Why aren’t there more public toilets?


When nature calls, you have to answer, and quickly. The last thing you’d want is to walk several kilometers to find a public toilet.. And yet, public bathrooms aren’t easy to find in many cities across Canada. Overall, Canada has 18 public toilets per 100,000 people, which puts it in 15th place globally. And for those facing homelessness or a medical condition, public toilets are crucial for their ability to move freely through urban spaces.

The Globe’s urban affairs reporter, Oliver Moore, explains why good public toilets are so hard to find, how the pandemic created a two-tier system of access, and what Canadian cities are doing to address the scarcity.

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