The Ballroom

Picture of front signage along John street

145 John St, Toronto, ON M5V 2E4

Call to reserve a table: (416) 597-2695

In our quest to find accessible venues in Toronto that offer live music I found The Ballroom. At first glance, this hip bowling alley slash sports bar does not look accessible (stairs + stairs on entry), however it seems that management have given extra thought into overcoming these pesky barriers.

The front entrance, as well as the entrance to the first floor patio is accessed by two, 32 inch doors. There are 3 steps to the main floor dining area and bowling alleys, but this venue stores a portable aluminum ramp beside the main entrance which the staff are happy to use whenever needed. When placed over the steps it is sturdy, yet steep. The standard 1:12 ratio (1 foot of ramp for each inch of rise) is more like 1:5. There is a large landing above and below so I still found the ramp appropriate to use. The ramp is also needed on the second floor to access the standard height dining tables in front of the stage.

The large accessible washroom in located on the main floor. Features include a 32 inch door way, 2 grab bars, and an automatic dryer and soap dispenser. Very clean!

If you want to bowl, the main floor is the place to be. For some live music and dining, the Ballroom offers a large second floor that can be accessed by a freight elevator. The elevator measures at 70x50 inches and is powered by a staff member- very friendly, accommodating people by the way :)

I have to mention that the majority of the seating at The Ballroom is at bar height to open the space so I highly recommend reserving one of the few standard height tables on the second floor for anyone using a wheelchair. Another important note is that the second floor patio has a 6 inch step at the doorway- insert sad face here.

The Ballroom offers live music every Friday night with a band and live DJs every Saturday and Sunday night. Unfortunately bowling lanes cannot be reserved on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. First come, first serve.

Bowling rates and event calendar: http://theballroom.ca/category/blog-categories/bowling

Other Reviews:

http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish/openings/2011/01/05/introducing-the-ballroom-the-downtown-bowling-alley-with-ufc-and-gourmet-chicken-wings/

http://www.blogto.com/sports_play/2011/01/does_new_toronto_bowling_alley_live_up_to_the_hype/