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City park washrooms to remain open in winter on trial basis

City park washrooms to remain open in winter on trial basis

Washrooms in 16 Hamilton parks are going to remain open this coming winter. It is part of a $1 Million  2-year pilot project. The feasibility of making standalone park washrooms available year-round was approved at Council on May 26, 2021. Staff surveyed all Ward Councillors to discuss the feasibility of making some park washrooms within their respective wards available for use year-round.

Starting in 2021, 12 locations will receive capital upgrades required for winter use and 4 locations will have portable toilets. In October 2022, an additional 11 locations will receive capital upgrades required for winter use, making a total of 27 washrooms in total during the pilot program. The total cost of the pilot program is $1,017,075; $340,625 in capital costs and $676,450 in operating costs (inclusive of security/monitoring) for the two years.

The capital work will include installation of heaters, insulation plumbing pipes and installation of anti-slip flooring for any ice rink site) prior to making the washrooms available for use. The washrooms will be opened, cleaned and closed by a contracted vendor managed by the Environmental Services Division, Parks and Cemeteries Section. Portable toilets will be provided where no serviced buildings exist and will be serviced by a contracted vendor.

Staff will review the program after two tears to determine usage, and possible costs of vandalism. There will be security measures in place but they will not include cameras in the washrooms. Staff were urged by Clr. Nann to conduct a satisfaction survey. The provision of washroom facilities was mention in recent reports to council on homelessness and encampment issues.

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