According to the city the closure was made due to a sewage backup. However, plumbers did not go onsite until today.
Oppenheimer Park is home to about 110 tents and 150 people. York believes it is very worrying that no alternatives were determined until today.
“People could go to other facilities in the neighbourhood but they are not all accessible, they are not open 24 hours and so that is a huge issue when you have a lot of people staying in one place” -Fiona York, Carnegie Community Action Project
Last March a motion was passed by city hall and the park board to add overnight portable washrooms. This was so that the park would have 24 hour washroom access. York said it is unheard of to have washrooms closed for 20 hours without notice.
“There is this political football happening between the park board and the city and it is really unfortunate that that is getting in the way of people’s lives and health”. -Fiona York, Carnegie Community Action Project
It is expected that the washrooms will be reopened within 24 hours. The plumbers are doing preemptive work on the underground drainage to ensure there isn’t an issue in the plumbing that will affect the future of the washrooms.
The portable washrooms will be open until the work is complete.