Rolling on the floor laughing my wheels off
— a review of wheelchair accessibility at Yuk Yuks Ottawa
Recently, I had the chance to check out Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa. When I posted that I was going on social media, a few of my friends and followers were surprised. The reason for that is because up until last year, Yuk Yuk’s was located in a bar on Elgin Street, which wasn’t wheelchair accessible.
I’m happy to report that Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa is now located inside The Marriott Hotel, which is located at 100 Kent Street.
In this week’s article, I’ll talk about how wheelchair accessible it is, as well as the bathrooms.
As always, I’ll start with the positives.
The location is great. The Marriott is located right beside the Lyon Street LRT Station. So, on the rare times that the LRT’s working, it’s very convenient. The Marriot Hotel also has a bar in the lobby, which is wheelchair accessible.
Yuk Yuk’s is ln the lower lobby of the hotel. You’ll need to go up a long winding ramp to get to the elevators. For me, this ramp is fine. I’ve been to The Marriott several times for various events.
The elevators themselves are pretty big and can at least fit two large powered chairs. When you get in the elevator, push LL. Pushing LL will bring you to the Lower Lobby. From there, just follow the signs to the Laurier Room.
When you reach the area, you’ll see a table and this is where you’ll get your tickets or sign in if you’re on the list. Afterward, I was escorted to my tables, but my seats were reserved. The staff was extremely helpful and respectful towards my guests and me.
The server even talked to me personally and told me what kind of beers they had. Sadly, servers typically ask my PSW, or whomever I’m with, for my order. Big kudos to all of the staff at Yuk Yuk’s for their top-notch service.
Now, let’s talk about potential accessibility issues that some PWD may encounter.
When I first arrived to the section of the lower lobby where Yuk Yuk’s, all I saw were stairs. There is, however, a ramp. The reason why I initially didn’t see the ramp is that it’s very steep and blends in with the flooring.
My friendly suggestion would be to add some form of signage so that everyone knows where the ramp is located.
As I said, the ramp is very steep. My PSW needed to assist me with going down and up the ramp. If you need to use the ramp, please be careful. If you need assistance, I’m sure that a staff member will be more than happy to help you.
The only other potential problem for some PWD will be the bathroom. I used the bathroom located in the main area of the lower lobby. This particular bathroom doesn’t have a wheelchair stall.
However, I do know that the bathrooms upstairs near the ballroom are wheelchair accessible and have large stalls. I’m unsure if they’re locked when the ballroom isn’t booked.
There are also bathrooms inside Yuk Yuk’s, but I didn’t get a chance to check them out.
Now, I don’t require using a bathroom stall. At this point, I’m used to not being able to fit into a stall. My wheelchair’s very big, so it’s rare that a stall’s big enough for me and whoever assisting me.
I know many PWD who do require a bathroom stall. A lack of wheelchair-accessible bathrooms is an ongoing issue that the city needs to address.
As for Yuk Yuk’s, they get my rolling stamp of approval as far as being accessible for my needs and entertainment. Please keep in mind that everybody’s different, including people with disabilities. I know that finding a perfect solution is difficult.
I am very happy that Yuk Yuk’s is wheelchair accessible again. The last time I went to Yuk Yuk’s was 15 years ago. Also, around that time, I was doing stand-up comedy regularly for two years.
Before I end this, I want to send a very special shout-out & thank you to Howard Wagman, who is the longtime owner of Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa. Also, thank you to Dan Shields, who looks after promotions at the club.
Last but not least, thank you to all the staff and the many comedians that have graced the stage.
Without you all, Ottawa would be a much darker and boring city. Right now, we all need a good laugh. So, head on down to Yuk Yuk’s. I plan to return soon, so perhaps I’ll see you there!
For more details about Yuk Yuk’s, please go to https://yukyuks.com/ottawa
PHOTO OF MARRIOTT HOTEL VPM LEONARDO