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Ottawa residents near Bluesfest fight public urination

Friday, July 13, 2018

Residents in an Ottawa neighbourhood have voiced their displeasure at concertgoers trespassing and urinating on their properties.

The Bluesfest is currently underway in the capital and revellers have left some locals fuming with their behaviour.

Sarah Taylor lives on Booth Street in Centretown, not far from the festival grounds.

“The noise actually doesn’t bother me. The crowds don’t bother me. For me it’s the destruction of the property and the trespassing,” she told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning on Thursday.

Taylor said she had to ask dozens and dozens of people to leave her property during last year’s Bluesfest and admitted this year hasn’t been much different.

“[The problem is] the volume. It’s the size of the crowd,” she said. “And the expectation that they’re coming to the festival, they should get to pee wherever they want to.”

Bluesfest organizers told CBC News they put up 40 extra porta-potties outside the festival grounds this year to help deal with the problem.

Taylor said that while the extra toilets are helping, it hasn’t stamped out the problem entirely.

“I think [the extra porta-potties] definitely helped. The people who were peeing last year kind of out of desperation with nowhere else to go, those people are using the porta-potties,” she said.

“But there are people though who just think they should be able to pee on my children’s sand toys.”

Residents have taken to posting pictures of trespassers on Twitter.

“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness,” she said. “This is to show the extent of the problem.”

Taylor added that she wants the neighbourhood to be blocked off during the annual event, with fencing to be put up to stop patrons walking through the area when leaving.

“I don’t think I should expect urinating and defecating in my space, in my home,” Taylor said. “I don’t think that’s a regular expectation of living downtown. And this is a residential neighbourhood and a lot of people choose to live here because it’s a beautiful neighbourhood the rest of the year.”

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