555 Dundas St. E. Toronto, ON, M5A 2B7
Call for reservations: (647) 748-0555
It was a cold and rainy afternoon when I visited Paintbox Bistro, but this place radiates such warmth and positivity that I barely noticed the bad weather. Located in the Regent Park neighbourhood, Paintbox Bistro has taken on a very exciting mission. Not only do they serve delicious food, but they've also partnered with community organizations like Dixon Hall and George Brown College to train aspiring chefs, waiters, caterers, restaurant managers, and beyond who live in the local area. All of this is done with the bigger goal of promoting community enterprise and supporting local development. Needless to say, I was a big fan of their concept. Not surprisingly, Paintbox Bistro has also considered accessibility in the design of their restaurant.
The food, which is based on local ingredients, was delicious! I tried the vegetable samosas and a kale - wheatberry salad; both of which were great. I had a hard time deciding what to eat, as their menu has tons of awesome options! Definitely something for everyone, and they also have a prepared food counter if you're looking for some eats to take home. Another exciting feature of this place is their accessible event space, which can be rented for private parties or functions and includes a stage.
The entrance to Paintbox Bistro features automatic door openers on the two doors, which are each 41 inches wide. The doors have level transitions from the sidewalk to the vestibule, as well as into the restaurant itself. Upon entering the space you're greeted with a roomy path up to the cash register and display case. There are a few couches, comfy chairs, and bar height tables, but the majority of tables are standard height (29 inches) with removable chairs. The flooring is smooth concrete throughout.
The separate, multi-gender, accessible washroom features an automatic door opener, which is definitely a rare feature to find on a bathroom! The doorway itself is 28 inches wide, and the transition is smooth from the hallway. There are two grab bars surrounding the extra-high toilet, and toilet paper, soap, and paper towels are all within easy reach. Unfortunately there aren't any automatic features other than the door opener. The sink is 31 inches high with plenty of space on either side.
There's a fully accessible patio out front, although it was closed for the fall/winter season during my visit. Stay tuned for the spring to check it out! The sidewalks out front of the restaurant are wide and unobstructed, and there are curbcuts on the corner heading in both directions. There is a fair amount of street parking on the smaller streets North and South of Dundas, as well as a Green P lot located less than 1 km away at 51 Aberdeen Ave. This area isn't great in terms of accessible transit. Dundas is the closest accessible station and it's about 2km away.
We want to hear what you have to say! Have you been to Regent Park lately? What do you think of Paintbox's social enterprise concept? And do you know of any other accessible event venues in the city? Drop us a line and let us know in the comment section below!