Fort Smith’s snowboard washrooms to stay put this season

An athlete looks on at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games snowboarding venue in Fort Smith
An athlete looks on at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games snowboarding venue in Fort Smith. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

After three years, Fort Smith and the Department of Lands have agreed the town’s portable washrooms can remain at the top of a snowboarding hill on commissioner’s land – at least until June 2021.

The washrooms on wheels, called wash cars by the town, have been parked at the top of the Riverside Park snowboarding hill since before the 2018 Arctic Winter Games. They also serve as change rooms and storage space for snowboarding equipment.

The town was given special permission by the NWT’s Department of Lands for the wash cars to live on territorial land for the duration of the Arctic Winter Games, but the municipality was supposed to move them afterward.

Fort Smith has previously applied for the land in question to be transferred to the town, but the department said the wash cars must be moved before it would entertain such an application.



Fort Smith did not move the portable washrooms, saying that would cost $15,000. This fall, the department duly issued a trespass notice to the town.

At an October 20 town council meeting, senior administrative officer Keith Morrison advised council the situation had been resolved for the time being – in part because it had started snowing in Fort Smith, affecting the town’s ability to move the change rooms.

“The salient point is the turn in the weather. The season is gone for us. The cars are in place, they are going to stay in place,” he said.

Instead of working on moving the wash cars, the town is now working on hooking power back up to them – where they currently lie – so they can be used by snowboarders this season.

The town is waiting on a quote for provision of power to the bottom of the snowboarding hill, where it plans to move the wash cars next summer.