Mayor & councillor fuming over Waterfront Toronto's $600,000 washrooms

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong says Waterfront Toronto spent $175,000 of that, only on design of the facilities at Cherry Beach Sports Field

Last month, Waterfront Toronto came under fire for spending almost $1-million on umbrellas and rocks at Sugar Beach, now more of their expenses are raising eyebrows.

City councillor and Chair of the Public Works Committee, Denzil Minnan-Wong is piping mad about how much was spent on a new washroom facility at the Cherry Beach Sports field.

He says $600-thousand was spent on the men's and women's washroom and $175-thousand of that, was only for design work.

Minnan Wong told the Toronto Sun on Wednesday, he toured the men's side, and was shocked that the dryers were already rusted.

“People will not come from around the world to sit on our cans,” he said. “It is just a bathroom. It serves an important function and purpose, it has to be safe and it has to be clean and it has to flush properly. We don’t need a fancy designer to build skylights in these bathrooms.”

Waterfront Toronto defended the project saying that the cost of the design also included an environmental and architectural evaluation of the area. Councillor Paula Fletcher also defended it saying there were a few problems to get around, like a lack of a sewer line and that the sports complex is on remediated land.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford released a statement early this morning, BLASTING Waterfront Toronto. He says taxpayers can't trust their leadership, and it's a blatant disregard for taxpayers' money.

Mayor Rob Ford is also fuming about these latest expenses. He tweeted out a statement early Thursday morning:

"Since 2011, the Ford Administration has repeatedly expressed serious concerns over an apparent lack of accountability at Waterfront Toronto.

Newest reports suggest that Waterfront Toronto wasted $600,000 of hard earned taxpayers’ money on a single public washroom facility, including over $175,000 on design work alone. That is roughly the cost of an average home in Toronto.

This is simply the latest example in a pattern of blatant disregard for taxpayers’ money at Waterfront Toronto.

We recently learned that $1,000,000 was squandered on 2 rocks and 36 umbrellas at Sugar Beach. This is not how taxpayers want their hard earned money spent.

Although Waterfront Toronto does not report directly to the Mayor, or to Toronto City Council, all government bodies are responsible to the taxpayer.

Since 2001, we haven’t seen value for money at Waterfront Toronto.

If taxpayers cannot trust the leadership of Waterfront Toronto to build a washroom, how can we trust them with billions of dollars to revitalize one of Toronto’s most important assets?"

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  1. The people posted on 07/17/2014 05:40 AM
    The people are fuming over much bigger issues Rob..YOU!
    1. G Man posted on 07/17/2014 11:44 AM
      @The people True, but two wrongs don't make a right.
  2. Remove Rob Ford posted on 07/17/2014 05:51 AM
    These two cannot see the value in anything, just the cost. Living in a safe and clean city with great attractions, efficient public transport, wonderful schools with an abundance of committed teachers and the other things that make a city truly great, aren't free. They come with a cost and We all have to pay for them. Fortunately Ford is gone come October 27 and Minnan Wong may be as well.
    1. Ernie posted on 07/17/2014 09:35 AM
      @Remove Rob Ford So if YOU want them - why don't YOU pay for it. As for me - I want clean safe functioning toilets, not an art exhibit or exhibition of architectural splendor in a men's room.

      When I need a Chev I don't buy a Lexus.
    2. Greg posted on 07/17/2014 10:34 AM
      @Remove Rob Ford All those things you list are important and, yes they do cost us. A cost I am willing to pay. What we don't need is an over-designed rest room that has been left to rot. How about this: build a standard washroom at normal cost, then keep it clean!
      You see the value of everything and have no regard for the cost.
  3. When is Rob posted on 07/17/2014 06:20 AM
    When is Rob and Doug Ford going to publicly apologize to the two Toronto Star reporters who they knowingly slandered?
  4. tanjo posted on 07/17/2014 08:08 AM
    The message I get from this is that they spend this much money on washrooms, but then did not keep them MAINTAINED.

    Why? Because they were too cheap to hire proper maintenance staff?

    We need strong Management. If all you do is complain about every penny spent, then people quickly learn to ignore you.
    1. Ernie posted on 07/17/2014 09:37 AM
      @tanjo Tanjo - its not pennies - its $600,000 on something that should have cost $100,000.

      Think of it as $500,000 flushed down the toilet and not spent on transit !
    2. tanjo posted on 07/17/2014 12:47 PM
      @Ernie That's not my point. My point is that after you spend the money (rightly or wrongly), on rennovations, you sure as h*ll had better keep it maintainted? To allow it to rust out within a few years is irresponsible!

      (Costs addressed below)
  5. don was right posted on 07/17/2014 09:37 AM
    half a million dollars for a crapper. braught to you be the same group that p*ssed half million for a bunch of rock and another half million for a bunch of umbrellas on a fake beach. The whole lot should be fired
    1. tanjo posted on 07/17/2014 12:50 PM
      @don was right Granted for the rocks and umbrellas, but having just gone through rennovations myself, and talking to neighbours that have done the same, I can see costs coming in around a half million, especially if there is infrastructure involved.

      The rocks and umbrellas is a different story, as is the fact that they sat on these costs for like four years. So yeah, in the end I agree that some performance reviews are in order.
  6. arthur posted on 07/17/2014 10:37 AM
    you notice Wong seems to be clueless about a lot of things. Ford should just shut the eff up. he knows crap about crappers. he knows squat about pretty much everything.
    does he look or sound the type that knows anything about infrastructure or costs?
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