John St-Onge started playing with Lego many years ago as a way to bond with his then-young children.
His kids inevitably grew up and out of the toy brick sets, but John, now 63, kept right on collecting them, and has amassed over 50,000 Lego pieces in his unassuming Windsor, Ontario, home.
In recent years, Lego has provided John with a welcome distraction from a host of health problems, including diabetes and cancer.
His failing health has prevented John from fulfilling his dream of traveling to the flagship Legoland park in Denmark, so it should come as no surprise that the self-described "Lego fanatic" was overjoyed when he learned that a Legoland Discovery Centre had recently opened up in Toronto, just three hours away.
But John's hopes of seeing a Lego replica of the Toronto skyline with his own eyes were dashed before he and his daughter Nicole even reached the door.
A Legoland employee informed the two that they would not be allowed to enter the attraction because they were not accompanied by a child.
Their subsequent request to speak with a manager was rebuffed.
"My dad is 63 years old, he was devastated," Nicole told CTV News. "The look on his face was like a child not getting the gift at Christmas that they want. He felt discriminated against because he's a senior citizen who also happens to like Lego."
The policy requiring adults to bring kids in order to be allowed in the Discover Centre is indeed outlined on the attraction's website, though it is fairly well hidden.
And a rep for the Vaughan Mills Legoland admitted that she would have handled things differently — namely invited John to tour the Centre as her guest.
But Lara Hannaford stood by Centre's policy, telling CTV News "it is a child attraction so we do have this in place to protect the families and children that visit."
She went on to suggest that John should consider returning on one of the "adults-only" nights hosted at the Centre once a month.
[photo via Nicole St-Onge via CTV]