Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

(Vancouver Park Board)

Two options for gender-neutral washroom signs, as presented by the Vancouver Park Board.

Vancouver is on its way to becoming the first municipality in Canada to officially offer gender-neutral washrooms in public buildings.

The Vancouver Park Board is taking the lead and is currently drafting plans to install or retrofit washrooms to accommodate transgender people in park facilities. “For some transgender people, going to a public washroom can create anxiety and fear,” explained Vancouver Park Board Commissioner Trevor Loke in an interview for the CBC.

The design of the washrooms themselves is unlikely to be revolutionary. They will probably take the form of single-occupant facilities with a locking door, similar to offerings currently available at select community centres around the city. What’s attracting more debate at the moment, however, is the signage used to designate them.

Options under consideration include an upside-down rainbow triangle, an “all-inclusive” gender symbol and simple icons representing a toilet, with no gender designation.  The park board ultimately hopes to expand its gender-neutral offerings to include not only washrooms but change rooms, as well, in all of its facilities.

Photo credit: iampeas | Flickr

Photo credit: iampeas | Flickr

While other regions across Canada do offer gender-neutral facilities – including PEI, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Alberta – Vancouver became the first municipality to pass a motion to amend building codes to accommodate gender-neutral washrooms in public buildings last September.

The amendment, for “single-stalled washrooms that don’t have to be specified by gender,” is intended to benefit a broad range of users, including transgender people, parents of young children of the opposite sex and caregivers with clients of the opposite sex.

The final report and recommendations on the washrooms is to be presented to the Park Board on April 28.

What do you think the best approach for gender-neutral washrooms is? Let us know below. 

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5 Responses to Vancouver Introducing Gender-Neutral Washrooms in Parks

  1. Lyle Scott

    Single-occupancy bathrooms have *never* actually required gender designation. A toilet is a toilet, a sink is a sink, and if it’s single occupancy, why is there any need to genderize it at all? Don’t advertise that it’s a transgender or equality bathroom; let it just be a nondescript, generic bathroom for everyone. Trans people and cis people can then all feel normal using it.

    Anyway, I always thought it was stupid to see a vacant single-occupancy men’s room next to a single-occupancy ladies’ room with a line waiting impatiently outside.

  2. Gerry

    No one is gender neutral. It’s either a penis or a vagina. All this PC stuff is hgthhj

  3. Russell Jameson

    western decay

  4. Dianne Guinn

    Government and Parks Board officials are elected by a majority so why are they pursuing a minority issue that is of no interest to the mainstream. We agree that single occupancy bathrooms should be gender neutral but spending tax dollars in order to create or retrofit public bathrooms is not a wise use of our tax dollars when we have people sleeping in our parks. Integrate this issue into future planning…..but stop wasting tax dollars on a non issue for the majority that elected you and work on the homeless issue in our parks.

  5. Julie

    Male and Female with infinity sign in between.