Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Vancouver YWCA bans shower room nudity

"I don't think it's crazy. I think it's progressive," health and fitness centre director Sandy Reimer says.
The YWCA said it looked at other facilities' policies before making any decisions.

Vancouver’s YWCA has changed its rules on nudity in shower areas telling patrons “minimal attire is required in all open concept shower areas.”

Health and fitness centre director Sandy Reimer tells Glacier Media the change is about making the facility more inclusive as people choose the gendered locker room they identify with.

She said the YWCA looked at other facilities' policies before making any decisions

“Open concept is not a thing anymore,” she said. “Some of the recreation centres are moving to inclusive locker rooms where there’s no nudity anywhere.”

In a July 17 note to patrons using its Hornby Street facility, the YWCA said, “We're evolving our locker room usage. Our new and evolving locker room rules and etiquette aim to honour each person’s right to privacy and comfort.”

It notes “cleansing showers are mandatory before pool use” and that “the open concept showers in the locker rooms are perfect for when you're changed into swimwear, on your way to the pool, stop and take a shower using soap, then enter the pool area.”

However, the organization now asks that, as a matter of courtesy, patrons use individual stalls with curtains to take a private and unclothed shower after workouts.

Reimer said patrons had requested more private spaces.

A shift began with a 2010 renovation to allow private areas and this continues that move, Reimer said.

“I don’t think it’s excessive" she said. "I don’t think it’s crazy. I think it’s progressive."

The YWCA said patrons can expect additional private changing stalls in the locker rooms as well as benches outside individual shower stalls to place personal belongings for a quick change after private showers.

“Please be kind and compassionate with yourself and to others and respect each other's personal space in this shared environment,” patrons are asked.