See below for a list of research projects, conducted on behalf of the GottaGo campaign.


Are Public Toilets Safe? A Study of Issues Raised and Successful Models

This report discusses some common safety concerns surrounding public toilets: fears of violence, substance use and sanitation; and provides an analysis of what other cities have done to address these concerns. It concludes that when public toilets are openly discussed and planned for in a community without stigmatization, safe public washrooms can emerge.



GottaGo! The Royal Flush: A Review of the Challenges Associated with Design, Costs and Innovations of Public Toilets in Canada

Melanie Fingold, Jennifer Luchuk, Katrina Mallette
SOWK 5013W – Community Based Participatory Research
Professor Pam Grassau
April 14th, 2020

Exploring accessibility and inclusion in public toilets (August 2019), by Katherine Webber (Rodney Warmington Churchill fellow, Australia). This report reflects conversations Ms. Webber had with community groups (including GottaGo), advocates, local government, and industry in the United States of America, Canada, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Germany, exploring how they are developing innovative solutions to support inclusive and accessible public toilets.

Ecological designs for public toilets (February 2018) by Salma Tihani (University of Ottawa). A summary of 11 ecological design proposals, including information about the company, country, waterless (or not), composting (or not), pros and cons, cost, odour control and comments.

GottaGo Advocacy strategy (April 2017). This document is a detailed advocacy strategy for the our Campaign, done by Master of Social Work students at Carleton’s School of Social Work. As a part of strategy, Gotta Go! decided to re-focus our efforts on maximizing the existing public toilet infrastructure in Ottawa.

Flushing Inequality: a research project to assess the state of Ottawa’s municipally-funded toilets. (May 2016). A team of MSW students from Carleton University working with GottaGo! looked at a large sample of Ottawa’s public toilets and found them sadly lacking.

Executive Summary

Full Report


GottaGo! Project Report

Carleton University, School of Industrial Design, February 2015

Over a four week period in January 2015, 46 second year industrial design students were challenged to develop public washroom concepts for eight varying locations in Ottawa. Each team made a 1:10 or a 1:20 scale model for their location, and this report explains the rationale behind their decisions.

  1. The LRT Station at Bayview
  2. The Kanata Park’n’Ride at Eagleson Road
  3. The Ottawa River Bike Path across from the Naval War Memorial
  4. Parc Optimiste in Vanier
  5. Dundonald Park close on Somerset Street
  6. Strathcona Park close to the Rideau River
  7. Rideau Street adjacent to the Metro Car Park
  8. Byward Market adjacent to the Public Car Park

Toilets Please for Dundonald Park (TP4DP) is a research report undertaken for GottaGo! about the need for a public toilet in a busy park in the centre part of Ottawa by Kristina Ropke in 2015. Ropke surveyed 282 residents, both immediate neighbours and people from surrounding high rises. Over 80% were in favour of getting a toilet. For many seniors and low income people in the apartment buildings, the park was their only access to the outdoors, but they were prevented from spending time there by the lack of an accessible public toilet. The full report is available here TP4DP report.

GottaGo! campaign Ottawa: Public Toilet Maps. By Sarah Good (April 2015). This project laid the foundation for a map of existing public toilets in the city. It provided the basis for the App, Ott/pee.

TALKING TOILETS: Assessing the accessibility of public toilet provision in Ottawa, Ontario by Rachel Canham, September, 2014. This ground-breaking study looks at the way public toilets in Ottawa impact the lives of Ottawa citizens, and serves as a reference for municipal and provincial policies for a network public toilets in Ottawa. The research was done by interviewing 15 participants, (11 women and 3 men), with a questionnaire consisting of 15 questions about Ottawa public toilets. The interviews were analyzed, looking for common concerns about cleanliness, health, gender, monetary and security. The study concludes that: there are not enough public toilets in Ottawa, most public toilets are not clean, people are suffering mentally and physically because of the lack of Ottawa toilets, Women and children need extra toilet provisions. There are not enough wheelchair or assistive-devices accessible bathrooms exist, and pay-per-use toilets are not an acceptable solution to current toilet issues. The overall consensus of the participants is that the lack of public toilets in Ottawa are an issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by citizens and policy makers. Recommendations for Ottawa toilets by participants of the study included: more public toilets, better maintenance of current toilets, more toilets that are accessible for wheelchairs and assistive devices and washrooms that are open 24/7 all season, as well as provision for security issues.

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