Our Favourite Accessible Restaurants Across Canada

The Black Spruce
The Black Spruce

Although the world is slowly becoming more attuned to the diverse needs of people living with disabilities, we still have a long way to go when it comes to creating a fully accessible restaurant industry in Canada. Everyone deserves to enjoy top-notch dining experiences, and with an estimated one in five Canadians over the age of 15 having at least one disability that limits their daily activities — and that number only continuing to grow as our population ages — it’s more important than ever that we champion accessibility standards for all venues.


In 2019, Canada introduced the Accessible Canada Act (ACA), which aims to create a “barrier-free Canada” by the year 2040. However, to-date, only three provinces — Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia — have implemented provincial-level legislation to enforce accessible standards for customer service industries. For example, according to the Customer Service Standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), service providers need to make their “goods, services, and facilities accessible to customers with disabilities.”

It’s important that we amplify the voices of those living with disabilities who are helping to advocate for a more accessible industry. For example, Taylor Lindsay-Noel, the CEO and founder of Cup of Té, has created Access by Tay, a TikTok account dedicated to sharing accessibility reviews for Toronto restaurants, shops and experiences. “I think it’s everybody’s right to be able to access spaces equally,” Taylor says. “When you think about times in history like segregation, people saw it as a big problem — as they absolutely should — but we don’t see the same uproar when it comes to accessibility. It’s not that people in wheelchairs don’t want to go out and don’t desire social lives, but it’s the anxiety of playing a constant guessing game which stops a lot of people from going out.”

Related: How the Founder of This Tea Brand Turned Her Challenges Into Triumph

Taylor says she initially started sharing Toronto accessibility reviews on social media because she wanted to serve as a voice that other people living with disabilities could trust. “I wanted to document how places could be better, and I thought ‘let me be the person who goes first,’ because I try to have a positive perspective, so I thought, ‘let me experience if it’s wrong so someone else doesn’t have to,’ and then create a bank of resources from my own lived experience.”

She says that while some businesses are slowly waking up to the need for more accessible spaces, there’s still a lot of work to be done. For example, some of the issues she’s run into in her own experiences include steps leading up to the only entryway, non-wheelchair accessible washrooms (or worse—wheelchair-accessible washrooms being used as storage space), or table heights that don’t accommodate wheelchairs.

Taylor says restaurants can easily overcome barriers like these for an affordable price tag — for example, by using a portable ramp. She encourages restaurants to invest in any changes that will make their space more accessible, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will ultimately benefit them in the long run.

“People with accessibility needs recognize that making changes to a space does come with a price tag but also when you’re more proactive instead of reactive to these issues, you’ll save yourself a headache and you’ll be opening yourself up to a huge community of people who would be so grateful and become loyal customers,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to Joey’s at the Eaton Centre because it’s somewhere I felt and still feel comfortable. We tend to be loyal because not every restaurant treats us with the respect and access we deserve.”

Supporting businesses that prioritize accessibility standards for people living with disabilities is crucial if we hope to create a more open and accepting industry overall. Here are just a few of our favourite accessible restaurants across Canada:


Gotham Steakhouse

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver’s Gotham Steakhouse offers an opulent dining experience in a decadently-designed atmosphere. Keep an eye out for menu highlights including the striploin, the wagyu, and the crab cake. In terms of accessibility, the restaurant is fully wheelchair accessible, including ample space in the dining room for wheelchairs or mobility aids.

We are an accessible restaurant with an elevator to allow guests to reach all our upper and lower levels,” says Karyn Byrne, director of marketing and communications for Gotham Steakhouse and Hy’s of Canada. “The washroom on the lower level is also accessible. Our main floor dining room in particular has space to accommodate those using wheelchairs and mobility aids.”


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Major Tom

Location: Calgary, Alberta

Located “40 floors above it all” in Stephen Avenue Place, Major Tom offers scrumptious delights like potato doughnuts, a variety of steaks brushed with MT Steak Butter, and foie gras with coffee, date jam, and Japanese milk bread. People with disabilities can enter Stephen Avenue Place via the accessible entrance from 8th Ave. There are no stairs in the venue, and Major Tom offers wheelchair-accessible washrooms.


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Harvest Eatery

Location: Shaunavon, Saskatchewan

Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan serves up gourmet comfort food that incorporates fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Owner Kristy Thienes says the restaurant has several features that make it accessible to those living with disabilities, including two ramps for mobility aids — one at the front of the restaurant and one at the North door — automatic sliding doors on the patio with a wide entryway, and plenty of space between the tables for navigating through the restaurant.

There’s also an accessible parking space in front of the restaurant, spacious bathrooms to accommodate mobility aids, and some tables located near power outlets for patrons who may  need to plug in an oxygen tank. “Our staff are attentive and helpful, and they’re available to assist those who may need it,” Thienes says. “We also have a quieter dining experience available in our back room.”

Pamela Bahnuik of the Shaunavon Care Centre regularly brings groups of seniors and people living with disabilities on outings to Harvest Eatery. “We are fortunate to have Harvest Eatery in Shaunavon. The location’s accessibility makes it possible for people in wheelchairs to dine, too,” she says. “They have a dedicated parking spot out front with a concrete ramp up to the front entrance and dining patio. I have taken guests in wheelchairs there several times. We can get around easily within the restaurant and comfortably sit up to a table. Side note — the staff are very friendly and engaging with senior citizens, which is a great perk!”


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L’Arche Tova Cafe

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Located in Winnipeg’s Transcona neighbourhood, The L’Arche Tova Cafe is a social enterprise that’s become well-known in the community for serving up great food with heart. Operated by L’Arche Winnipeg, a disability services organization which houses, supports and provides community to over two dozen people, the café has become a force for good in the local area by providing work opportunities for those living with diverse needs and disabilities.

“The café has become a central hub for those wishing to share a comforting meal, with a homely feel,” says Jelynn Dela Cruz, administrative assistant at the café. “What makes the L’Arche Tova Café unique are the social opportunities that we provide to those living with diverse needs. The café both trains and employs people living with disabilities to provide meaningful work and shift the community towards a culture of inclusivity. The mission of L’Arche Winnipeg is to raise awareness about the gifts of people living with disabilities, to cultivate a culture of belonging, and to build a society that is truly made for all.”

A review from Trip Advisor user terrenceho echoes the café’s mission:


“Tasty Food and Social Good! Visited Tova Cafe twice for their Blue Collar Breakfast that comes with eggs, freshly baked bread, potatoes and sausages for less than $6! Not only does the cafe serve up tasty dishes, the social enterprise also provides employment or volunteer opportunities for persons with disabilities. A must visit!”

Café Boulud

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Located on the second floor of Toronto’s swanky Four Season Hotel, which was relocated from its former location to 60 Yorkville Ave. in 2012, Café Boulud offers a haute, French-inspired atmosphere with seasonally-changing menus to match (think slow-roast chicken à la broche, beef tartare and almond-crusted dover sole).

While guests can access Café Boulud and its restrooms on the second floor via a stairway, there are also three elevators located in the hotel lobby that guests can access to make their way to the second floor. The Café Boulud restrooms have automatic doors, and both the men’s and women’s washrooms are equipped with accessible bathroom stalls to accommodate guests that require more space. All of the sinks in the bathroom are automatic as are the hand dryers. Lastly, the Café Boulud team can also provide menus with larger font sizes upon request.

Café Boulud was recently featured on as an accessible restaurant in Toronto that’s “worth a visit.”

“A short lift to the second floor brings guests to a pair of double doors that are always kept open and a barrier-free entryway that allows plenty of room for navigation,” the feature reads. “There’s even space for storage near the front of the restaurant for wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and the like. The dining room is stunning — mid-century design by Martin Brudnizki and low-volume music set the stage for a vintage, friendly atmosphere. Both Café Boulud restrooms have automatic doors and are equipped with larger accessible stalls, automatic sinks and hand dryers.”

ITHQ Restaurant

Location: Montréal, Quebec

Offering both tasting and à la carte menus featuring local Quebec products, ITHQ Restaurant offers culinary delights that will help you get a feel for the province. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the building, making it easily accessible to those living with disabilities.

“People living with disabilities also have easy access to our beautiful terrace in summer, since it is equipped with a lifting platform,” says Ophélie Simoncelli, director of communications for the restaurant. “The restrooms include accessible bathroom stalls, as well as grab bars. At the ITHQ, we are very sensitive to the concerns and needs of every guest who visits us. This is why we are happy to own one of the most accessible buildings in Quebec.” ITHQ has previously been featured by restomontreal as one of the top 10 wheelchair-accessible restaurants in Quebec.


Related: 10 Montreal Spots to Visit for the Ultimate Food Tour

Claudine’s Eatery

Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Offering East Coast comfort food like mussels au gratin, Shediac lobster grilled cheese, seafood chowder, and a jumbo lobster roll (and some pretty epic Caesars, to boot), Claudine’s Eatery is family-owned and operated by a passionate mother-daughter duo, Claudine Cyr and Leonie Gillingham. The restaurant was built with accessibility in mind: there are no stairs or gaps at the restaurant’s entryway, and the entire layout of the venue is accessible for walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility aids. Claudine’s also features specific tables with additional space for accessibility aids, comfort and privacy, as well as a roomy designated accessible restroom with a lower sink and grab bar on the side wall. Claudine’s also welcomes licensed service animals.

The Wooden Monkey

Locations: Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

As a self-proclaimed “restaurant with a conscience,” the team at The Wooden Monkey is passionate about causes like supporting local farms and small producers in Nova Scotia, taking care of the environment, and most of all, helping their customers feel welcome and at home in their establishment. The restaurant’s president and co-owner Lil MacPherson knows first-hand how difficult it can be for those living with disabilities to access certain venues, which is why she and her team consistently strive to make everyone welcome in their restaurants. “My mom was in a wheelchair and that made me more aware of the challenges faced by people with disabilities, and made me even more committed to making our restaurants as accessible as possible,” she says.

At the Dartmouth location of the Wooden Monkey, an elevator brings guests directly into the restaurant, which is all on one level and spacious enough for those with mobility aids to navigate. Although the restaurant’s Halifax location is a bit more challenging, with two steps leading up to the dining room, Lil says the team found a solution by installing a removable ramp that can easily click into the two steps that lead into the dining area. Having witnessed her mother having a hard time with the washroom doors, Lil installed a pocket door, which she says has worked well for others operating wheelchairs.

Photo credit: photographer Stephen Harris & Tourism PEI.

Founders’ Food Hall and Market

Location: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Founders’ Food Hall and Market and Market brings together a diverse array of PEI-based vendors on the ground level of a historic building in Charlottetown. With 18 vendors including 12 food vendors and six retail vendors all easily accessible on the ground floor, people with wheelchairs or other mobility aids can enjoy the market without worrying about being able to navigate the space.

“Located right off the boardwalk, there are two main entrances and both wheelchair accessible,” says Kelly Murphy, director of marketing and cruise development for Port Charlottetown. “There’s also a visitor information centre in the building to assist and welcome people with any questions about the building or Charlottetown.”

In addition, Murphy says Founders’ Hall staff are more than willing to accommodate any special needs for cooking classes or food demonstrations, such as the holiday cupcake decorating workshop they recently offered. Although the building features additional overflow seating on the second floor, which is not accessible via elevator, Murphy says all vendors are intentionally located on the ground floor to accommodate those with disabilities. She acknowledges that there’s always more they could be doing to improve accessibility, which is why they work closely with local stakeholder groups to identify any gaps.

Local advocacy organization Spinal Cord Injury PEI recently featured Founders’ Hall on its website, recognizing the establishment for its accessibility efforts.


The Black Spruce

Location: Norris Point, Newfoundland

The Black Spruce is a one-of-a-kind local restaurant located inside Neddies Harbour Inn — a quaint boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Newfoundland’s majestic Gros Morne National Park. “We are a three-level property, Neddies Harbour Inn, with The Black Spruce restaurant located on our top floor,” says Annette Parsons, innkeeper at Neddies Harbour Inn. “We have a ramp entering our building and an elevator to each floor.” The restaurant is listed as fully wheelchair accessible on the Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism website and Trip Advisor, so people using mobility aids can rest assured they will be able to access the space.

As for the culinary delights, The Black Spruce Inn offers a range of seasonal, local favourites including seafood chowder and scallop risotto. All dishes are made from scratch using only the finest — and freshest — local ingredients by Chef Jason Lynch, Co-Chef Joy Newman and their team.

Related: Great Canadian Restaurants and Bakeries Run by Women

We acknowledge that there are many different kinds of disabilities, and what is accessible for one person may not be accessible for another. We acknowledge the limitations of this article and remind readers that this is by no means an exhaustive list of accessible restaurants in Canada. The restaurants included in this feature were chosen based on findings from online research and/or guidance from provincial tourism organizations.