25 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5B 1L4
Phone: (416) 519-4998
Black Bear Espresso is an independent coffee shop across from the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens. This young upstart has only been open for about two months, but it’s already creating a buzz in a neighbourhood saturated with Starbucks on every corner. Black Bear Espresso brews quality coffee from Pilot Coffee Roasters and is open everyday til 9pm.
The coffee shop is owned by Adam Meyler and his sister who took some time considering the accessibility of their space, and it shows. The interior, due to its size, offers only two standard height tables for patrons, but the entrance way is large and there is a wheelchair accessible washroom, complete with automatic door openers!
Black Bear Espresso is accessed from a wide, unobstructed sidewalk. The front door is propped open all day (weather permitting) and is 32 inches. There is another 32 inch door that can be opened to increase the size of the entrance if needed. Once indoors, the space mid-morning on a Sunday was bright and there was low music in the background. When ordering, the owner was kind enough to describe the coffee options and later brought my order to my table.
The washroom has a large 36 inch door with a straight handle and easy to reach buttons to automatically open and lock the door. There is an L bar and horizontal grab bar surrounding the toilet, a floating sink, and a hook 50 inches from the ground to hang a coat or purse. The faucet, soap dispenser and dryer are not automatic. There was also unfortunately no change table.
If using transit, the closest wheelchair accessible station is either Dundas or Queen's Park on Line 1. Although College station is across the street, it is not accessible. Parking is sparse and expensive in the area with the closest Green P lot being four blocks north at Yonge and Wellesley.
When visiting, be sure to enjoy the free WiFi and the specialty coffee on offer, Julian recommends the Ana Sora blend from Ethiopia while it is still available!