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Which of us has not been caught short by our need for a toilet? The Crohns and Colitis Foundation surveyed their members in 2008 only to find that more than 85% of them had been humiliated in this way. What parent has not had their child urinate or defecate behind a tree in a park? Which pregnant woman, tourist, bus user, cyclist or jogger has not had moments where they worry about getting to a facility in time?
Although Ottawa does have public restrooms in large parks, their hours do not accommodate need. Small parks, rinks and splash pads often have no washroom facilities at all. transit stations do not have public toilets. In the downtown, where bars and restaurants are located, residents complain about people urinating after hours in laneways and buildings, and restaurant and bar owners fret about non-paying customers using their washrooms. Accessible toilets are a public health issue. The current situation is unacceptable in a capital city!
Please join Joan Kuyek, Chair of the “Gotta go!” campaign for a discussion of this initiative aimed to create a network of safe, accessible, free, clean and environmentally responsible public toilets and water fountains in key public places in Ottawa, learn what actions other municipalities are taking to match the effective public toilet programs of Tokyo, Paris, London, Seoul, Portland (Oregon) and other progressive cities.
Wednesday April 16 2014
Octopus Books Centretown Location
@ 25One Community (2nd Floor, 251 Bank St.)
Bring Your Lunch!
“Public toilets represent society’s finest aspirations about responsible civil behaviour. A great city has great public toilets” (Bridgeman).
Joan Kuyek is the chair of GottaGo! and has been an activist organizer since the 1960s, based in Kingston and then in Sudbury. In 1999, she moved to Ottawa as the founding National Co-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada. Retired in 2009, she continues to work as a contract instructor at Carleton, Queen’s and Algoma Universities, and with communities facing mining issues. She is the author of Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach (2011) and a number of other books and articles.