"It makes me happy to know that someone else won't have to take that gamble."
Dining out in Toronto takes more effort than just making a reservation when you have a disability, but thanks to this TikToker – it may be getting easier.
Taylor Lindsay-Noel, a 28-year-old quadriplegic woman in Toronto, is changing the game for others in her community through accessibility reviews on TikTok of restaurants and experiences in the city.
@accessbytay Accessibility Review of Drake Sky Yard 🥰Accessibility 5/5 ♿️ Experience 4/5 🥳-#AccessByTay #wheelchairaccessible #accessibility #toronto #thedrakehotel #wheelchair #quadriplegic #restaurantreview #fyp #foryou #torontorestaurants #torontobars♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) - TimTaj
Lindsay-Noel started Access By Tay in May 2022 and has already developed a following of almost 18K.
She reviews restaurants that advertise themselves as accessible online or over the phone IRL based on their bathrooms, doors, ramps (or lack thereof), and whether or not the general design of the space allows for someone in a wheelchair to maneuver through it.
"I think sometimes people think I'll just go anywhere," said Lindsay-Noel. "I literally will not go anywhere unless I've looked it up."
Lindsay-Noel has been in a wheelchair for 14 years, and the idea for the series started in conversations with friends.
"We have had so many instances of going somewhere and having an issue," explained Lindsay-Noel.
While her friend was searching for information on accessible venues, she suggested they record and "show people what it really means to be accessible."
@accessbytay Accessibility Review of Earls Kitchen + BarAccessibility 4/5 ♿️ Experience 4/5 🥳-#AccessByTay #taylorln #torontorestaurants #earls #wheelchair #wheelchairaccessible #accessibility #toronto #blogto #fyp #foryou♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) - TimTaj
Before embarking on her review journey, Lindsay-Noel recalls only ever going to three restaurants with her friends to avoid the "mayhem" of exploring a new option.
"Now I am pushing myself to take those chances. But it makes me happy to know that someone else won't have to take that gamble because they can watch my video and know that it's ok," she said.
So, what are her favourite restaurants for accessibility in the 6ix?
Lindsay-Noel shared 10 great and accessible restaurants in Toronto, including her favourite, Casa Madera.
- Casa Madera, 550 Wellington St. W., Toronto, ON
- Leña, 176 Yonge St., Toronto, ON
- Drake Sky Yard, 1150 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON
- Joey Eaton Centre, 1 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
- Oretta Midtown, 2131 Yonge St., Toronto, ON
- Earls Kitchen + Bar, 150 King St. W., Unit 100, Toronto, ON
- RH Courtyard Restaurant, 3401 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON
- Stock Bar, 2388 Yonge St., Upper Level, Toronto, ON
- Jack Astor's, 5051 Yonge St., North York, ON
- La Latina, 150 Eglinton Ave. E., Toronto, ON
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.