Public urination from bar patrons continues to be a big problem for Victoria, officials say.
“I had gone on a ride along with police to see what the state of the city was like 2 o’clock in the morning, and I was astounded at the number of people that would just pee on the wall. Both men and women would head down a back alley and pee,” said Our Place Society’s Grant McKenzie. “All of them are bar patrons.”
Grant Shepard, who works at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, says he has to clean up urine stains and even feces on a regular basis.
“I don’t pee on their doorstep. So why are they peeing on mine?” Shepard said. “On a hot summer day, this place smells like a urinal.”
The city currently deploys about half a dozen “peeosk” portable urinals in a partnership with Our Place on Friday and Saturday nights.
The program is paid for by bar owners and is meant to provide men leaving bars with a place to relieve themselves.
Councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe has been advocating for more public washrooms for years. She’s hoping to replace the “peeosks” with a gender-neutral solution in the future, but says the program is helping to keep downtown cleaner.
“The fact they’re being used means that it’s needed. And every time someone uses one, it makes sure that it’s not a doorway that someone’s using instead,” she said.
City councillors are set to discuss the “peeosks,” which are part of Victoria’s Late Night Program, on Thursday.