Seeing the public good after the first one was built four years ago, Coun. Scott McKeen wants the city to build another stand alone public washroom, similar to the one that’s at Gateway and Whyte.
“It’s an issue of dignity for people who are homeless, who are vulnerable and who are not allowed into a lot of places unfortunately,” he said after getting the ball rolling with a notice of motion at a council committee meeting.
The demand is there, especially he said after a ride along with police where he saw the aftermath of a late night of partying at the Jasper ave hospitality spots. “If you were to visit one of those back alleys on a Sunday morning, you would know that it had gone on all night. So it’s just for public order, and being humane to people and maybe even recognizing that the downtown like Whyte avenue is now attracting more and more tourists.”
“When I was involved in the 2013 campaign I went to a seniors facility in McCauley and those seniors were giving me grief for the fact that homeless people were using their parking lot as a washroom. But they weren’t mad about that, they were mad that the city had not given those people a public washroom that they could use. It was actually really sort of uplifting to hear that.”
He said one is needed downtown, and maybe even in the three adjoining neighborhoods, Boyle Street, MacCauley and Central MacDougall. “I think that location will have to be determined. Maybe there are washrooms that already exist in some of the social agencies that we could partner with.”
At Tuesday’s executive committee, Diane Kereluk of the Stony Plain Business Association said there is demand in several parts of the city for something similar.