The outdoor facilities open Wednesday. Image: Michael Rodriguez

The outdoor facilities open Wednesday. Image: Michael Rodriguez

Public restrooms open at Kelowna’s Queensway Transit Exchange

The facility contains two washrooms and is built inside a 20-foot shipping container

While the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, so does city business.

As does your own personal business.

The City of Kelowna’s newest public washroom is open at the Queensway Transit Exchange as of April 29.

The facility contains two washrooms and is built inside a 20-foot shipping container.

PEOPLE Employment Services will monitor the facility while it is open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. every day. They will also be handing out water and putting people experiencing homelessness in touch with resources.

“Providing attendants for the facility will ensure safety and cleanliness of the space for all users,” said Dhorea Ramanula, the organization’s executive director. “They additionally allow for animation of the space with tables, chairs and umbrellas while protecting from mischief.”

As both transit users and foot traffic in downtown Kelowna dwindle amid the pandemic, the city was unsure whether now was the right time to open such a facility.

“We didn’t expect to open it during a pandemic but with so many businesses closed we had to consider the needs of essential workers whose jobs mean they are on the go or people without homes, as well as the reduced transit use and foot traffic downtown. The value of opening the facility as soon as possible outweighed the risks,” said Lance Kayfish, the city’s risk manager.

The city will monitor the facility’s use to determine if a permanent facility in the area is possible in the future.

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