NEWS

Toronto's pay toilets not easy to locate

01/02/2012 09:19 EST | Updated 03/03/2012 05:12 EST

Toronto city officials are having trouble finding places to locate public pay toilets.

The first toilet was installed at Queen’s Quay and Rees Street in May 2010.

The toilet, which costs a quarter to use, is part of the city's contract with Astral Media. It calls for 19 toilets to be installed in other city locations over the next 15 years.

The toilets offer the user 20 uninterrupted minutes of use. They self-clean and are wheelchair accessible.

Astral pays for the toilets — which cost about $400,000 — and covers the maintenance costs.

But finding locations has been a problem for city officials. The toilets are heavy and must be located close to utility lines.

Fiona Chapman is the city's acting manager of street furniture.

“The challenge is that they're quite large, about three metres square, and we don't have that many sidewalks that are wide enough can accommodate that,” she told CBC News.

Despite problems locating the toilets, Chapman said the Queen’s Quay toilet has been a success.

“We've heard people concerned about vagrants using them or hanging out, our experience with Rees Street washroom has been uniformly positive,” she said.

Chapman says the city plans to install another pay toilet in the Woodbine beach area in 2012.

Larry Laporte lives near the Queen's Quay toilet and says it's a good addition to the area.

"I haven't used it but I have put a quarter in and looked inside," he said. "It's not dirty, that's for sure. If I had to use it, I would."

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