It’s one of the best views of Calgary, and every year, hundreds of graduates flock to Scotsman’s Hill to take pictures with the beautiful downtown backdrop — but those limo trips are causing concern for residents in the area.
“It’s one of those things that continuously gets brought up every year, and it’s the fact that people use our hill when they visit as a rest stop as well,” said Erin Joslin, vice president external of the Ramsay Community Association, on Wednesday.
“Basically, they’re using our hill as a public washroom, public urination.”
The Ramsay Community Association shared photos of graduates stopping at the hill over the weekend and taking pictures. Then, two male grads urinate in the park.
Although the photos only show two grads peeing in the park, residents in the community told Global News it’s an issue that happens quite often.
“It’s something that we pick up on,” Joslin said. “Most of the neighbours across the street, when they’re looking out across their beautiful view, this is what they’re getting interrupted with.”
Last year, the association posted a photo of a group of men and women apparently urinating with Calgary’s Saddledome as a backdrop.
That photo prompted community members to speak up and demand a solution.
The city installed two portable washrooms on the hill early last month in anticipation of graduates needing a pit stop during their photos. Joslin said some are using that option, but public urination continues to be an issue.
The Calgary Police Service agrees. Officers said if you’re caught peeing in public, you’re in for a hefty fine.
“Public urination certainly is not respectful behaviour, and it’s a bylaw punishable offence actually — a $300 fine — but we don’t want to go down that road,” Sgt. Todd McNutt told Global News. “Don’t make those mistakes you’ll regret after a great night that should be full of good memories.”
The community association has reached out to the City of Calgary for a solution.
Tour buses are already banned from the hill, but the association doesn’t want to push for a limo ban yet.
“It’s grad season, the grads come up here and they take their photos with their beautiful gowns and tuxedos, and to punish everyone for a few bad people doesn’t seem appropriate at this time,” Joslin said.
According to the City of Calgary, community peace officers will continue to patrol the area throughout the spring and summer months, but there are no plans to install more portable toilets in the area.
Residents are encouraged to call 311 with any concerns they have.