Security screening at Toronto City Hall raises accessibility questions

Following a tightening of security at City Hall, a miscommunication over which entrances are open to the public has prompted major concerns about the accessibility of the building.

Earlier in February, the City of Toronto changed its screening process for visitors to city hall. The south entrance off of Nathan Phillips Square is now the only place to gain access to the building for those without passes.

Visitors are required to have their bags screened and to go through a metal detector, much like they would while attending an event at a local sports arena.

When the change was first announced, the City’s communications department at first said the building’s rear exit at Hagerman Street would no longer have public access. The loss of that set of doors meant a loss of access to a Wheel-Trans stop and ramp.

It also prompted accessibility advocate Adam Cohoon to jump into action.

“It’s more a warm, safe place to be picked up,” said Cohoon, who is a regular fixture at city hall and often delivers deputations on accessibility issues for various committees.

“It wasn’t until I made some phone calls that they’ve actually updated some of their statements.”

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