A self-described "Lego fanatic" isn't feeling the love after a trip to the Legoland Discovery Center in Vaughan, Canada, ended before he was even allowed inside.
John St-Onge, was barred from entering a Legoland Discovery Center because he was not accompanied by a child. His adult daughter, Nicole, had traveled with St-Onge on the three-hour drive from their hometown of Windsor, Ontario, to realize her father's long-time dream, but that was not enough to get them through the door, CTV News reports.
“I felt discriminated against,” St-Onge recalled to the National Post. “[I was thinking] ‘What, are you painting a label on my back, that I'm a pedophile?’ That's what really, really, really bothered me. What do you think I'm going to do in there?”
St-Onge says his interest in the toy playsets began when his kids were born and continued long after they outgrew them. He now has an estimated 50,000 lego pieces in his collection, which he uses to stay occupied when health problems keep him indoors. (John has diabetes and cancer, and he is recovering from heart surgery, CTV notes.)
He's long wanted to visit the Legoland store in Denmark -- the location of the company's headquarters -- but the same health problems that keep him indoors also prevent him from flying.
"The look on his face was like a child not getting the gift at Christmas that they want," Nicole told the outlet. "He felt discriminated against because he's a senior citizen who also happens to like Lego."
In an emailed comment to The Huffington Post, the Vaughan Legoland Discovery Center's general manager René Gurtner explained the policy is intended to create a safe, family-oriented environment.
Legoland Discovery Center's primary objective is to provide a safe and fun attraction for families with children aged three to twelve years to enjoy together. In order to constantly maintain a welcoming and safe environment in which to play, the Centre does not permit entry to groups of adults, adult couples, or lone adults, who are not accompanied by a child or children under the age of 18.
Gurtner added that all Legoland Discovery Centers have the same policy, which is stated on their website (albeit in a hard to find location). They do, however, hold "adults only" nights from time to time.
CLARIFICATION: The story has been updated to clarify that the incident happened at a Legoland Discovery Center. Legoland Discovery Center and "Legoland" are separate Lego-themed attractions.
PHOTO of John St-Onge and one of his Lego sets: