I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Where's That WC?
My latest travel adventure is again in
Toronto. Last month we visited Alisha and Derek to help with a house
renovation and I think Ryan and Ben got jealous so we received a call
about coming up to help them with a project too.
Not exactly Wheelchair accessible
Working with a friend, Ryan is
developing a phone app that will help people locate washrooms in and
around the Toronto and Vancouver areas. Basically when you open the
app on your phone, it identifies your present location and then
displays any public washrooms in the area. Ryan asked us to come up
and do inspection of over 150 washrooms so that information about
them could be entered into the program. Things such as accessibility
and amenities are important to people using the app. He had funding
to hire someone to do this job, but was unable to find someone
locally who wanted to do washroom inspections. SO . . he called his
retired parents to help. It meant a paid trip to Toronto and an
opportunity to spend time with he and Ben, so we said yes.
After some discussion about the best
way to tackle the job, we decided to head out to the end of the Yonge
St subway line and work our way through a cluster of sites out there
to get a feel for exactly what was involved.
Time for the inspection
We exited the subway and opened the app
which clearly directed us to the nearest washroom, about 30 minutes
walking away. I was surprised that there were no facilities in or
around the Subway station . . . but our job was to do the
inspections so we set off following the directions to the first
washroom. We walked down a residential street where the Toronto
housing boom was evident with the little old houses on the street
being torn down and replaced with huge new ones worth millions. We
were then directed into a park and down into a ravine along a brook
(Add note that this route not wheelchair accessible). We finally came
out on the other side of the park where we found the washroom close
to the park entrance and on a paved road. This might have been an
easier way to get to the washroom.
WOW, did not expect to find this
Clipboards and checklists out, we
finished this first inspection and headed to the next, about 15
minutes away in another municipal park. In this park we located three
washrooms although the app only had two listed. Here we also
discovered an amphitheatre and a ski hill along with a beautiful
community centre. Who knew that Toronto had a ski hill within the
city or an outdoor theatre big enough to host a Shakespearean Drama?
From there we inspected washrooms in a Tennis club, a lawn bowling
facility and another park. Fourteen Kilometres later we had
discovered a lot more about this city than when we started.
We met a lot of people who wondered
what we were doing, and who showed a great deal on interest and
approval with the project. Everyone thought it was a very worthwhile
idea and would be very useful to people. Seven down, lots more to do
. . . . .