The Vancouver Fire Department has spent nearly $1 million on constructing gender neutral washrooms at five fire halls.
The expense was made even though it was not complaint-motivated and unisex washrooms already exist at the five fire halls. Four of the new gender neutral (single-stall) washrooms were constructed over the past year while the fifth gender neutral washroom is currently under construction. Each washroom cost between $150,000 to $200,000 to construct.
Proponents defend the high single-stall expense as it gives male and female firefighters some privacy instead of having to share the same shower, sink and toilet facilities at the same time.
The fire department has no plans to build more gender neural washrooms at its other fire halls as many already exist. In addition, several older fire halls are set for replacement in the coming years. Some have questioned the expense in the absence of complaints and whether the money could have been better spent on other higher priority facility upgrades.