Victoria’s next public toilet has found its forever home.
By fall 2022, the 700-block of Broughton Street will see a widening of the sidewalk at the southeast corner of Douglas Street and the nearby installation of a street-side, 24-hour washroom.
Council unanimously approved the staff-suggested spot for the new loo during Thursday’s (March 10) committee of the whole meeting.
The project has been in the works since 2019, when the city approved $400,000 for the new facility. Breaking down the costs Thursday, staff said $50,000 is required for technical design and civil engineering, $200,000 for the purchase of the washroom itself and $150,000 is for construction.
The price tag is significantly higher than for a similar facility the city installed on Langley Street in 2011, mostly due to the cost of the washroom increasing from the original $90,000. Despite the cost, staff said they still believe their chosen design is the best option.
Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, a major proponent for more public washrooms over the years, said the facilities are important for ensuring business doorways and parking garages aren’t used as toilets. She said they’re well used by people experiencing homelessness, taxi and bus drivers, the bar crowd and parents with young children.
City staff say the “Langley Loo” is used an estimated 500 times a day.
The proposed washroom is designed to be large enough to accommodate bikes, strollers, walkers and wheelchairs, but Coun. Stephen Andrew asked that staff consult the accessibility working group before finalizing their choice.
Councillors approved the site, along with Andrew’s amendment.
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