Creating more inclusive and accommodating environments is a priority for the City of Winnipeg, which took an important step in this commitment by updating the signage on the individual use washrooms in the City Council building to be recognized as gender inclusive spaces.
“We are replacing washroom signage in the Council Building to ensure an enhanced representation of the full spectrum of gender diversity,” said Brad Erickson, Manager of Municipal Accommodations for the City of Winnipeg.
“We want all users know that these spaces are available to them”
The City has made these spaces more inclusive by installing new signage that focuses on the functionality of the washroom, as opposed to the previous signage that displayed the genders it is available to.
The Canadian Human Rights Act was updated in June 2017 to clarify the right of all people to use a washroom or change room that corresponds to their gender identity. Since that time, there has been a growing discussion in Canada on the availability and accessibility of washroom spaces and how they can be adapted to be more inclusive.
Access to a universal and gender inclusive individual use washroom is essential for many users, including persons with disabilities, transgender or transitioning individuals, and those who may require assistance from someone of a different gender, whether that includes children or the elderly.
The City has included universal and gender inclusive washrooms in all its newer facilities. That includes the recently opened Transcona Library, as well as in the expansions of St. John’s Library and Seven Oaks Pool. Existing civic facilities, such as the Council Building, are currently retrofitting to provide universal and gender inclusive individual use washrooms.
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