City to consider downtown public washroom test project
REGINA -- If you’ve ever been to a downtown event and struggled to find a washroom, the City of Regina is considering a potential relief.
On Thursday, the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee is set to consider greenlighting a pilot project that would test stand-alone public washrooms in Regina’s downtown.
An outline of the proposal, ordered by council in April, credits the Regina Downtown Business Improvement District and other community organizations for driving increased day-to-day use, programming and events in downtown in recent years.
Based on numbers from administration, there are 50 public washrooms in the city. Of those, two are found downtown: one at the Regina Public Library’s main branch and the others at City Hall.
According to Google Maps, the RPL washroom is about a two minute walk from City Square Plaza, while City Hall is about a five minute walk.
The catch: neither are open all the time, meaning they’re inaccessible during some downtown events.
The proposed pilot project would last for one season and test the need, operating challenges and effectiveness of installing a stand-alone washroom in the downtown, by using a temporary “comfort station” or washroom trailer similar to the one used by RDBID in the plaza in 2018.
It would be in place from May to the end of September 2020 and would be open from dawn to dusk, with longer hours for special events.
One operating challenge identified from other cities with downtown public washrooms involved illegal activity, with nine of the 10 western Canadian municipalities consulted reporting ongoing issues with criminal activity.
“Administration heard from several municipalities that operations and maintenance of these facilities is challenging, due to a high level of vandalism and illegal behavior,” the report reads. “As such, Administration is recommending that a pilot project be undertaken to install a temporary washroom facility on the plaza for May through September of 2020.”
If approved by the committee, the pilot project would be put to a council vote at their Oct. 28 meeting.