Toronto's new subway stations don't have washrooms
Toronto transit riders are, for the most part, loving all six of the brand new subway stations on Line 1.
From Downsview Park to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, each of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension stops boast beautiful public art, free WiFi, state-of-the art green features, and tons of highly impressive design elements.
But only one of those stations – the last one on the line – has a public washroom.
Accessibility advocates, among others, are speaking out this week to ask why, with a budget of $2.6 billion, the TTC didn't build more places for its passengers to take care of business along Line 1.
"If the stations were being built from the ground up you would have thought there would have been an opportunity to put in washrooms," said Rasheed Clarke of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to The Star.
For people with chronic gastrointestinal or other health conditions, accessible washrooms aren't just a luxury, they're a necessity – and there are currently only 11 TTC washrooms across the entire network.
It is absurd that every Subway restaurant has public bathrooms but the entirety of the #ttc has like 4— Sam Edwards (@sameyouknow) October 30, 2017
York University professor Chris Robinson, a union steward for the faculty disability caucus, called the oversight "a failure to respond to the way the world has changed."
"I would have been happy if they made it more functional and less architecturally brilliant, by making sure they had washrooms in stations," he said of the new York University Station. "That seems to me would have been a reasonable use of public money."
A lot of TTC riders seem to agree, and have been saying so on Twitter for many years.
When asked about the lack of washrooms, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told The Toronto Star that it's because of "a long-standing TTC policy."
Washrooms have traditionally only been installed at the ends of subway lines, save for the bathroom at Bloor-Yonge station.
"Any reconsideration of the policy would have to come from the board at which time we could cost out retrofits," said Green.
— TTC Customer Service (@TTChelps) July 7, 2017
For now, it looks like Toronto transit riders will just have to deal – or find another way to get around.
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