Here’s what some readers have to say about public restrooms in the subway: “The limited number of washroom facilities that the TTC has for its patrons are in horrible shape ... wet floors, lack of stalls, latches that don’t close properly, lack of tissue paper, etc.
“A number of them — Don Mills, Sheppard, Eglinton and Bloor in particular — are now so dirty and neglected that it would take a real emergency to make anyone use them.
“These bathrooms are vital for many of us — older people, children, travellers to and from the airport.”
This one concerns the facilities in the citys historic Union rail station: “The women’s bathrooms at Union Station are disgusting.
Not only is there not enough of them, they are old, falling apart, dirty and poorly maintained. Let’s start with the TTC.
Commission chair Howard Moscoe admits, “I’m not proud of TTC washrooms and the way they’re kept, but they certainly are a little bit better than they were last year.
How high on the priority list are public restrooms?
TTC general superintendent Don Leger says each one is cleaned three times a day, just before both rush periods and around noon. TTC crews powerwash the lavatories about once a week and will soon “start doing this on an almost nightly basis,” he says.
“As far as our attitudes toward them, I think we can improve what we’re doing,” he states. “It is a challenge.”
Some people use the facilities as personal bathrooms, clogging sinks and spilling water on the floor. Others get angry when items like hand driers don’t work.
Leger says, “We have issues of vandalism ... and things go downhill pretty fast.” In addition to getting various repair teams to coordinate efforts better, he says the TTC will gradually rebuild washrooms, starting with Eglinton station next year.
Pio Mammone, a manager with the agency that oversees Union Station, says that of the three sets of washrooms in the building, the ones in the GO concourse are the most heavily used -- including by people heading to a sports game or concert.
“We do get a lot of damage to these washrooms,” he says, adding that cleaners must now confirm hourly checks on the facilities.
Renovations will have to wait until the City of Toronto decides how to upgrade the railway terminal.
While chair Moscoe believes some TTC bureaucrats would rather see subway restrooms closed entirely, “I think there ought to be more.” He says the city may soon introduce selfcleaning toilet booths, as used in other urban areas.
“If they come to the streets of Toronto as public washrooms, there will be a very strong push to get them at the TTC.”