Downtown Ottawa’s Hidden Public Toilets

GottaGo has identified 22 Public Toilets in Ottawa downtown but zero street level signs to help visitors and residents locate them.

There are 3 Public Toilets (i.e. unrestricted access when not closed)

  1. ByWard Market
  2. Major’s Hill park
  3. East side of Parliament Hill

And 12 Toilets in Public Buildings (access through a building built to provide a service to the public)

  1. Tourist Information Kiosk
  2. Ottawa Art Gallery
  3. Supreme Court
  4. Library and Archives Canada
  5. National Gallery
  6. Bank of Canada Museum
  7. The Mint
  8. National Arts Centre
  9. City Hall
  10. Arts Court
  11. Ottawa Public Library
  12. Bytown Museum

And 7 toilets in commercial and other buildings (as listed in the Canadian Heritage Tourist Map)

  1. Chateau Laurier
  2. World Exchange Plaza
  3. The Ismaili Imamat
  4. Lord Elgin Hotel
  5. Government Conference Centre
  6. Shaw Centre
  7. Rideau Centre

What planning logic decides that these are built and maintained but provide no help to people seeking one?

What does a way-finding sign affixed to a lamp post cost for the city to install? A few hundred dollars at most.

The 15 buildings in the first two categories should also have a Public Toilet sign on their exteriors.  The ‘guerrilla’ signs that GottaGo has occasionally erected cost us less than $10 each.

We have ten million visitors and one million residents – how do they find a toilet?

A modest investment on street and exterior signs would help make Ottawa a people-friendly city.