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Winnipeg officially opens first temporary downtown public washrooms

The City of Winnipeg open the first three of seven temporary public washrooms coming to the downtown Tuesday. Getty Images

The City of Winnipeg launched the first phase of its public restroom strategy Tuesday, opening three temporary public washrooms in the city’s downtown.

The new temporary restrooms — a first step before permanent loos can be built — are located at 473 Selkirk Ave., 26 Osborne St., and 345 Portage Ave.

“Winnipeg has transformed since the last public washroom closed, and I’m happy to see this strategy moving forward to ensure there will be more places to go Downtown,” said Mayor Brian Bowman in a city release.

Read more: Winnipeg to have 7 temporary public washrooms up and running by week’s end

In July, the city decided to adopt the “Places to Go” downtown public restroom strategy, as a way to provide a dignified way for vulnerable people to have access to basic facilities.

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Since then, the Public Service has been working with End Homelessness Winnipeg and other stakeholders to find the most appropriate areas.

Click to play video: 'Focus Manitoba: Winnipeg bathroom hoping to win first prize' Focus Manitoba: Winnipeg bathroom hoping to win first prize
Focus Manitoba: Winnipeg bathroom hoping to win first prize – Oct 4, 2016

“The Places to Go Strategy is about profound human dignity and making sure that Winnipeg’s most vulnerable among us have access to basic human rights and necessities,” said Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Sherri Rollins, chair of the city’s protection, community services and parks committee

The city says three more temporary units at 75 Martha St. and another at 222 Furby St. should be opening as well in the coming days.

The temporary restrooms are expected to cost the city $50,000, to be followed by $620,000 for the permanent facilities.

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

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The full $670,000 was provided by the Canadian Medical Association Foundation in June, to be used for COVID-19-related supports for vulnerable people.

Construction of the permanent washrooms is expected to start in 2021, the city says.

— With files from Will Reimer 

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