Heather Ney (Comox Valley Transition Society), Coun. Doug Hillian, Sean Ferguson (Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association-DCBIA), Coun. David Frisch, Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton with Daisy, Mayor Bob Wells, Coun. Wendy Morin, Tracey Clarke (DCBIA), and Sandra Viney (DCBIA) attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new public washroom in downtown Courtenay, on the corner of 6th Street and England Avenue. Photo supplied

Heather Ney (Comox Valley Transition Society), Coun. Doug Hillian, Sean Ferguson (Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association-DCBIA), Coun. David Frisch, Coun. Will Cole-Hamilton with Daisy, Mayor Bob Wells, Coun. Wendy Morin, Tracey Clarke (DCBIA), and Sandra Viney (DCBIA) attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new public washroom in downtown Courtenay, on the corner of 6th Street and England Avenue. Photo supplied

New public washroom opens in downtown Courtenay

Those seeking relief in downtown Courtenay now have another option available following the installation of a new public washroom on the corner of 6th Street and England Avenue that opens on Friday, Dec. 24.

The new “Urbaloo,” manufactured in B.C., is designed to be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to vandalism. The facility is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk and will be cleaned daily. The facility will also include a water-bottle filler, to be installed in the new year along with additional concrete work.

The Urbaloo’s location was determined following consultation with the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA), as well as analysis of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, proximity to parking, shopping and amenities, site visibility, distance from other public washrooms, and the availability of city-owned land and adjacent power and utilities.

“Public washrooms like this one have been installed in a number of other cities in B.C. and elsewhere,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “We heard loud and clear that there was a shortage of available public washrooms in the downtown core, and this was exacerbated by COVID which limited access to many private facilities that people may have previously been accustomed to using.

“Courtenay’s new Urbaloo offers this service in a relatively small footprint at a very convenient and central location. We’re very grateful to the DCBIA for collaborating with us on this project.”

Courtenay council has requested that staff investigate options to potentially increase the Urbaloo’s hours of operation; information will be presented for council’s consideration in early 2022.

The United Nations recognizes sanitation as a human right, with access necessary to protect health, safety, dignity, and a clean environment. Courtenay’s Urbaloo installation also includes the necessary infrastructure for a Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) dual port charging station to be installed in 2022, funded by the Province of BC and Government of Canada through a successful joint local and regional government funding application with 11 other mid-Vancouver Island jurisdictions.

Courtenay