Accessible Toronto Part 2: The Hockey Hall of Fame
The next stop on our trip was the Hockey Hall of Fame. (Read about our trip so far here). Being three big hockey fans (two Habs fans and a Bruins fan -- yes, I married a Bruins fan. Forgive me!) we were very keen to check out the Hall.
We were greeted at the desk by a very friendly young man who checked us in and offered to help in any way he could, which was nice. From there, we entered the Hall, which is an absolute Mecca of all things hockey. It is home to what feels like an endless number of artifacts, photos and interactive activities related to the game.
In terms of accessibility, the Hockey Hall of Fame is an absolute breeze to navigate in a wheelchair. The floors are smooth and flat, with no difficult transitions or tight spaces. There is ample room in each exhibit area to get up close to the exhibits with any trouble. At one point, being in my chair allowed me to become nose-to-glass with some real-life Stanley Cup rings. Awesome! Far as I could tell, every area of the HHOF was accessible with ease.
We checked out one of the 3D movies in the TSN Theatre. This was an awesome show about the quest for the Cup. And the best part for me is that I would have been able to stay in my chair and get a great view of the show, but I opted to transfer and store my chair off to the side. In either case, you'll be happy to know that great seats are available for everyone, regardless of mobility.
One of the biggest draws of the Hall of Fame is the ability to take a picture with the Stanley Cup. Even this centrepiece attraction is easily accessible! There's a ramp on either side of Lord Stanley's cup, and I was able to wheel right up, transfer out of my chair for the picture (I needed to move around at this point), and then get back into my chair and easily wheel down the ramp. It was great!
We did run into one hitch during our trip. It's small, but worth mentioning so you know before you go. When we tried to use the elevator located near the TSN Broadcast Zone, we realized we'd have to wait for an employee to go get the keys before we could use it. A helpful young man offered to go find the manager for us, but we opted not to use that elevator after all. There's another one that you can use without a key, just so you are aware.
At the end of our visit, we went to the Spirit of Hockey gift shop onsite. This was the only time I had a little bit of trouble getting around, but that's quite common in retail stores. With spinning racks, floor displays, etc. it can be a challenge to leave enough clearance for a wheelchair, and I understand that for sure. I was able to shop freely and comfortably, only having to use my expert 3-point turning skills a couple of times. No big deal. (Side note here: The staff was extremely helpful in the store, offering to help me reach things if necessary. I appreciate that very much. It's a small gesture, but it means a lot because it's not always easy for me to ask for help. Stubborn genes!).
Our trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame was a blast! If you live with mobility concerns and have wondered whether you can easily visit attractions like this, I'm here to tell you that you can! the space itself is open and spacious, allowing easy access to all of the exhibits, and the staff are friendly and ready to help without hovering or being pushy.
Thank you to the Hall for your hospitality. We will be back!