June 25, 2015. The City Information Technology sub Committee is considering a motion to produce an app designed to locate the nearest public restrooms in the City of Ottawa. The “Where to go” app would carry a multifunctional interface. More information can be found in the City background report here: Report to Council about app
TALKING TOILETS: Assessing the accessibility of public toilet provision in Ottawa, Ontario by Rachel Canham, September , 2014. This ground-breaking study looks at the way public toilets in Ottawa impact the lives of Ottawa citizens, and serves as a reference for City and provincial policies for a network public toilets in Ottawa. The research was done by interviewing 15 participants, (11 women and 3 men), with a questionnaire consisting of 15 questions about Ottawa public toilets. The interviews were analyzed, looking for common concerns about cleanliness, health, gender, monetary and security. The study concludes that: there are not enough public toilets in Ottawa, most public toilets are not clean, people are suffering mentally and physically because of the lack of Ottawa toilets, Women and children need extra toilet provisions. There not enough wheelchair or assistive-devices accessible bathrooms exist, and pay-per-use toilets are not an acceptable solution to current toilet issues. The overall consensus of the participants is that the lack of public toilets in Ottawa are an issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by citizens and policy makers. Recommendations for Ottawa toilets by participants of the study included: more public toilets, better maintenance of current toilets, more toilets that are accessible for wheelchairs and assistive devices and washrooms that are open 24/7 all season, as well as provision for security issues.
Greed, Clara. Inclusive Urban Design: Public Toilets. Architectural Press. 2003. Looking at public toilet history and provision in many countries with a focus on the UK, “This is a unique text providing both design guidance and policy direction for the provision and design of public toilets covering city-wide, district-level and site-specific principles. It highlights the role of urban design in reversing the trend of inadequate toilet provision, and sets out guidelines for design which meets both user need and provider requirements.”
To investigate the current provision of public toilets in London (UK), how this had changed in recent years and what was causing these changes. To review examples of good practice and seek to recommend how these examples could improve provision in London.
Issues considered included: What factors were causing any reduction in toilet provision and how these could be addressed: what could be done to improve access to toilets for people with children, with disabilities or medical conditions and older people; consider how to address any issues of hygiene and cleanliness.
Department for Communities and Local Government. Improving Access to Better Quality Toilets: A Strategic Guide. London UK. 2008. Focused on Britain, “ This strategic guide speaks out for public toilets: it reviews the evidence and sets out ways in which local authorities and their partners can secure improvements. It does not seek to promote public toilets above all other local services but, by arguing the case for public toilets, removing barriers to provision, and sharing good approaches and practice, aims to encourage local authorities and the business community to review the importance of provision.”
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada website. This website includes an excellent background document for their “Can’tWait!” campaign, which describes the impact that urgency issues have had on more than 1300 of their members and donors.
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human, or PHLUSH, is an all-volunteer advocacy group based in Portland, Oregon. “We collaborate with grassroots organizations, environmental activists, planners, architects, code officials and city managers”. PHLUSH has an excellent website, replete with resources.