By Laura Keil

Valemount’s long-anticipated self-cleaning washrooms at Centennial Park are now open.

In a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, Valemount Council cut a strip of toilet paper to mark the opening of the washrooms. 

“The past couple years have provided the Village of Valemount the opportunity to re-evaluate what service delivery can really look like,” said Valemount Mayor Owen Torgerson. “The first in BC, these ultra-modern, self-cleaning, year-round, and all-access washroom facilities complement our beautiful downtown, Centennial Park, as well as our EV charging area and will be of benefit to residents, the business community and visitors for years to come.”

The new washroom facility boasts automatic water and sanitation features that control water consumption and clean the space between uses. The Village says these features greatly reduce the need to touch surfaces, reducing risk, while also saving on operating and maintenance costs. Unlike the previous washrooms on that site, these will be open to the public year-round.

Made by Urben Blu, based in Quebec, the Village says the washrooms are built for extreme weather and follow the guidelines of the Official Community Plan, incorporating mountain community style steep roofing, a rock base and natural colours. The facility features vandalism resistant materials and includes enhanced programmable safety features.

“Tourism Valemount is happy to be a part of today’s ceremony to open such a unique piece of Village infrastructure,” said Pete Pearson, Chair of Tourism Valemount. “As we continue to welcome travellers, having a state of the art, safe and efficient facility to stop, rest and hopefully explore the area is so valuable.”

The Village of Valemount was approved for a $327,860 grant through the Tourism Dependent Community Fund, delivered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. The grant covered 80 percent of the costs to purchase and install the new washrooms. Contributions to this project were also made by the Columbia Basin Trust and the Northern Development Initiative Trust.