British Columbia

GoHere app gives people with chronic diseases better access to bathrooms in Coquitlam, B.C.

Through a partnership with the City of Coquitlam, Crohn's and Colitis Canada expanded its GoHere bathroom app to Coquitlam, B.C., in February, giving people with chronic conditions better access to public bathrooms.

36 public bathrooms in Coquitlam parks, recreation centres and city-owned buildings were added to the app

A man in a red t-shirt holds a cell phone and points to a logo that says "Go Here." Green accessible washroom stalls can be seen in the background.
Matthew Sebastiani of Crohn's and Colitis Canada says the GoHere app connects people living with inflammatory bowel diseases to accessible public washrooms. Coquitlam is the first municipality in B.C. to list its public facilities on the app. (Submitted by Matthew Sebastiani)

GoHere, a bathroom mapping app launched in Ontario by Crohn's and Colitis Canada, is now online in Metro Vancouver thanks to a partnership with the City of Coquitlam.

The app, designed to make life easier for people living with inflammatory bowel diseases, partners with organizations, businesses and governments who offer accessible washrooms, so app users can plan ahead before they leave the house.

"Those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease have to use the washroom 20 or more times a day sometimes in a really bad flare-up," said Matthew Sebestiani, president of the Crohn's and Colitis Vancouver chapter.

Sebastiani says GoHere also provides proof of people's medical conditions through the app so they can use a washroom "no questions asked."

He says people living with Crohn's or colitis deal with a lot of anxiety and often find themselves in awkward, stressful situations where they have to explain their condition or are asked to buy something to be given access to a bathroom.

On Feb. 23, 36 public bathrooms in Coquitlam parks, recreation centres and city-owned buildings were added to the app, which can be downloaded for free on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

In a statement, the City of Coquitlam said joining the GoHere Access Washroom Program was part of its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and the work of the city's Universal Access-Ability Advisory Committee.

"Washroom access is a medical necessity for people with a variety of different conditions," said Sebestiani, adding that many people living with such conditions struggle with anxiety and worry about having to suddenly run to the bathroom while they're out and about.

"The app helps bring down barriers and help people plan their routes."

A person in a grey sweater holds up a cell phone with the Go Here bathroom app open, showing the nearest available public washroom.
Users of the GoHere app can plan their route ahead of time, based on public washrooms available near their destinations, or look up the bathroom closest to their current location. (Submitted by Matthew Sebastiani)

Crohn's and Colitis Vancouver is looking for more private partners, non-profits and businesses with accessible washrooms to add more facilities to the GoHere App.

Sebastiani says he hopes more B.C. municipalities will also get on board, joining cities like Calgary and Mississauga, Ont., to increase accessibility to public bathrooms.


Josh Grant is a CBC News reporter based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He previously worked for CBC in Montreal and Quebec City and for the Nation magazine serving the Cree communities of Northern Quebec. You can reach him at