Some Toronto park washrooms still aren't open yet and local residents are peeved
It's feeling close to 30 C in Toronto these days as summer settles in, and while people have been happily getting outdoors, some are finding it hard to fully enjoy all of the city's greenspaces for one very obvious reason.
Though the season doesn't commence proper for a few more days, park amenities like washrooms and drinking fountains are known to get opened as the warm weather arrives earlier in the year — but many of these facilities are frustratingly still shuttered despite the early summer weather.
Still hundreds of people out in their lake side park on a warm bright June evening, wasn’t yet 9pm or sunset when I took this & washroom locked & fountain cobwebbed & off.— Shawn Micallef (@shawnmicallef) June 15, 2022
Watching people try the door.
How long are we going to fucking do this?
Tory’s Toronto in steep decline. pic.twitter.com/DhAzZFQKE0
It's something that even John Tory has expressed frustration over, with the mayor saying earlier in June that he intended to "modernize the City's park services to make sure more services are activated earlier in the year."
The topic was brought up at City Council's June 16 meeting, during which a few members questioned the city's service standards, which currently state that all water fountains should be turned on by the end of June.
I want to modernize the City's park services to make sure more services are activated earlier in the year.— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) June 10, 2022
Next week at City Council, I'll be bringing forward a motion to ensure that Toronto's parks are accessible as soon as possible to park users following the winter. pic.twitter.com/lF7mcVUI1T
When it comes to washrooms, most were due to be opened by May 24, but some that require repair remain locked — the same goes for water fountains that need to be serviced, of which there are "a few."
Tory's motion to expedite opening these facilities in future years carried unanimously, while some staffers advocated for year-round bathrooms, which would certainly require more resources.
Hello there, the City is in the process of changing water assets including drinking fountains in parks. This will cause a delay in having drinking fountains open for the start of Spring 2022. ^cd— 311 Toronto (@311Toronto) May 16, 2022
The City tells blogTO that there are more than 2,000 water assets in our parks — including 140 washrooms and 700 drinking fountains — with the former usually opened by the Victoria Day long weekend and the latter by the end of June.
"We aim to meet this standard, or better, each year, when operationally feasible. A representative said.
"This year, with the exception of those that require repair, all drinking fountains and seasonal washrooms in parks are now open."
Those exceptions add up to only six washrooms, four of which have been fixed since May.
"It is important to note that the number of closed washrooms and fountains will fluctuate daily if a washroom requires repair and has to be temporarily closed. When a washrooms or fountain is closed, staff notify 311 and post a sign on the park washroom indicating temporarily closure and route to nearest other washroom if available."
Matlow: “Just to be clear: it is NOT a fact that all washrooms by May 24. It is NOT a fact that all water fountains have now been activated.”— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) June 16, 2022
Johnson: “All those that were operational, washroom-wise, were open by the 24th. All the fountains that are operational by end of June.”
Residents can expect that all drinking fountains and wading pools in city parks to be open by June 30. Hopefully, the two faulty washrooms will also be fixed by that time.
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