Request to remove wheelchair ramp at Toronto eatery being called insensitive
A notice of violation asking a Toronto restaurant that employs mostly deaf servers to remove a temporary, illegal wheelchair ramp is being called insensitive and a "low blow" by some of the eatery's clientele.
"We put up a temporary ramp as a quick fix while we apply for a permanent one," the restaurant said.
"The city has since decided that despite the restaurant's concept -- as well as the want and need for full inclusion for everyone that lives in the City of Toronto -- they would like us to remove the ramp."
The notice of violation states the restaurant's wheelchair ramp is in violation of Chapter 743, which deals with the use of streets and sidewalks. Subsection 41 of the municipal code explains that occupants must "keep the sidewalks and walkways surrounding the premise free from obstruction by vegetation, dirt, dust, litter and other encumbrances that may interfere with the safe and convenient passage of pedestrians."
Since posting the photo of the notice of violation on Facebook Thursday morning, it has been shared nearly 100 times.
According to one supporter, the city's request to remove the wheelchair ramp is a "low blow."
"One of the most stupidest things I’ve ever heard," Stef Barber wrote on Thursday.
Another woman, Kaitlin Clark, said the restaurant should ignore the city's request.
"Please don't remove the ramp because I love going to Signs restaurant in my wheelchair," she said. "The last time I was there with my father, he had to help me walk to the steps."
Not everyone, however, is siding with the restaurant. One person said the ramp was "huge" and should be replaced with a smaller one.
"(It's) taking out space for people to walk by. (Signs) should (have) installed a smaller ramp…I agree with Toronto," Tyler Pringle said.
According to the restaurant's Facebook post, the owner intends to fight the city's request to remove the wheelchair ramp.
"We will fight until the bitter end…grandfather building or not, everyone should be allowed full access to all buildings in the city!!"
Signs opened in July. It is billed as the country's first restaurant to employ mostly deaf servers. Patrons are also encouraged to order their food and drink using a sign language cheat sheet that is included with the menu.