|Public toilets (clockwise from top left): Just off Chapel St., Melbourne; St. Kilda, Melbourne; Public toilet as street art, Auckland New Zealand; Paris, France|
Here is a link to the City of Calgary's "Public Washroom Initiative" which appears not to have been updated in at least a couple of years. Here's the link to the 2008 report on public toilets which contains tons of great information. The main conclusion of the report presented to City Council on December 8, 2008, that a Public Washroom Strategy -- defined as a core business in a business unit -- be established, was not acted on. Instead city council "recommended to Administration" that it should:
1. Expand where appropriate the potential of existing toilets, through extended operating hours, way finding signage and other forms of public information, including electronic means;
2. Develop policy and plans for public toilets incrementally, as experience and knowledge is gained, and explore the costs and benefits of other toilet types; and
3. Explore creative funding options, such as advertising or user fees, partnerships with other agencies, corporate sponsorship, or combining toilets with other funded initiatives.
In other words, unless something jumps up and bites them, for the city the issue is out of sight, out of mind. While the Centre City team continues "to look for new opportunities" for public toilet initiatives, there are no pro-active initiatives underway to secure new public toilets, in fact, other than the East Village APTs no new opportunities have been identified since Tomkins Park in 2008.
The two new APTs on the River Walk were, in fact, funded my the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the city agency responsible for development in East Village. They were not part of a comprehensive public toilet initiative, but a band-aid solution to a crisis reflecting the most negative human effects of homelessness and poverty, one that was particularly visible in Calgary's newest neighbourhood.
The crisis was spurred by the passage of the harsh public behaviour bylaws enacted in 2006 when the city realized that unless it provided more alternatives the remand centre would be filled with public pee-ers.
In 2005 the city hired Iris Li, a student from the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary to work on the issue of public toilets during the summer of 2005. Her findings are reported in: Urban Revitalization: Public Toilet Alternatives for the East Village and the Downtown. This report was presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services in January, 2006, as part of report # CPS2006-03, "A Vibrant and Safe Downtown."
To their immense credit the only reason Tomkins Park exists at all was because of a combined efforts by a number of city business units which pooled resources from existing budgets to construct the APT. The fact the city has dropped the ball likely means we won't be looking forward to any new public toilets in the near future in Calgary.