Having access to a secure washroom is a basic right for all people and having all gender washrooms available is an important part of making our campus safe, accessible, and welcoming for all of the Lakehead community. These washrooms are safe spaces where anyone, regardless of gender identity or presentation, can use the toilet, wash their hands and check the mirror.
Signage will be placed near all gender washrooms indicating that these spaces are inclusive and that Lakehead respects everyone's right to choose the washroom that is appropriate for them.
Note: this is an example of a sign
In line with our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, Lakehead has expanded the number of all gender washrooms across campus.
The bathrooms that will be designated all gender include:
- Academic Building - OA 1034, 2021, 3042
- Cafeteria Building – OC 1002D
- Orillia Residence Building - OR 1003
Lakehead Thunder Bay
- Advanced Technology & Academic Centre (ATAC) - 1011, 1012
- Bartley Residence - 115A
- Bora Laskin Faculty of Law Building (PACI) – 1002E
- Bora Laskin Building – BL 1015, 1011, 2037A, 2033A
- Braun Building - BB 1028*, 1030, 1062*
- C. J. Sanders Fieldhouse - 0024B, 0024A, 0035
- Centennial Building - CB 0034, 4011, 4023, 4059
- Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES) - FB 2022, 2021
- Chancellor Paterson Library (1st and 4th floor) - 1013, 1014*, 4014, 4015*
- Music & Visual Arts Centre - MVA 2014, 2016
- Prettie Residence (Student Health and Wellness) - 103A
- Ryan Building - RB 2004, 2030*
- School of Nursing - SN 1045B*, 2004*, 2006
- University Centre - UC 2029
* These washrooms are multi-user, with a mix of toilets and urinals.
Frequently Asked Questions
|What is an all-gender washroom?|
An all-gender washroom is a washroom for use by anyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, or gender expression. It may be a single-use washroom with a single toilet and sink in a lockable room; multi-use facilities with individual enclosed toilet stalls that share a common sink area; multi-stall washrooms, which have traditionally been designated female; or multi-stall washrooms with urinals, which have traditionally been designated male. A universal washroom may be all-gender (see definition below).
|What is a universal washroom?|
A universal washroom is defined within the Ontario Building Code. These washrooms have requirements like grab bars, lighting, emergency call services, and other regulations around accessibility. An all-gender washroom may be universal (see definition above).
|How do I know which type of washroom I’m walking into and what’s in it?|
Each washroom will have clear signage on the door indicating the types of facilities contained within the washroom, including toilets and urinals. Accessibility signs will show whether the washroom can accommodate mobility devices and/or caregivers.
Here is an example of a sign:
|Why does Lakehead need universal and all-gender washrooms?|
Lakehead University wants to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff have access to the basic facilities we all need. This gives life to the Ontario Human Rights Code requirement not to discriminate based on ability, family status, sex, gender identity, or gender expression and to provide harassment-free services and spaces. Universal washrooms ensure that parents and caregivers, personal attendants and individuals with disabilities have the additional space and equipment necessary to access the facilities. All-gender washrooms likewise help address the needs of parents and caregivers, personal attendants and those with disabilities, as well as trans and non-binary individuals, all of whom can face difficulty in accessing washrooms.
As part of the EDI Action Plan and consultations with individuals expressing a need for broader access to washrooms, the Accessibility Committee created the All-Gender Washroom Working Group to oversee the inclusion of all-gender washrooms on campus. The makeup of the Working Group and process are more thoroughly described below.
Lakehead University is not alone in this – many agencies, universities, governments, and other organizations are moving to more inclusive washrooms.
|All-gender washrooms are safe!|
While different types of all-gender washrooms may not be what many of us are used to and may feel uncomfortable at first, they are safe to use. Every all-gender washroom includes at least one stall that anyone may use.
The evidence that exists so far shows that all-gender washrooms may actually be safer than traditional washrooms – both because they reduce the policing of other people using the washroom and the associated violence, but also because they provide less predictability in terms of who is using the washroom, which discourages voyeurism.
|Who oversees the development of all-gender washrooms?|
The All-Gender Washroom Working Group (AGWWG) was initiated through Lakehead’s Accessibility Committee in response to the University’s Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan that, through broad consultation, identified the need for all gender washrooms across our campuses. The AGWWG reports to the Accessibility Committee and includes members from various stakeholders.
This WG has worked to determine which washroom spaces will be converted and how, ensures proper signage, and continues to monitor the ongoing renovation of spaces as funds allow.
|What is the process of converting facilities to all-gender washrooms?|
The All-Gender Washroom Working Group has many things to keep in mind with respect to transitioning washrooms:
|Where are the all-gender washrooms on campus?|
|Are there still gendered washrooms?|
Yes, there continue to be gendered washrooms available throughout our campuses.
|Who can use a gendered washroom?|
Lakehead also has gendered washrooms with clear signage that indicates the type of facilities contained within and who they are for.
It is important to remember that you have choices. If you feel a gendered washroom works for you, you can absolutely use the one that corresponds with how you identify regardless of your gender expression or whether you are cisgender or Trans.
We encourage everyone to make the best choice for them and to not impose choices on others when it comes to their washroom choice.
|Why is there no lock on the main washroom doors?|
There are only locks on doors for single-stall washrooms for safety reasons. Multi-stall washrooms do not have locks on the main door so that no one can enter a washroom while another person is inside a stall and lock the door without their knowledge.
|I have a complaint, who do I direct it to?|
Complaints about washrooms might include maintenance issues such as a lack of soap, toilet paper, paper towel, a water leak, inability to secure a stall door, broken glass or the presence of hazardous material, damaged fixtures, slipping hazards, or sanitation concerns. These can be directed to Physical Plant/Maintenance through calling the phone number on the wall of the washroom or putting in a Work Order (WO). The WO allows you to indicate its level of urgency.
Health & Safety or Violence
Complaints related to health and safety incidents or violence that have occurred in washrooms or on campus generally can be directed to:
Individuals needing accessible washrooms as a part of their accommodation plan can reach out to:
Human Rights Complaints
Those with human rights complaints should speak to the OHRE. An example of this would be a complaint that an accessibility need has not been met after inquiring with SAS or Human Resources.
All-Gender Washroom Working Group (AGWWG)
Anyone who wants to voice concerns respecting the process or the work of the Working Group should contact the Associate Vice-Provost Students who chairs the committee.