Sudbury

Sudbury to consider adding universal washroom at city hall

The City of Greater Sudbury will explore the option of adding a universal washroom at Tom Davies Square — something disability advocates have been calling for. 

Disability advocates have been calling on the city to make Tom Davies Square fully accessible

Sudbury city councillors have directed staff to prepare a business case for the addition of a universal washroom at Tom Davies Square. (John Pike/CBC)

The City of Greater Sudbury will explore the option of adding a universal washroom at Tom Davies Square — something disability advocates have been calling for. 

During Tuesday night's city council meeting, councillors unanimously supported a member's motion from Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann, directing city staff to produce a business case which will be considered during next year's budget deliberations. 

Landry-Altmann said the city has a reserve fund for accessibility which "may ease the task of finding funding for this washroom which is greatly needed."

A universal washroom meets a number of criteria set out in the Ontario Building Code, and is designed to allow easy access for people using mobility devices, and those who need a support person with them. 

"When we think of inclusive we think of everyone. So it's one parent families, a mother with a child and a stroller. It's all kinds of situations and with a washroom like this, everyone feels that they have an amenity that they can use with discretion and with respect,"  said Landry-Altmann.

Disability advocate Nadine Law has been calling on the city for several years to add a universal washroom at city hall. She told CBC in November that she was growing increasingly frustrated with the city. 

"I feel like I've been met with so much resistance. And the easy thing to do is why not work with us. Work with the advocates in your community," Law said. 

Disability advocate Nadine Law has been calling on the City of Greater Sudbury to add a universal washroom at city hall. (Submitted by Nadine Law)

Landry-Altmann said the city's accessibility advisory panel has also identified the addition of a universal washroom at city hall as a need. 

Recent renovations to Tom Davies Square created a "one stop shop" service area, which includes new, accessible counters. The city's general manager of corporate services, Kevin Fowke, said there was discussion during planning about possibly adding a universal washroom, but it was not required by law, since the renovations did not affect the existing washrooms. 

There is a universal washroom available next door at 199 Larch. 

On Tuesday night, councillors said adding a washroom at city hall would be the right thing for the city to do.

"I think this is a wonderful initiative and really will make our one stop shop open to everyone," said Coun. Geoff McCausland. 

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