Good luck finding a place to pee in Toronto this winter

With only a dozen or so park washrooms open until April, get ready to cross your thermal-covered legs when you have to go


Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of yellow snow this winter. Only a dozen or so of Toronto’s parks have open washrooms this season. And of those that are open, many close as early as 2 pm.

“Most park washrooms are seasonal due to the limited number of winterized park buildings with year-round access to running water,” reads the city’s website. These restrictions are in place until April 30, 2021.

Included on the list of open washrooms is: Kew Gardens in the Beach, which is open from 7 am to 9 pm (the longest time of them all); Riverdale Farm (9 am to 5 pm); and High Park, which has two washrooms – one near the Bloor entrance, another near the Parkside entrance – which both operate from 10am to “dusk.”

There’s also an open washroom at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, but you can only access it after you’ve purchased a ticket. Speaking of the ferry, once you’re on the islands, you can let loose. There are four open washrooms – at Hanlan’s Point, northwest of the pier, south of Ward’s dock and north of Ward’s dock – open 24 hours.

The site does say that washrooms are available at most of the city’s outdoor ice rinks. These include many downtown areas like Christie Pits, College Park, Dufferin Grove Park and Jimmy Simpson Park. The full list of rinks is here. Keep in mind: Most of them don’t open until late November.

During the early days of the pandemic, it was hard to find a place to relieve oneself. Things got so bad that one local comic made a hilarious sketch about it. As we progressed from stages two to three, things loosened up again. But now that winter’s descending, and we’re in the second wave, you might be nervously crossing your thermal-covered legs until you get home.

@glennsumi

Comments (3)

  • Ellis Portal October 30, 2020 06:08 PM

    I have Crohn’s and when I need a washroom, I need it NOW. During the lockdown in April, the only places to go were the subway washrooms. I got caught short twice in open wilderness areas near railroad tracks. They were deserted but not deserted enough and there was no foliage to hide in. I wasn’t caught but it took fifteen minutes or more to find a place obscure enough. It was horrible. Thank God, I had tissues with me.

  • Vicintoronto October 31, 2020 04:58 AM

    Okeefe Lane running from Dundas Square south to Shuter has become a favorite 24/7 for far too many.

  • Kate Eese October 31, 2020 01:56 PM

    I am in the same boat with Crohns – and this is too hard for me to venture far home. It isn’t a matter of “having to go” – it is violent cramping with minimal control. I cannot describe how painful it is and we ask for compassion from those who can help us.

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