that your needs haven’t been addressed by our plan so far, please don’t hesitate to let us know via email at WomenMarchOnTO@gmail.com. We’re listening.

We estimate that the event will take approximately two to three hours in total, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. This timing is an estimate; if you are using mobility devices or being guided you should keep that in mind.

PUBLIC TRANSIT

Parking in Toronto can be a challenge. We recommend that, when possible, attendees use public transportation or Wheel-Trans to attend the march.

GO TRANSIT

Other GO Transit stations that connect with TTC can be found on this map:  http://www.gotransit.com/timetables/en/PDF/Maps/12171217/system_map.pdf

TTC

Wheel-Trans dedicated stop:

  • There is a dedicated Wheel-Trans stop/waiting area on the north side of City Hall – at Elizabeth and Hagerman Streets. There is a wide ramp with a continuous, graspable handrail. Attendees will need to travel around the building, south to Nathan Phillips Square.

COMING BY CAR

Paid public parking is available at several lots within a ten-minute walk.

COMING BY BICYCLE

Cyclists, here are some places to park near the rally site:

  • West side of City Hall (near Osgoode Hall): approximately 18 bikes
  • West side of City Hall (near playground): approximately 15 bikes
  • East side of City Hall under the elevated walkway near Bay Street: approximately 20 bikes
  • There are also quite a few bike racks on Chestnut Street and Elizabeth Street behind City Hall
  • The underground parking garage has room for approximately 30 bikes. The best way to get there is to enter the garage from Bay Street, make the first right (official parking) turn right at the ramp and the racks are near the mural that says "Welcome to City Hall". Note: usually fills up by 9:30 a.m.

GETTING AROUND NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

ENTRANCE AND EXIT TO CITY HALL:

  • The main doors at the front of City Hall just off Nathan Phillips Square are open on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. These doors are wheelchair accessible, with automatic buttons to open doors.

CIRCULATION

  • The East side and South East corner are blocked by a fence; if approaching from Queen, enter near the centre.  There are some bollards and planters but generally they are well spaced and there are several options.
  • The skating rink parallel to the Toronto sign is in use and has a yellow line that is 36 inches deep marking the drop off at the edge. This line does not have a tactile strip.

RAISED AREA

  • The raised presentation area can be reached by ramp.  The ramp is visible on the south side but is reached from the north.  
  • There is a railing, but it only extends to half of the ramp.

ADDITIONAL EXITS FROM NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

If you are attending the rally only, and will be leaving Nathan Phillips Square in a direction other than the designated march route, please note these other exits:

  • When leaving the square, aim for under the sloped overpass at the northeast corner.  There are two accessible options with ramps.
  • Option 1 – A ramp leads to a curb cut and controlled intersection at Albert Street (behind Old City Hall).  The ramp may be narrow for some wheelchair users and does not have a continuous or graspable handrail. There is no sidewalk along this section of Bay beyond the intersection; it will be necessary to enter the street or cross to the East side.
  • Option 2 – Continue north/left to exit the square by traveling alongside the building.  From there it is possible to keep on the sidewalk on the West side of Bay or get into the street using the curb cut at Hagerman Street. There are well-spaced bollards when approaching this intersection.

TACTILE ATTENTION INDICATORS AND AUDIO SIGNALS

  • The intersections in this area often have TAIS on one side and not the other;
  • Some intersections do not have curb cuts in line;
  • Audio signals were not observed at all intersections.

WASHROOMS

OUTSIDE CITY HALL

  • There are multi-stall washrooms in the Snack building; these are small but have power (automatic) doors and a larger stall with grab bars. This larger stall is still on the small side and will likely require backing in; the side grab bar is diagonal.  Child change tables are available in the both men’s and women’s washrooms.

INSIDE CITY HALL

  • An accessible washroom for all genders is on the main floor to the right side of the main entrance. There is an L-shaped grab bar on the wall, and a fold down bar on the open side of the toilet. No change table is available.  
  • There is a Parent Room on the main floor to the right side of the main entrance.
  • A second accessible washroom for all genders is on the main floor next to the east tower elevators. There is an L-shaped grab bar on the wall, and a fold down bar on the open side of the toilet. Child change table is available.
  • The main washrooms are in the Basement East Side. These washrooms can only be accessed by a curved flight of stairs.
    • Women’s washrooms are to the right of the staircase. There is one accessible stall, with an L-shaped side grab bar. Child change table and nursing area are available.
    • Men’s washrooms are located behind the staircase. There is one accessible stall with an L-shaped side grab bar. Child change table is available.

THE RALLY - NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE

ASL Interpretation:

Two ASL Interpreters will be on stage at the rally. Those who need to be closer to the stage – in order to see the interpreters, or for any other reason – are invited to come forward to a designated area reserved for this purpose. There will be volunteers on hand to provide guidance and assistance, if needed.

Regrettably, we do not have the technical capacity to offer live captioning at the event.  

Priority Seating:

Organizers are making every effort to accommodate those who cannot stand for extended periods of time. Those who need a seat during the rally are invited to come forward to a designated area where priority seating will be provided. There will be volunteers on hand to provide guidance and assistance, if needed.

THE MARCH

The march route is approximately 1.5 km on a flat surface, beginning Nathan Phillips Square and ending at Queen’s Park.

The march will proceed north from the stage along the lane on the west side of City Hall to Armoury Street. Then, it will proceed west on Armoury Street to University Avenue, proceeding northbound on University Avenue to Queen’s Park. Along the route, please follow the directions of marshals and police. The total distance is approximately 1.5 km. A copy of the map can be found here.

ACCESSIBLE VEHICLES

There will be two accessibility vans for those who require them. They will be parked on Armoury Street. These vehicles will also transport people back to Nathan Philips Square at the conclusion of the march. Marshals can provide directions and assistance.

MARSHALS & FIRST AID

The rally perimeter will be maintained by a team of volunteer march marshals. These marshals will be identified by vests or red scarves with “The Power of Women” in white lettering and will all be in communication with organizers. Attendees should feel empowered to approach marshals at any time to ask questions, to raise concerns about event conditions, and/or to ask for medical, accessibility, or other assistance.

A defibrillator is available at the Security Desk inside City Hall.

QUIET AREA OR SHELTER FOR THOSE ATTENDING THE RALLY ONLY

Marches and rallies are events with high levels of sensory stimulation including loud noises colours, and crowds. For those who may feel overwhelmed, we recommend going inside City Hall to take a break.

EXPECTED WEATHER

The historical average temperature for January 20 is -2°C with a very low chance of precipitation. We advise you to check the weather regularly. Layers are always a good idea! The end of January can be cold. Please plan accordingly and dress for the weather. Remember, we will be outside for at least two hours. Even if the temperatures are higher than normal, being outside for hours at a time will affect you.

UNABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON?

For those unable to attend the march and rally in person we hope to be livestreaming parts of the event and speakers on Periscope and Facebook Live. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter on the day of the march to stay connected.

We are also working with March On Canada to create and Online March. Your online presence is highly appreciated and important in supporting the march and allowing our message of strength and unity to be transmitted across the world. More information will be available at www.marchoncanada.ca very soon.

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.