Saturday, 13 March 2021

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Wheelchair and Senior Friendly Park Benches at SSP !

Last autumn, the Parks Department installed a number of wheelchair friendly park benches near the eastern entrance to Sam Smith Park, at the end of Lakeshore Rd, in New Toronto. 

The benches have an extended pad, wide enough for a wheelchair user to sit beside someone while facing the Park, looking out towards the lake.  This wider pad is also useful for Seniors using their walker to sit in, making it easier to enjoy a conversation while sitting at the proper height for easy standing, upon departure.

Hats off to Jorge and his workmates from Toronto Parks and Recreation !



Saturday, 27 February 2021

Braille signage in Sam Smith Park

Winter is a slow time for DASSP, and our members, as the cold, poor weather, and ongoing pandemic limit our ability to be out and about enjoying the park and its wildlife.

That's not to say that we haven't been beavering away behind the scenes.  Recently, Janette, from Toronto Forestry has been asking about the Braille signage we are most interested in obtaining for Sam Smith Park.   

One of our members, Vesty Roze, has forwarded his resource materials on the subject, and Janette will be following up, as she is extremely interested, and is one of our key Allies, who was instrumental in correcting the surface of the Observation Deck last week.

Let's hope we have some progress on Braille, and we will be following up in the coming months.

For more information please see:

CNIB Braille Signage resources

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Important Warning Signage at SSP is not Disabled Friendly.

Some very important signage at Sam Smith Park has long been placed too high for most Disabled to even notice.

As visitors enter from the parking lot through the circular drop off area, there is a Coyote warning sign which has been placed higher than even the top of the head of an able bodied visitor !

DASSP will be following up to first, determine which government group is responsible for signage, and then to ensure the problem is corrected throughout the park. 

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Lakeshore Lodge residents enjoy the fully accessible SSP Skating Trail in the summertime !

One of the most wonderful and unexpected uses of the SSP Skating Trail, is the pleasure it brings to mobility impaired residents of nearby Lakeshore Lodge. 

On summer mornings or evenings you may spot an elderly resident or two, along with their companion moving slowly along the winding path, listening to the song birds or enjoying the foliage and wildflowers which many volunteers from FOSS and CCFEW planted a number of years ago. 

The path has a ramp, and also offers access to the NW entry point of Sam Smith Park past the Swallow Field. 


Efforts to make the Pavilion accessible - Toronto Parks AODA / Chris Clarke and Helen Sousa

DASSP has received a reply from Jorge Ture, of Toronto Parks, regarding the modifications required to make the covered Pavilion accessible for wheelchairs, under AODA guidelines.

Jorge has shared our concerns with Chris Clarke and Helen Sousa, representing Senior Management of Toronto Parks, and will advise.

DASSP will be following up in a few weeks to solicit an update on this important issue, especially as the hot, rainy summer weather is upon us, and many para/quadriplegics are unable to sweat due to their injury or health.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Visually Impaired - Feedback on Braille received from Toronto Forestry.

DASSP has received feedback from Janette, of Toronto Forestry, on our questions about making SSP more accessible to the Visually Impaired community. DASSP has been connected with the PFR Community Disability Steering Committee, and we will be in touch with them on this important topic.

Janette will also be following up on retrofitting our existing SSP signage for Braille.  Below is the response from Janette...

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The Parks & Trails Wayfinding Strategy followed Transportation Services new pedestrian wayfinding signage Toronto 360 , and as part of those two projects we engaged with a number of accessibility groups, including (but not limited to) CNIB, and PFR's Community Disability Steering Committee. We discussed tactile maps and braille on signs, among other things.

In order to include braille and other tactile elements on signs requires that signs should be installed in very predictable locations, and/or that there are other cues in the environment that indicate where signs are located (like standardized tactile trail surfaces or beacons).

Braille was installed on the first Toronto 360 sign prototype, but when reviewed by the PFR Community Disability Steering Committee, they found that it wasn't very helpful if they couldn't locate the sign in the first place.

Changes would need to be well planned in order for it to be useful. Having said all that, Toronto Forestry can look into what would be involved in retrofitting signs with braille.