Finding a patio that is wheelchair accessible isn’t always an easy feat. We turned to Kent Hehr for his suggestions.
Kent Hehr is a Calgary native and currently the Minister of Veteran Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. In 1991, Hehr suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed. A lover of local pubs and restaurants, the injury didn’t stop Hehr from enjoying a meal or drink alfresco – he knows which patios in Calgary are accessible for wheelchair users. Hehr shares which patios in Calgary are his favourites.
80th and Ivy
Hehr frequents this patio on 17th Avenue. The north-facing patio has a few umbrellas keeping it partially shaded during the day, and heaters to keep visitors cozy while dining at the patio at night – it’s open late. As well as being an accessible patio, what Hehr loves about this spot is the dinner menu and the extensive cocktail menu.
1127 17 Ave. S.W., 403-452-6905, 80thandivy.com
Visit this patio in the morning for brunch, or late at night for drinks with friends – the Blind Monk’s south-facing patio is open until midnight. According to Hehr, the tables at this patio are at the same height as wheelchair-users, something that can be difficult to come by. Hehr’s must-order dish when he visits this restaurant is the fajitas, which he pairs with a cold beer.
918 12 Ave. S.W., 403-265-6200, blindmonk.ca
This sunny, south-facing patio on 17th Avenue is another one of Hehr’s favourites. The patio seats 25 and has picnic-style bench seating. While the picnic tables on the patio might not seem to be wheelchair accessible at first glance, Hehr says he sits at the end of the tables.
1230 17 Ave. S.W., 403-984-9445, jamesonspubs.com
The bustling, south-facing Ship & Anchor patio is another one of Hehr’s favourites. Practically, the whole bar is on one level. There is picnic-style seating here too, and Hehr says he sits at the end of the picnic tables. He loves that the patio looks out onto 17th Avenue S.W. and that it’s an energetic space – you could be sharing the patio with 139 other people. And Hehr’s must-order menu item here? The Ship Burger.
534 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com