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Ramp and Roll: StopGap Foundation and Accessibility on Roncesvalles

Luke Anderson

Over 27% of Canadians aged 15 and older live with one or more disabilities, affecting more than 8 million people. This statistic underscores the pervasive issue of accessibility, a concern that affects us all, either directly or as we age.

Leading an enlightening walk through Toronto to confront this issue is Luke Anderson, Executive Director and Co-Founder of StopGap Foundation and Co-Chair of the Accelerating Accessibility Coalition.

In 2002, Luke sustained a spinal cord injury from a mountain biking accident, thrusting him into a world ill-prepared for wheelchair accessibility. Motivated by his own challenges, he founded StopGap Foundation, which not only raises awareness about accessibility but also sparks vital conversations through brightly colored ramps seen around the city, including Roncesvalles Avenue.

This walk aims to highlight the daily barriers faced by disabled individuals on Toronto streets, changing perceptions and fostering a call to action for community-driven advocacy.

Some stops along the way:
-Businesses with single stepped entryways, with and without StopGap ramps. Single-stepped entryways in front of storefronts are a ubiquitous architectural feature in Toronto. We can talk about why that is, and how it creates a barrier for some folks. We’ll talk a bit about StopGap ramps, pointing some out along the way at businesses like Sava Crepes and Reunion Coffee. We’ll chat about how the ramps are a temporary solution to a problem, some of their positives as well as challenges like bylaws, inadequate building codes, and attitudinal barriers.
-The elevated TTC platforms, or “bump outs”: created during the redesigning of Roncesvalles Avenue in 2013, these raised platforms in front of streetcar stops along Roncesvalles Avenue pose challenges for a variety of groups including mobility device users and cyclists.
-Sacred spaces: Roncesvalles United Church, St. Casimir’s, St. Vincent de Paul.
Some of these churches have had accessibility renovations over the years, while others have not. We can talk about the AODA requirements and exemptions for historic buildings.
-High Park Public library branch. This branch went through a renovation in 2004 and is now partially accessible. We can chat about how different laws hold city infrastructure accountable over private businesses.

Participants will leave the walk with a new vantage point on accessibility in Toronto and the ability to spot access barriers in their own neighbourhoods, as well as information on why accessibility is important, and some of the skills and information they need to be inspired to become accessibility advocates.

Walk Start:

Roncesvalles: Howard Park and Roncesvalles.

Roncesvalles: Wright Avenue and Roncesvalles

Walk End:

Luke Anderson

Date: May 4

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.




Architecture and Urban Planning, Lived experiences and personal perspectives, People and Communities, Transit and Accessibility.


Breaks encouraged, Busy sidewalks, Dog-friendly walk, Family-friendly walk.

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