Potential for potties probed at Britannia

Mayor Malcolm Brodie helped usher in B.C. Seniors Week Monday at Britannia Shipyards—and noticed something was missing.

Britannia’s seine net loft hosted the noontime opening ceremony event. The massive wood building officially opened last fall following a $1.2-million restoration that included a $250,000 federal contribution.

Now equipped with emergency lighting, sprinklers and other modern safety features, the space is suitable for special exhibits, events and community programs. But it doesn’t have a washroom.

Guests of Monday’s event had to walk to washrooms elsewhere on the Britannia site, prompting the mayor to raise the matter at a council committee meeting Monday. Council tasked city staff to explore washroom options for the building, along with another adjacent loft.

“It’s an inconvenience and it’s going to be a real limiting factor,” said Brodie. “Regardless of the use, I think we need facilities right in those buildings.”

Originally built in the mid-1950s as part of the Phoenix Cannery, the seine net loft overhangs the Fraser River on wood pilings. Before its opening, the building had been used as a storage facility.

Various events have been staged in the building since its opening, including a B.C. Chamber of Commerce reception last month and a Tourism Richmond Christmas party last December.

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