New Westminster, B.C. – The City of New Westminster has reached a milestone in the implementation of the Downtown Livability Strategy through the installation of a 24-hour staffed public toilet on Front Street. This is an interim solution that helps address the immediate needs of Downtown residents and visitors for a 24-hour washroom facility, until the planned permanent facility in Hyack Square is constructed.
The new temporary 24-hour staffed toilet is located at the east end of Front Street, in the parking lot of the former Army and Navy. Funding for the facility came from a combination of grant proceeds and existing budgets, with installation and staffing made possible through the cooperation of Purpose Society. The facility is open to everyone. Additional City-provided public washrooms are available during operating hours at Westminster Pier Park, Quayside Park, and Anvil Centre, and 24-hours at the police station. A permanent 24-hour public washroom is planned for installation in Hyack Square, with construction expected to start as early as this fall.
“Access to washrooms is a human right, and public washroom facilities are an essential part of a thriving community,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “The installation of this portable toilet, and the planned construction of a permanent facility, will fill a desperate need in New Westminster’s downtown area, assure safe access and dignity for all residents, and reduce some of the burden felt by downtown businesses from the lack of public facilities.”
The City is also utilizing the services of a specialized waste removal company that conducts weekday sweeps in the downtown to remove biohazardous waste from streets, sidewalks, and plantings, as well as alcoves and entryways of local businesses that wish to participate in the service.
“We have been advocating for more public toilets in the downtown core and we are pleased to see this project moving forward. Combined with the City’s biohazard removal program, we believe this will make a more enjoyable experience for businesses, residents, and visitors. We appreciate the City’s continued efforts to address livability in Downtown New Westminster,” said Karima Jivraj, President of the Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association.
The need for more public washrooms in New Westminster was underscored by the pandemic. The City is collaborating with UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning on the development of a public washroom strategy that will guide planning for additional public washrooms city-wide.
More information on the Downtown Livability Strategy can be found on our website: newwestcity.ca/downtownlivability
- 30 -