Hamilton plans to expand use of park washrooms this winter


Published October 17, 2023 at 5:43 pm

Hamilton plans to expand use of park washrooms this winter

As winter approaches, the city of Hamilton is gearing up to continue its winter washrooms pilot program and expand it by adding new locations to ensure residents have access to public facilities during the colder months.

Typically, out of Hamilton’s 55 park washrooms, all but four are closed from October to May due to reasons such as lack of heating, susceptibility to vandalism, or insufficient cleaning staff.

However, after the project’s inception, a total of 14 washrooms and nine portable toilet locations,  were made available for winter use, and in 2022, two additional locations received upgrades for winter operation.

Locations that will be added this year are Confederation Park, and the Mountain Drive Park’s port-o-let will be converted into a permanent washroom building.

Councilor T. Jackson stated, “A brand-new restroom facility is currently under construction at Mountain Drive Park,” with an expectation that it would be completed by Christmas this year.

A public survey conducted in August, gathered feedback from the community, that indicated strong support for the continuation of the program, according to Cynthia Graham, Director of Environmental Services at the Public Works Department.

The survey results indicated that Hamilton residents favoured permanent restroom facilities over portable ones and desired extended opening hours, particularly keeping them open later.

Park washrooms are usually open between 8-10 a.m. and closed between dusk and 11 p.m., based on the location of the washroom, the opening and closing times may vary.

The winterizing public washrooms project, approved in May 2021, was initiated after concerns were raised about the limited availability of public washrooms in parks, particularly in the winter season.

The total cost of the pilot program amounted to over $1 million in 2021-22, covering washroom upgrade costs, maintenance, operating costs (including security and monitoring), and administrative expenses.

Now the Public Works Committee is asking the city to fund an additional $484,525 to provide winter washroom access from November 1 to March 31, 2024.

An allocation of $581,430 to make this program a permanent feature in 2024, with the cost to be referred to the 2024 Tax Budget process.

Specific park location upgrades for the same period in 2023-2024 will require $66,900, with an additional $80,330 needed to cover the entire winter season in 2024.

Winterized washrooms for 2021-22, by park name: 

Ward 1:

  • Alexander Park
  • Victoria Park Baseball Washrooms

Ward 2:

  • Pier 4 Park (Gartshore Thomson Building)

Ward 3:

  • Woodland Park
  • Gage Park Washroom (by Baseball Diamond)
  • Gage Park Washroom (by Spray Pad)
  • JC Beemer Park

Ward 6:

  • Mohawk Sports Park Parks storage building
  • Portable Toilet: Mountain Drive Park

Ward 7:

  • T. B. McQuesten Park
  • Portable Toilet: Eastmount Park
  • Portable Toilet: Sam Lawrence Park

Ward 8:

  • Bruce Park
  • Buchanan Park
  • William Connell Park

Ward 13:

  • Dundas Driving Park
  • Portable Toilet: Strabane Community Park

Ward 15:

  • Portable Toilet: Joe Sam’s Park
  • Portable Toilet: Churchill Park

Other Locations:

  • HAAA Park
  • Portable Toilet: Bayfront Park
  • Confederation Beach Park – Sports Park (approved but not available due to construction)
  • Portable Toilet: Hamilton Beach Trail (Kinsmen Park)
  • Portable Toilet: Lion’s Outdoor Pool (Hemming Park)
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