Public Washroom Advocacy
The COVID-19 pandemic showed us where the inequitites lie in our public spaces, but the work doesn't stop there. As our population grows, people are using public space more than ever before. But where do we go when we "gotta go"?
While many people are discovering the benefits of public space, we are also seeing how our current public washroom infrastructure is inadequate to meet the needs of our housed and unhoused community members. People of all walks of life are relying on washrooms in public parks to relieve themselves in absence of the ability to do so in fast food restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, and community centres.
The absence of a robust network of public washrooms in Toronto means that people are using alleyways and parks as places to go. Not only is this an issue for park users, this is a serious public health issue.
The TPSC has made progress in our goal to connect Torontonians with, and advocate for, a robust network of all-season and accessible public washrooms.
With the change in seasons and the subsequent closures of Spring/Summer washrooms in parks, many Torontonians are finding themselves wondering, "Where do you go when you gotta go?" In October, we launched GottaGoTO, a washroom mapping initiative led by Derek Pokora in collaboration with the TPSC and TOToiletCodes. The goal of this initiative is to identify and catalogue public washrooms in the City of Toronto.
In addition, we recently partnered with the University of Toronto's Department of Geography and Planning as part of their Master of Science in Planning Workshop class to develop policy proposals to guide the City of Toronto's supply of accessible and inclusive public washrooms. We hope to utilize this research to inform and guide our campaign on accessible washrooms. Please read it below!
COVID-19 Toronto Resources Map (Includes water, washrooms, showers, and more!)
TO Toilet Codes (A collection of Toronto bathroom codes - Twitter @totoiletcodes)
GottaGoTO: (Map created in Partnership with Derek Pokora of Public Washrooms in Toronto)
Gotta Go TO Report: A Public Washroom Strategy for Toronto (Prepared in Partnership with UofT Geography and Planning Department)