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3 days 4 hours – Guest Post – Vancouver 2010: Where to go?

February 9, 2010

Thanks so much to my wonderful friend Katie for offering to do a guest post for me, particularly on a topic that she feels has been largely ignored but will be significant to everyone attending the Games, particularly in Vancouver. 

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Vancouver 2010: Where to Go? As Andrea’s cloning machine is malfunctioning she has asked me if I would like to guest blog. Of course I said yes. As a life-long Vancouver resident (yes, I was actually born here, in Vancouver, not the Lower Mainland) I jumped at the chance to share my thoughts about the Olympics, and my city, with the world.  And what would I talk about? Well, one of the first things that came to mind was washrooms (2010vanfan note – toilets, WC’s, or bathrooms). 

Olympic venues, I’m sure, will have more than enough washrooms to go around. That’s not the problem. I’m thinking of people who are traveling to venues via transit or taking in the sights in the downtown core. If you don’t know where to look, finding a public bathroom in the downtown core can be very difficult. So where does one go to…well…go?  

First thing to remember is that Skytrain/Canada Line stations do not have public washrooms. In fact, (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) I think the only washrooms in the Translink system are at the SeaBus stations. These are located through the ticket gates in the waiting area before you board the boat, so if there are multiple sailing waits you are out of luck until right before the boat leaves. 

Sign in a Canada Line Station.

  • The Bay which houses the Olympic Superstore and Sears which is kitty corner to the Bay at Granville and Georgia St., both have large washrooms, but not on the ground floor. Go up a floor or two – the higher up in the building you go generally the less traffic there is. If you have kids, Sears is a better option. The Ladies and Men’s washrooms are right beside each other as opposed to the Bay which has Ladies and Men’s facilities on alternating floors (check the store directory by the escalators or elevators).
  • Pacific Center Mall which runs underground connecting the two department stores has multiple washrooms, but they are always busy. Remember, in any mall washrooms can always be found adjacent to the food court.
  • Coffee shops and restaurants have public facilities but really, they should be for customers only. And generally, coffee shop bathrooms aren’t great. They are frequently used, maintained by the coffee shop staff who, quite frankly, have much better things to do than check bathrooms (like make coffee for the hundreds of caffeine dependant Vancouverites).
  • For those on their way to the LiveCity Downtown at Georgia and Beatty St. you may want to pop into the Vancouver Public Library main branch and go down the stairs from the mezzanine level. Over by Yaletown is more difficult. The Roundhouse Community Centre might be feasible but as it’s home to Casa Italia during the Olympics I have no idea. And don’t forget, there will be toilets at the LiveCity sights, but I personally try to avoid the porta-potties.
  • Now, I’m sure there are a large number of people who are going to hate me for this but I’ll say it anyway. A much better option is the large hotels. All large hotels have washrooms in their lobbies. Just walk in with purpose and take a look around, they are generally well marked and have the advantage of being open 24 hours. I’m just saying. A large group of loud drunk guys might get kicked out pretty quickly, but one slightly wobbly girl won’t have a problem. Not that I’d know anything about that….ahem. Anyway.
Hope this is helpful. Enjoy the city and Go Canada Go! 

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Need more information on attending events at Vancouver 2010, check out the 2010vanfan guide here.




8 Comments leave one →
  1. Derek permalink
    February 9, 2010 6:16 pm

    You are correct with Translink only having washrooms at the Seabus Terminal.
    The topic you write about I had brought up to the radio open line many weeks ago and of course I got ignored. I ahve made several trips downtown for many different things, go in by skytrain, walk around and then what, if you don’t know all the places there is really nowhere to go. This blog will help many and if one knows the city (as I do) one can find the places. What about the Roundhouse area, I was there just before it was being closed for the Olympics, no washrooms anywhere in that vicinity. Not good now, but not good after the Olympics either.
    Someone could make a buck here…… please build some public washrooms, the city will have some money left to pay for that (I guess after the Olympics of course), some cleaning staff and it is a real city “To Go”…. keeping a sense of humour but it is a very worthwhile topic. Thank you!!

  2. Bob permalink
    February 9, 2010 10:04 pm

    Andrea, do you know what time the Russian Sailing Ship is scheduled to arrive tomorrow?

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 10, 2010 8:06 am

      Good morning Bob,

      I’m afraid I can’t find any information on when the Kruzenshtern will be arriving. I am supposed to be getting updates to my phone from Sochi 2014 so if I hear I will try to post/tweet/inform immediately! I imagine they want people around to see it sail in so hopefully we’ll here soon.

      Sounds like you had a wonderful Tuesday! Congrats on the Opening Ceremonies ticket! Maybe I’m not too far away!

      Happy Olympics Bob!

  3. Bob permalink
    February 9, 2010 10:10 pm

    What a wonderful day!!!

    – This morning I picked up one of those newly released Opening Ceremonies tickets by VANOC!!! Category C at $550! I am over the moon with excitement! The final piece in my Olympic Dream ticket package!
    – Made some nice pin trades with a couple of guys from CTV!
    – Experienced the Torch Run in Richmond where 10’s of thousands turned out to cheer on the Torch. I got a couple of nice shots of Rick Hansen with the torch on Granville. What a thrill!!!

  4. February 9, 2010 11:01 pm

    Ha ha ! Love this post… the more i think about it this is a really valid potential concern – not enough public places “to go” in the downtown core. More people need to see this info! Thanks Katie

    Another addition:

    Robson Square – Unless there have been additional restrooms added in the past week, the public restrooms are located down a long hallway in the far SouthWest corner of the plaza (opposite end from the VANOC ticket center on same side of the wall). Technically, they look to be part of the Law Courts, but follow the (small) signs and you’ll reach decent sized facilities.

    • 2010vanfan permalink
      February 10, 2010 7:58 am

      Thanks Aaron for the tip on Robson Square.


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