8 great Public Baby Changing Facilities in Vancouver

The best diaper changing facilities in the city where you can regroup, nurture and even get a coffee to boot.

The best diaper changing facilities in Vancouver for weary parents needing some peace—and maybe a latte, too

There are things you come to appreciate as a parent—and clean and comfy washroom facilities is one of them. When your child needs to be fed or changed and tears are flying, with screams to match, all you want is to find a place to escape.

Look no further. I have strategically mapped out my favourite facilities in Vancouver that offer a comfortable place to nurse, family rooms, change stations and/or children's washrooms. Thanks to more than a year with babe-in-tow, I have scoped out venues that allow you to regroup, nurture and even get a coffee to boot.

Pacific Centre Mall, H&M nursing room

One of the best refuge areas in downtown Vancouver is found at Pacific Centre Mall. In the women’s bathroom adjacent to the food court there is a nursing room sponsored by H&M. It’s a separated space with cute art, two lounge chairs, a change table and a sink. During the week it is rarely busy so you can take your time and relax.

The Bay (downtown), furniture department

In a pinch, most department stores will have a place to nurse in the children’s section. It’s usually nothing more than a designated stall in the change rooms, but it usually does the trick when you just want a private space to care for your little one.

However, if you happen to be at the Bay downtown, there is a quiet, out-of-the-way bathroom on the top floor of the furniture department. Few people, besides mamas, know about this spot so it’s usually deserted. The room is nothing fancy, but there is a bench to set up camp and do what you need to do.

Vancouver Public Library (central branch), parent bathroom

The Vancouver Public Library central branch offers a parent bathroom on the children’s level. This room has two parts: a change table and chair in one, and an adult toilet in the other. The toileted room comes equipped with a little belted booster seat to keep your child safe and in tact while you do your business (because sometimes moms have to go too!)

I would assume the VPL in your hood would have similar facilities, so keep this in mind when you are out and about.

Citywide: Vancouver Community Centres

Community centres are always a good backup since they accommodate families and are scattered throughout the city. You can almost always expect a clean spacious bathroom, change table and sinks. In the common area, there are benches or couches to kick back, and some venues even have a coffee bar.

Roundhouse is a goodie, since it's located right near the seawall and nearby parks.

Mt Pleasant Community Centre and Hillcrest are also lovely venues.

Find a centre near you via the City of Vancouver website.

Eastside: Little Nest and Re-entry Espresso

Sometimes a hungry and wet baby is also the perfect reason to stop and get a coffee and a pastry. If you are lucky enough to be near these local gems, make a pit stop: the immensely child-friendly Little Nest on Commercial Drive has très cool vintage change tables in its quaint little bathrooms, while Re-entry Espresso on Main Street is known for its “out-of-this-world” changing facility.

Westside: Kokepelli Café and Whole Foods Market

The Kokepelli Café on Dunbar and Whole Foods Market on Cambie both offer a nice washroom as well as a place for the little ones to play while you refuel.

Starbucks, everywhere…

When desperate, you can almost always count on Starbucks having a change table in one of its bathrooms. And, since this is Vancouver, Starbucks is never more than a few steps away.

BYO, anywhere…

Finally, since life happens and there isn’t always refuge close by (I’ve nursed in some pretty unfortunate places), I’ve learned to bring a "clean facility" with me. My diaper bag always includes a small waterproof tarp-like blanket to cover unsanitary floors or wet ground, a receiving blanket to cover my baby, a spray bottle with water, Safe Hands, ample cloths or wipes and plastic bags. It's not the Four Seasons but does allows me to hunker down and take care of business no matter where I may be.

Please share the wealth! Tell us about the best facilities in your neighbourhood.