Can Superstore’s portable toilets help solve Saskatoon’s lack of public toilets? -Saskatoon

A portable restroom trailer was placed outside the Superstore in Saskatoon’s Confederation neighborhood this week after a customer damaged the indoor restroom.

“They are being repaired with additional safety features,” Loblaws said in a statement to Global News. “They will reopen shortly.”

According to the city, the number of incidents in public restrooms increased by approximately 32 percent between 2022 and 2023, including times when individuals had to be removed from the building and instances involving drug use, vandalism, public intoxication and the need for police or medical assistance.

Click to play the video: 'More public restroom facilities planned for Saskatoon, Riversdale's Pleasant Hill neighborhoods'

More public restroom facilities are planned for Saskatoon’s Pleasant Hill, Riversdale neighborhoods

Saskatoon residents are wondering if the trailer could be part of a long-term solution to the city’s lack of public sanitation — a recent topic of discussion at city council.

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“We actually need more public toilets, it’s a basic human right,” said Sarah Peters. “People are people, so they all deserve a certain amount of dignity and respect.”

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Mike Smith said some people may cause damage to public restrooms, but most people just need to use the facility.

“A lot of people supposedly do a lot of bad things, but some of us just want to go to the bathroom, get in and get out,” Smith said.

The city said it was not aware of plans to make portable toilets available outside Superstore, saying it appears to have been a private business decision.

“Overall, however, the city council has recognized the need for staffed, public restrooms,” Pamela Goulden-McLeod, director of the emergency management agency, told Global News.

She added that last month the city council invested in restroom units for the Riversdale and Pleasant Hill communities and that staffing for the facilities will be completed in the coming week.

The city will also provide additional access to drinking water.

Loblaws has not confirmed whether the portable toilets will remain operational after indoor facilities reopen.

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Brooke Kruger

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