Finding a public washroom in Toronto is a challenge in the best of times. But with community and drop-in spaces – not to mention restaurants and coffee shops – closed due to coronavirus, there are even less places to use the toilet or wash your hands.
This is particular problem for people experiencing homelessness. This week, the city opened Sanitation and Washroom Service locations for people in need of access to showers, toilets and drinking water during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The ability to practice proper hygiene is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Toronto board of health chair Joe Cressy said in a tweet. “But, due to the closure of community and drop-in spaces, some of our most vulnerable, including those experiencing homelessness, now have limited access to washrooms and hand-washing facilities.”
The 14 locations included re-opened public facilities for washrooms and showers.
There are eight portable washrooms and hand-washing stations that will be cleaned and restocked twice per day. Here are the locations:
- Alexandra Park, 275 Bathurst
- Jimmie Simpson Park, 872 Queen East
- Regent Park, 600 Dundas East
- Outside Wellesley Community Centre, 495 Sherbourne
- Moss Park, 150 Sherbourne
- Sunnyside Park, 755 Lake Shore West
- Little Norway Park, 689 Queens Quay West
- Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas East
There are also six locations specifically for people experiencing homelessness that also have showers. Here are the locations:
- Harrison Pool, 15 Stephanie
- Wallace Emerson Community Centre, 1260 Dufferin
- Regent Park Community Centre, 402 Shuter
- Centennial Park Arena (Etobicoke), 156 Centennial Park
- Commander Arena (Scarborough), 140 Commander
- Malvern Community Centre Arena (Scarborough), 30 Sewells
City staff are on-site at each location to ensure physical distancing protocols and infection prevention and control measures are being followed, Cressy said.