An architect in Winnipeg says he's delighted to donate his own land to build the future permanent public washroom on if the city wants it. 

The Principal Architect at Bridgman Collaborative Architecture, Wins Bridgman, has been working with his team for over 13 years on the issue of having no public washroom in the downtown area of Winnipeg. 

"Almost everyone in the downtown has had a problem finding washrooms but vulnerable people have a great deal of difficulty. The issue is one of dignity and city sanitation," says Bridgman.

"We've been trying different strategies. The most recent one with the pop-up washrooms [I was] working with the Downtown Biz and Siloam Mission. This summer-type washroom would test out whether or not Winnipegger's would use public washrooms in a variety of locations in the downtown. [It answered questions like] who would use them, how often, and any comments from the public and business owners in the area where we located the washroom."

Bridgman and his team designed the pop-up washroom that has been used for two summers, 2018 and 2019. The first year the Downtown Biz and Siloam Mission helped run it.

"Then, Main Streets Project has largely taken it over at Henry and Main where they've done a phenomenal job working with the population in that area."

That was last summer. The portable washroom should have been accessible this summer, however, once COVID hit, this became an issue of health. 

s a public toilet safe, clean, and durable."

With that said, Bridgman suggests that to have a washroom up and running by February 2021, which is when the grant money must be spent by, the timeline is quite tight. 

"It's wonderful that we have this grant, it will get done, but it's not the final step."

When it comes to the idea of what these washrooms look like, there has been no design yet or architect chosen. 

However, Bridgman says, "It needs to be iconic so that anywhere you look in the city you can say "I see it!" Whether it's bright orange or whatever it is, it's something that we look at and we can tell tourists and say, "three blocks that way, you'll see it, it's a public washroom." I think that's really important."

He believes that a project like this could set our city apart and be beneficial for all.

"I want to really emphasize that although this [project] is for those people who are deemed vulnerable, public washrooms serve everyone."