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Where to Pee in Vancouver

During the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, I was asked by visitors for the location of the nearest bathroom almost as often as I was asked if I wanted to trade pins–and that was a lot.

It’s something I find stressful too when I’m travelling in a new city: where to pee once I’ve left my hotel. (Is it just a girl thing?)

Increasingly, downtown Vancouver coffee shops are treating a toilet break as a gift-with-purchase: you have to buy something before they’ll hand over the bathroom key. (I don’t know about you but the last thing I want when I need to go is yet another coffee!) And hotels are getting good at hiding their lobby bathrooms.

In any case, here’s a helpful round-up of clean and comfortable public pitstops around downtown Vancouver:

  • The Bay department store at Georgia and Granville
  • Pacific Centre Mall at Georgia and Granville
  • Any McDonald’s restaurant; there are plenty in the city but the one at Georgia and Burrard is open 24 hours.
  • In Stanley Park near the totem poles; at Lumberman’s Arch; near the Ceperley Park playground (Third Beach); at Lost Lagoon, near Alberni Street.
  • In the market and Net Loft at Granville Island
  • Main floor, Canada Place
  • English Bay Beach at the foot of Denman
  • Food court, Harbour Centre Mall near Waterfront Station
  • In the Seabus waiting area, in Waterfront Station

Note: Vancouver recently installed several self-cleaning street-level toilets downtown; the most central one is located on Robson near Richards. Frankly, these windowless silver pods give me the willies, but when you gotta go, you gotta go…especially when everything else has closed for the evening.

>>Do you have a secret pitstop in Vancouver? Please share it in the comments section here!

Related link: Guide to Vancouver