Despite making a case for Complete Streets, the Toronto Official Plan does not talk about the city’s need for public toilets anywhere within its 167 pages. One hundred and sixty seven pages about the socioeconomic significance of city streets and how Toronto needs to be designed to make walking and cycling more obvious choices and how city streets need to be seen as beautiful and vibrant places in order to attract people, and not one reference to public toilets. Where are the pedestrians and bicyclists and tourists supposed to go when they have to go? Does the creation of Complete Streets imply the creation of more Tim Hortons and Starbucks and McDonalds to handle the increased amount of bladders on the streets of Toronto?
The closest reference to public toilets is a point about how a Complete Streets approach will provide space for “street elements” such as “street furniture” (Toronto Official Plan, 2015, p.3-3), except that the city has scrapped its plans to install 20 public toilets by 2019 (only two public toilets ever were installed), so public toilets aren’t included in the reference to street furniture. Perhaps when the Plan states that Complete Streets will consider “the needs and priorities of the various users and uses within the right-of-way,” what it actually means is that Complete Streets are to function as exclusive streets: “various users” = users who can afford to pay for a cup of coffee and use the toilet at Starbucks.
Without providing adequate and accessible public toilets, Complete Streets should more accurately be called Incomplete Streets.