Ottawa needs accessible, free, clean, safe and environmentally responsible public toilets and water fountains with signage at major transit stops, key public places and parks to meet the needs of residents and tourists.
Ottawa lags way behind many cities in Canada (Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver) and elsewhere (Japan, South Korea, New Zealand). Ottawa needs an extensive network of public toilets to serve the ever growing community.
Join GottaGo! in putting pressure on the City of Ottawa, National Capital Commission and Ottawa Tourism to show tangible leadership in providing free, accessible, clean, safe and environmentally responsible public toilets with handwashing stations. Together we can bring changes to make Ottawa a livable city for everyone.
- Write or approach city councillors about the need for public toilets in your area.
- Write letters to the local media and radio stations, as well as CBC, CTV and Ottawa Citizen about public toilet issues and urge them to cover this in their reporting in print, digital, air and TV.
- Help with public toilet signage. Contact GottaGo!
- Initiate a research project (or idea for research) – such as i) examples of safe, clean, and accessible public toilets around the world; ii) history of public toilets in Ottawa; iii) willingness of private businesses such as coffee shops to allow public to use their toilets, in exchange for a small subsidy from the city, or NCC; and iv) assess the willingness of the city to consider subsidizing businesses to provide public toilets.
- Become a member of GottaGo! Core Team
- Assist us with lobbying city councillors. Contact GottaGo!.
Remind them that:
- Ottawa lags way behind many cities in Canada (Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver) and elsewhere (Japan, South Korea, New Zealand). Ottawa needs an extensive network of public toilets to serve the ever growing community.
- Public toilets are essential public infrastructure in maintaining a healthy society. Public toilets are the most intimate way to show that we care and should be treated like any public infrastructure such as roads and buildings.
- Public toilets are an indispensable public health service. It is a basic human right and a moral imperative in ensuring human dignity. More than ever, COVID 19 has made clear that clean, safe and accessible public toilets is fundamentally a public health issue.
Ask them to take a stand and do the following:
- Re-think and re-design public toilets to enhance infection control. This could include changes such as: touchless or sensor taps, transparent soap dispensers, paper towels (not the air blasters), exit doors that open out, self cleaning and an attendant.
- Ensure that open, clean public toilets and water fountains accessible to people of all abilities are installed at LRT stations including Phase 2, at Park & Ride lots across Ottawa, including suburban and rural areas.
- Invest in signage, appropriate hours, staffing, improvements and maintenance for existing public toilets to bring them to a standard fitting to a national capital.
- Provide subsidies to private businesses in key locations in return for open access, improvements to their toilet facilities, oversight and signage.
- Add at least one 24/7 unisex, direct access facility accessible to persons of all abilities to public buildings in high traffic areas.
- Invest in at least two adult “changing stations” for users with severe disabilities.
- Require new developments in key areas to provide for unisex street-access toilets accessible to persons of all abilities as part of their permitting.
- Build/install new architecturally beautiful public toilets where required.
Don’t forget to tell city councillors, NCC, Ottawa Tourism and the media that you will be calling back in two weeks for an update. Keep calling back and share feedback with us!