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< Laneway between park and Sylvan Ave | Problems 2006 | Broken swings in playground >

Description: Request to have fieldhouse washroom openings and maintenance correspond to park use.
Status: Closed
Opened: May 10, 2006
Fieldhouse washroom maintenance
request, May 10, 2006:

Mayssan called Property about the leak in the women’s washroom at the field house – also called Tino to call maintenance, ask them to replace toilet paper and clean up the washrooms. It looked (at two pm) that the washrooms had not been maintained.

request, May 24, 2006

The washrooms have generally been in good shape. However today, two of three cubicles in the women's w/c had no paper. Rec staff will try to check it more regularly.

checking every day, maintenance good

Since May 24, the washroom checks have been fine, well stocked with toilet paper, not messy or plugged. Also the washrooms have stayed open late because the park has been very busy. Maintenance has been very good.

request to supervisor, June 23

tonight your washroom crew shut the washrooms at 8 but there was still quite a crowd on the basketball courts and the skateboard area -- could they go back to leaving them open much longer, as they have been doing?

response from Park supervisor Peter Leiss June 23, 2006

I instructed the crew to close the washrooms early because they have experienced considerable harrassment from Park users when closing the washrooms later. They have indicated that they have concerns regarding their personal health and safety.This has resulted in the washrooms being left open on many occasions and considerable damage and improper use of the washrooms. I have noted the recent safety audit indicated that these washrooms have issues related to hygenie and I suspect most of this problem is caused by after hours use.

response from Jutta Mason June 23 2006

Peter, would you be able to share the safety audit with me? I have heard nothing about it until this e-mail. It was my impression that the condition of the washrooms is excellent this year, compared to some other years.

Could you also share the safety issues with me? Since I am almost always in the park by myself between 10 and 11 at night, for years now, making sure that the cob wall is okay, the sandpit water is shut off, etc., I am surprised to hear that two men in a truck feel unsafe after 8. Is there something I should be discussing with park users?

Since the basketball and skateboarding lights stay on until 11, kids' soccer goes on until dark, and it doesn't even get dark until after 9 now, maybe we can consider after-8 p.m. use of the bathrooms as not being "after hours use." There are issues of hygiene here.

But I'll wait to hear what the safety issues are and also what safety audit you're referring to.

request to Tino DeCastro June 27 2006

hello Tino -- in my last e-mail I asked Peter Leiss what damage might have been done in the park washrooms, but I haven't heard back from him. The only vandalism I can really find is this:

in the men's washroom from June 11 -- has it been reported to Property, and if so, could Peter maybe ask them again? I think it's good to remove graffiti tags as quickly as possible.

The other problems seem maintenance-related -- the toilets are mostly leaking water out the bottom and the pipe under the men's washroom sink is dripping steadily and so adding to the water on the floor. Also the dog fountain seems not to be working, most of the time.

Daily washroom cleaning has generally been good, although I noticed around 11 a.m. today that one of the men's toilets is showing the after-effects of someone's digestive problems, still from last night.

I welcome any responses to my washroom maintenance questions below.

Response from Peter Leiss, June 27, 2006

I have been waiting for the safety audit document so I could send all of the information. I have placed a work order to deal with the graffiti and the broken window last week. Please find the safety audit attached.


Response about the safety audit from Jutta Mason

Thanks for sending this to me, Peter. Comments:

re#15 The absence of a toilet convenient to the playground has been brought up for years, but the composting toilet will now solve that, at very little cost to the City.

re#16 the field house washrooms are old and hard to clean, and they have water leaks. I think the maintenance has been better this year again, and I think that calling the washrooms "filthy" (quoting the safety audit) is too harsh. I think Marjorie is a good washroom cleaner and there may be some other good ones too. The stocking of the toilet paper is also much better than in other years. But the water leaks should be fixed -- you didn't mention that in your response to my last e-mail -- and the dog fountain should be fixed in a better way than last time.

If a safety audit involves the park, the park's recreation staff need to be consulted too. I don't believe that has happened yet. Is there a date for this?

Request re washroom closings, June 27 2006

Tino, tonight the Dufferin Grove Park field house washrooms were again closed before it was even dark (around 8.30, I was told). When I got to the park at 9 p.m., it was still light out and there were many people on the basketball court, inside the skateboard park, on the soccer field (two little soccer players tried to get in to the washrooms but couldn't), in the campfire circle, and in the playground.

Washroom hours need to conform to park programming -- the lights stay on the basketball court and skateboard areas until 11p.m., fire permits run until 11p.m. as well, and so that's when programming ends.

I have been told that the washrooms are vandalized when they stay open longer than dusk, but I can see no evidence of that.

I have also been told that this is a health and safety issue and that washroom closing staff have been threatened. The youth at the park, even the jailbirds, pride themselves on being peaceful and cooperative at this park, and the ones I know (i.e.most of the youth) have told me they threatened no one. If a new park youth or older person has not figured out how to behave at the park, we (i.e. recreation staff and park friends) need to know who that is so we can negotiate better cooperation. But we need specifics.

Until then, please arrange for the park washrooms to stay open for the convenience of the park users -- that's what they're for. If the washroom staff are uncomfortable coming into this park full of people after dark, please ask for the washrooms to stay open around the clock. That's what happened in the last two years, without incident.

Response from Tino DeCastro, June 27 2006

I will find out, and let you know.

From Jutta Mason to Parks manager Sandy Straw, following a phone conversation about leaving the washwrooms open longer, June 30, 2006

Dufferin Grove Park 10.45 p.m. June 30, Friday night -- 17 guys going up and down in the skateboard park, 8 on the basketball court, 10 youth just winding down a BBQ, a large church picnic still lingering elsewhere, a couple of musicians near the fire-circle, a warm summer breeze, and the field house washrooms are OPEN.

Perfect. Thanks.

From Parks manager Sandy Straw to Jutta Mason, July 4, 2006

Thanks for the good news and the wonderful description of the park that evening...if all goes well there should be many many more such evenings.

Update, July 30, 2006

The washrooms are staying open all night without incident. They are heavily used, however, and some users make a big mess. It must be tough for park staff not to gag, sometimes.

The graffiti is gone, but the leaky pipe under the men's sink is still leaking.

The dog fountain and the drinking fountain are both working.

The shingles on the roof are not fixed.

There is no graffiti on the outside of the building. The south-facing window still has dirt behind the grill were no one can reach it.

Additional update sent to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss by Jutta Mason, July 30, 2006

When I was at the park at 7 a.m., both the men's and women's washrooms were in rough shape.

When I had another chance to go in, around ten p.m. tonight, they looked the same as the morning, same piles of toilet paper, same feces stains at the back of the middle toilet, etc.

Maybe your crew were short-staffed today, but I thought you'd like to know.

Response from Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, July 31 2006

Our normal staff person is in vacation and will return next week. In the iterim we have had another staff person filling in. I have reminded this person of the importance of doing a good job. Hopefully this will not re-occur. If it does please let me know. Thanks for the update.

Update from Jutta Mason, July 31 2006

I went into the field house washrooms just now (9.45 a.m.). All the toilet paper that was on the floor is gone, and there are new rolls. Good!

However it appears that your staff person does not like to use a toilet brush. There is no evidence that the rims have been cleaned, and they sure need it. And the third toilet in the men's needs a bucket of water to flush it and then an out-of-order sign and a work order put in -- there's something wrong with the flushing mechanism.

Also the plumbing under the men's sink still has its plentiful leak, and it looks like the seal on the bottom of the toilet in one of the woman's stalls is leaking.

The plumbers will be thrilled to hear from you, I'm sure.

But the rec staff will be happy if the cleanliness improves. They have had to do more rink house toilet cleaning along with all their community development and program work, since people are avoiding the field house toilets when they're like this.

Update from Recreation staff Mayssan Shuja to Parks supervisor Peter Leiss, August 2, 2006

We just checked the field house washrooms and they are in very bad shape. Looks like there is still some dirt stuff from last weekend and more plugged toilets. Should I call property to unplug? Is someone coming today again from parks?

Response from Park supervisor Peter Leiss, August 3 2006

I have a work order in on this. I will have staff clean today again. I have place a rush on this work order. Our regular cleaner is back today as well so the cleanliness should improve.

Let me know please if this takes place.

Response from Jutta Mason, August 3 2006

The field house washroom cleanliness is great -- like night and day. The plumber came and stopped the two toilets from running all the time. He said that when they run all the time they sweat more and that's the reason for the moisture on the floor. When I checked in there at 7 p.m. the toilets weren't running but the floor was still wet. But I'm not a plumber.

We also mentioned to him about the dripping pipe under the men's sink and I think he may have tried to fix it. Maybe it sweats too, since it was still wet at 7 p.m. That place is a bit like an underground cave. But at least it's clean. Welcome back, Marjorie!!!

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