The inaugural weekend of two open-air urinals placed near Whyte Avenue proved to have a liquid learning curve for some late-night partiers.

Many party-goers relieved themselves on bushes and cars mere steps from the plastic devices while others gave it a try for the first time as bars closed and hoards of people made their way home.

“It takes people time to change their ways so what we’re hoping is that, as people become more familiar with them and more aware of them, they’ll start to use them,” said Cindy Davies, the city’s street-as-a-venue coordinator.


The urinals have four sides that curve around a central receptacle, like a large, gray pylon.

On Friday and Saturday night, the city placed one near 105 St. and 81 Ave. and another on a city parking lot a few blocks away. They are removed during the weekend and cleaned before being stationed the following weekend.

Whyte Avenue business owners have complained that they have found their alleys and front steps covered in urine on the weekend as thousands of bar patrons spill out onto the streets before heading home.

“This is just one of a number of initiatives to help clean up Whyte Avenue and make it more pleasant for everyone to come down there,” Davis said.

She plans on introducing more garbage bins, ash trays, and increasing lighting around the avenue in the coming months, while considering late-night transit options.

“You need a starting place. You need to monitor and evaluate and make decisions thereafter,” she said.

Open-air around the country

  • Part of a pilot project meant to address problems in the city's entertainment district. Open-air urinals are also used in cities like Victoria over permanent installations, which can cost $250,000.