The smell test of the City of Vancouver’s new $645,000 public toilet has hit the press in New York City.
“Vancouver residents are confused by their new $645,000 public toilet” screamed a headline March 24 in the New York Post.
The toilet will be placed in the city’s Cooper’s Park and is funded by the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, which provides $100 million in funding for similar projects, the Post stated.
The NY Post quoted BC Liberal employment critic Todd Stone, who told Global News,
“It’s beyond head-scratching, it’s outrageous. Why was spending over half a million dollars on a toilet more important than grants for struggling performing arts venues that are barely hanging on?”
Built by a Portland, Oregon-based company, the washroom costs $150,000, according to the Vancouver park board, which oversees Cooper’s Park.
“The sleek and modern kiosk discourages crime with graffiti-proof wall panels and open grating,” the company says on its website.
The rest of the money will go toward building the services and infrastructure in the area needed for the loo to operate — including structural pad installation and landscaping, according to the NY Post report.
Ken Sim, who is planning to run against Mayor Kennedy Stewart in the 2022 civic election, wondered how a single toilet could cost taxpayers more than a half-a-million dollars.
That price equates to the value of building a laneway house in the city and is about the average price of a condominium apartment in the city.
The public toilet is expected to be installed by the fall, reports said. At least two more are planned to be purchased and installed by the city.