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‘Practical and thought-provoking’ pop-up public toilets open in Winnipeg

Pop-up toilets popped up outside Holy Trinity Church in Downtown Winnipeg Monday.
Pop-up toilets popped up outside Holy Trinity Church in Downtown Winnipeg Monday. Randall Paull / Global News

Where do you go, when you need to go, downtown?

Downtown Winnipeg Biz rolled out their plan for alleviating the challenge of finding public washroom facilities Monday.

Pop-up public toilets were shown off at their current location near Holy Trinity Church on Graham Avenue at Smith Street.

Ads promoting the pop-up pilot project could be seen on downtown bus shelters.
Ads promoting the pop-up pilot project could be seen on downtown bus shelters. Global News
Pop-up toilets, featuring side-by-side units are expected to be set up in one of four locations in the core area of Winnipeg  through the summer and fall.
Pop-up toilets, featuring side-by-side units are expected to be set up in one of four locations in the core area of Winnipeg through the summer and fall. Randall Paull / Global News
The pop-up potties will be maintained through a partnership with Siloam Mission.
The pop-up potties will be maintained through a partnership with Siloam Mission. Randall Paull / Global News
Pop-up toilets popped up outside Holy Trinity Church in Downtown Winnipeg Monday.
Pop-up toilets popped up outside Holy Trinity Church in Downtown Winnipeg Monday. Randall Paull / Global News
Pop-up toilets popped up in Downtown Winnipeg Monday.
Pop-up toilets popped up in Downtown Winnipeg Monday. Randall Paull / Global News

Access to public washrooms is a constant challenge, for people who need them and for businesses frequently fielding requests from people wanting to use their facilities. Even worse, people sometimes simply relieve themselves in a public place.

Several businesses in the core area said they regularly have to clean up after their doorsteps or storefronts have been used as someone’s impromptu toilet.

READ MORE: ‘Not enough public washrooms’: Winnipeg business owner fed up with public urination

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Downtown Biz CEO Stefano Grande said there used to be public facilities Downtown and thanks to their partnership with Siloam Mission, now there are again.

“We knew those visiting downtown weren’t flush with options, so its is our hope these new toilets will be both practical and thought provoking,” Stefano added.

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Access to washrooms has long been a topic of much debate, with businesses often restricting use of their facilities to customers only.

The temporary toilets will be relocated every few weeks among four sites in the downtown area through the summer:

  • Graham Avenue at Smith Street
  • The SHED (Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District)
  • off Main Street
  • near Portage Place

Hours of operation will start out at 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the possibility of an expanded schedule.  One of the two toilets was designed to be fully accessible.

READ MORE: Montreal prepares to unveil new high-tech, self-cleaning public bathrooms

Staff from Siloam Mission will maintain the units, in addition to operating an attached kiosk which will offer t-shirts, water bottles and art cards. Proceeds raised will go toward Siloam programs.

The total cost of the pilot project was about $100,000.