Algonquin College is renovating three washrooms across campus.
A universal washroom is being developed in Room 127 of E-building, Room 109 of P-building, and the Four-Corners washroom of A building. These washrooms will be closed until the currently projected completion date of September or October 2023, according to the school’s Facilities Management announcements website.
The Four-Corners washroom in A-building will gain 12 gender neutral stalls, three accessible washrooms, a universal washroom with an adult lift/changing table along with a dedicated nursing room.
The washroom located in E-building Room 127 will be renovated to meet the most current accessibility code.
“As a trans man, I couldn’t use the men’s bathroom until I started growing facial hair – the other guys would stare at me like I was in the wrong place.” says animation student Tyler Lucas. “A universal bathroom being available when I was going through that would have been perfect for my situation.”
Lucas also referred to his friends who are non-binary saying: “They don’t feel comfortable using either men’s or women’s washrooms. Having a universal washroom will create a space where they feel most comfortable and welcome.”
“Being more inclusive for everyone is important” says Andre Bolton, a business administration student at Algonquin College. “It’s a step in the right direction, everyone should feel wanted and included.”
“It would be easier for me to clean,” says Algonquin College Janitor Juana Garcia.
“People can be whatever they want to be” says Garcia. “So, the washroom they use is their choice.”
A common fear which comes with genderless washrooms is the increase in people using it. With double the number of people, the number of toilets needs to double with it.
This fear is being combated by not only renovating but expanding the P109 washroom according to the Facilities Management press release. The exact number of toilets has yet to be determined.
The Four-Corners washroom is to receive 15 total toilets, which in accordance with Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, can accommodate 400 people.