Victoria installs first outdoor public urinal blocks from provincial legislature

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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VICTORIA - B.C.'s capital city of Victoria has installed its first outdoor public urinal and the mayor says he's confident no one will regard it as flushing money down the toilet.
On Friday, the city unveiled the custom-designed urinal, which boasts low-flow technology and low-voltage interior lighting. The roofless and partially see-through pissoir - that's Parisian for urinal - will provide downtown washroom access 24 hours a day.
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin says the city is always looking for new ways to improve the downtown experience, as he calls it, and he believes the urinal will do just that.
"We recognize in most major cities, whether you go to London, Paris, Seattle or Portland, world-class cities have these public facilities available out there," Fortin said while chuckling his way through an interview Friday.
"We had a laugh, we thought we should actually do it as a public art unveiling and say it's functional art that's also used as a urinal."
The green-painted structure looks like a curving thicket of metal poles and is situated mere steps from a busy intersection. Fortin said the design is unique to Victoria.
"It allows for a certain amount of privacy and modesty but it also allows for anybody who's using it to see what's happening in the street in and around them," he said. Fortin did not elaborate on why being able to see outside while using the facility was a plus.
The urinal was installed after complaints from local businesses about public urination. Fortin said he's pleased the project was delivered on time and for the return of college and university students this fall.
When asked why the city went with a urinal, as opposed to a full toilet that could better serve both genders, Fortin said one gender in particular has proven to be at the root of the problem.
"Let's be straight-up - the major part of our problem is coming from late-night urination, which is men," the mayor said.
When asked if he's used the facility himself, the mayor said not yet.
"Why has everybody asked me this?" he posited.
"No, no, I haven't used it yet. I'm pretty good at planning. So before I go out or leave a facility or restaurant, I want to use it there."

Geographic location: Victoria, B.C., London Paris Seattle Portland

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