Weston shows Canada how to host an inclusive Hallowe’en

Weston is celebrating Halloween early, and it will be the first ever for many children and families with special needs. 400,000 children in Canada identify with having a disability that may prevent them from trick-or-treating with their siblings and other kids because of something as simple as stairs. So on Saturday afternoon, thirty households along a portion of Queens Drive decorated their homes, donned costumes, and created an accessible trick-or-treat experience. Simple lessons in accommodation were incorporated, like handing out candy curbside instead of atop the stairs.

The whole thing was filmed and promoted to neighbourhoods across Canada, just in time for Halloween. 

 How did this happen? 

The Padulo Family created the Accessible Trick or Treat movement in 2017. With the help of their event sponsors, they approached the Weston Village Residents’ Association looking for a willing group of neighbours. “Finding neighbours was super easy in Weston, Queens Drive residents were enthusiastic from the start,” says Dave Bennett of the WVRA. Then, Councillor Nunziata helped arrange a street permit in just five days, record time! And Toronto Police Service was quick to lend a hand.  

“It’s more like a street party this way, and it’s so obvious, we’ll always be curbside now,” said Jen and Dani – with Max ready for the SWAT team. Another couple, Margaret and Pauline, recounted how an 18-year-old boy had just come by with his family; it was his first-ever Halloween. He was thrilled! And new neighbours Elliott and Emily (who moved in 1 month ago) are thrilled to see what Weston neighbours are all about. They are excited to participate. 

 How to get involved this Halloween? Visit www.treataccessibly.com There you can order signs to promote a group of neighbours committed to a more accessible Hallowe’en. The site outlines various simple measures any homeowner can take to create a more inclusive and fun Halloween for all.  Way to go, Weston! 

One thought on “Weston shows Canada how to host an inclusive Hallowe’en”

  1. What a nice report..

    About a great, caring & considerate event – that clearly, put smiles on a lot of faces (young & old) who’d otherwise perhaps, miss out on the seasonal fun to come.

    Hope that Jen & Dani are right when they say:

    “It’s more like a street party this way, and it’s so obvious, we’ll always be curbside now,”

    Maybe other neighbourhoods will employ this helpful accessible approach, too!

    After all, what’s not to like about big, happy smiles?

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