Public toilets

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lagatta
Public toilets

Everyone has to go. Pregnant women and all of us as we get older, a bit more often. Yet there has actually been a decline in truly "public" toilets in many cities. http://www.ledevoir.com/politique/montreal/412104/le-retour-de-la-toilet... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_toilet

http://www.francoischarron.com/iphone-trouve-la-toilette-la-plus-proche-... Ça presse: guide to toilets compiled with the help of the Inflammatory Intestinal Disease Foundation: http://www.ca-presse.ca/ (site seems down).

Cross-Canada public (and public-accessible) toilet map: http://www.powderroom.ca/fr/cross-canada-bathroom-map This has a very limited number of entries.

In a broader sense, public toilets can refer to toilets located in libraries, other public buildings, businesses (including restaurants and cafés), shopping centres and the dubious ones at filling stations, provided one does not have to consume to use them (very frustrating when one has to pee and is obliged to ... order a coffee).

Everyday sexism in public toilet access: http://time.com/3653871/womens-bathroom-lines-sexist-potty-parity/ In Victorian London, women's public toilets were actually deliberately discouraged to keep women "off the streets". And there is the related issue of access for transgender people.

And, of course, the issue of universal access, for people with disabilities, parents with babies to change etc.

I was happy to see clean public toilets for the customers at Supermarché PA (avenue du Parc, Mile-End Mtl) and Fruiterie Milano (actually a supermarket now) boulevard St-Laurent, Petite-Italie, Montréal.

onlinediscountanvils

Ottawa has a grassroots group that's been quite active over the past year pushing for more public toilets.

[url=http://ottawapublictoilets.ca]GottaGo![/url]

lagatta

I see that GottaGo has been quite active of late. Bravo! http://ottawapublictoilets.ca/in-the-news/

It is also interesting to see how different issues of accessibility (for disabled people, the question of transgender people and public accomodations, for people who aren't paying customers etc) intersect.

Gotta go!

lagatta

Some public toilet news from my hood!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/st-hubert-plaza-piloting-three-pu...

I'll have to go check them out. I hope they can be kept clean; but how on earth are these going to function in the winter? A better solution would be at least one public toilet installed in one of the many empty businesses along St-Hubert between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon.

Even closer to me, the new building at Jean-Talon Market (where there is a new and larger SAQ outlet, recycling and composting facilities, and probably another business soon) there are two brand new accessible public toilets, that open from the outdoor - just one unit each, quite large, with baby changing tables.

lagatta

Radio-Noon on CBC had a call-in on this today, and their guest was Globe writer André Picard, who had written this:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/an-urgent-matter-more-public...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has just launched an initiative dubbed “GoHere,” an effort to have restaurants and office buildings open up their washrooms to people who can experience urgent and frequent bowel movements.

I remember a similar initiative -- by the same folk, I think -- more than a decade ago.  An LCBO outlet near me had one of the stickers on the door.

 

lagatta

I'd be embarassed to ask at the big SAQ Sélection (including what the LCBO calls Vintages) nearby, and the closest pharmacies don't have openly public toilets either. It would be superfluous at the new SAQ at Jean-Talon Market, as there are those great new toilets in the same building (opening onto the street). There is a Metro supermarket a bit east of me (Bélanger and Fabre) with a public toilet, and closer, Milano (Italian supermarket and greengrocer has nice, accessible male and female ones (but no changing tables) and the new Rachelle-Béry natural foods market has a good accessible toilet.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I never ask at the LCBO.  I just pee on the Chardonnay and nobody notices.

lagatta

I thought it was the Sauvignon blanc - skdadl's pet wine - that smelled and tasted of cat pee. But given the number of cats our late friend had...

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Hate to use the W word...  But when we would do a road trip with small children, the most reliable bathroom place was usually Walmart.  Generally clean and nearly always open, you don't actually have to be buying anything to use the loo, unlike a lot of fast food places that also populate roadsides.

lagatta

We all have our trick places. There is a boycott of Indigo bookshop here, but I don't extend that to the loo. They have a great loo.

There are also great public toilets in libraries and community buildings. On one of my favourite winter walks, when it is too icy to cycle, I am familiar with PA supermarket, the Mile-End public library and the YMCA as places one can piddle. Funny to think of that in the summer, as that need arises for me in the cold.

We want people to stay active and walk at all ages, if they are pregnant etc, but there are no "facilities". Grrr.

Slumberjack

Cheating - by Megan Murphy

Quote:
But before we move any further into this discussion, we need to acknowledge that this conversation is a gendered one. Reports say that 70 per cent of Ashley Madison's users were male, but it looks like many of those who made up the remaining 30 per cent of female users were actually fake, meaning the percentage of male users was as high as 90-95 per cent. Is this mere coincidence? I think not. Male entitlement is an issue, here.

In the exercise above, if we're to understand what is going on at AM, typically 90 to 95 percent of that site's clientelle are male, who vye for the attention of the remaining 5 to 10 percent that are presumed to be female.  Just the business model alone is enough of a deterrent to my mind.  It must mean on average that at any given time, every female enjoys roughly 9 to 1 odds or better in interchangeable correspondents.  One has to assume that there's an awful lot of meta-cheating going on that is internal to the site.  Man:  "Why weren't you available to talk to me last night?"  Woman:  "Ummm, I was busy."  

Quote:
Beyond that, I'm going to straight up tell you that I judge male cheaters differently than I do female cheaters. This is partly because I have, over the years, seen or heard aboutfar more men cheating on their girlfriends than I have the reverse.

Of course you do.  But if they're out there cheating, the girlfriends they meet enable this transgression, while committing a transgression of their own in terms of swiping someone else's partner, do they not?  Unless the far greater prevalence of men who cheat are not actually cheating on their girlfriends by dating other women.  That would imply cheating with the same sex, or with non humans, which would be out of bounds entirely because non-humans cannot give their consent.

The logical suggestion, instead of complaining about it, would be to encourage more female participation in online cheating sites.  Me, I would certainly discourage women from remaining on the sidelines in precarious relationships while their partners are off doing this kind of thing as if it were an entitlement.  In that sense, shouldn't everyone be entitled?  What's good for the goose?  If one is not going to advocate for a generalized 'unfaithfulness,' then it seems that, for one, the author is merely ranting against the male component to these affairs for the sake of the rant alone, while leaving the female side in the moral, but unenviable position of waiting for their unfaithful men to spend some time with them.  Why would anyone wish for that?  Lets get that message out there, its been suppressed for far too long.  It's more than ok for women to exercise their options as well.

Also, why is it that more men than women cheat?  Is it because historically the issue of cheating men, while not exactly condoned by the religious institutions, was more or less considered as something men engaged in, particularly if they were wealthy and could afford to introduce a little variety to their lives?  I mean, isn't it an historical travesty that the same opportunities, when undertaken by the few women who dared to dabble in extra-marital liaisons, elicited more shame, scandal, and frankly danger, than if a man was discovered?  I'm in favour of a general leveling out in that regard.  Here I agree with the author.  If people are going to cheat, as they certainly will, I think it's completely wrong for men to be overwhelmingly represented in that activity.  The whole structure of relationships could stand a re-evaluation.  This is how we make an attempt toward progress.  Whatever it is that M. Murphy is doing seems to be an further entrenchment into a status quo imbalance that hasn't changed for millennia.  Pity.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Beyond that, I'm going to straight up tell you that I judge male cheaters differently than I do female cheaters. This is partly because I have, over the years, seen or heard about far more men cheating on their girlfriends than I have the reverse.

What a bizarre statement.

That's like judging "rich" shoplifters as better than "poor" shoplifters because the rich shoplifters are the minority.

What do statistics have to do with morals?

lagatta

I resent my longstanding loo topic being taken over by mere adultery!

This topic is about the biological need to do number one, number two, etc. Of course public toilets have been notorious for "cottaging" or "dogging", but that is not the topic at hand here!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Lagatta its clear to me that many of our posters on babble just don't know shit about toilets.

I just spent the afternoon trying to figure out how to talk the Village into more accessible washrooms in a renovation it is doing. Different pile same shit.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta wrote:

I resent my longstanding loo topic being taken over by mere adultery!

I was wondering what happened there.

Also, reminded me that we were talking about a similar aspect of this not too long ago:

http://rabble.ca/babble/lgbtq/new-osha-guide-to-restroom-access-transgen...

Since then I was at an event up north which has run for many years mostly on outhouses. As it is becoming more of a tourist destination they are building more porecelain. Thing is, this year the demand outstretched capacity on the last day. I had a very odd conversation with someone who bemoaning the fact that the toilets were out of commission, and I mentioned that there was always the other option, and she didn't get it. When I said specifically I was refering to the outhouses she said something to the effect of "why would you want to do that?" I replied that I used the outhouses as much as possible so as not to use too much water and cause the very crisis we were in.

If one could truly call it a crisis. Thing is, it is an event at which things like water, garbage, lack of electricity and cell service, bears and other limits and environmental concerns are pretty obvious. So it was really odd to run into the perspective of looking down one's nose at outhouses which were perfectly clean and serviceable.

Speaking of public toilets, this is about as public as it gets - on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton:

http://www.yelp.ca/biz/whyte-avenue-public-toilets-edmonton

And of course there is the other urban waste problem: why aren't we recycling this as greywater? And why isn't some of it (urine especially) composted? I know there are some places (like the M.E.C. in Winnipeg) which does have a composting toilet.

 

 

 

 

jas

I wonder if stand-to-pee devices might help women in this regard. Mountaineers use it.

lagatta

Stand-to-pee devices are a bit too public for most women in urban settings...  And of course we have to design for those who can't "stand to pee".

We have composting of household waste now, but they don't accept cat droppings or pee congealed in clumpable litter. Hence almost all the "garbage" our household produces is cat waste. I do throw out a small bag every week, not because it is full (not even half) but because it is pungent.

lagatta

My turn for an aside. A spot of insomnia, and remember that it is three a.m. closing time and a young man and woman, obviously a bit tipsy, are arguing about ... chicken wings! "C'est les ailes de poulet, crisse!"

Slumberjack

lagatta wrote:
I resent my longstanding loo topic being taken over by mere adultery!

Sorry.  I looked elsewhere but this seemed to be the most appropriate place for that blog entry.

lagatta

You should start a new topic if there is no appropriate one. You could also do a search for "Ashley Madison"; I believe babblers have already mentioned it. It has no bearing on this topic. If you want to refer to public toilets sometimes being used for ... public sex, that and "drug use" is an old argument used to SHUT DOWN public toilets and deny the right to public facilities.

Good, clean accessible public toilets at the new Marc Favreau library, next to Rosemont métro. Worth pointing out, also because they are beside a métro station. I don't give a damn what people do in them, as long as they leave them clean and safe for the next user.

6079_Smith_W

There was a contest several years back for "best public restroom. 

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/canadas-best-public-toilet-you-can-decide

Interesting that some toilets have been designed as art or architectural pieces. Not the best ust of money perhaps, but it does draw attention to the issue.

Plus, there is the fact that most of what we think of as public washrooms aren't really - they are in private places like malls and bus depots. So as with the problem of libraries and clinics being in malls,  if you happen to be someone the owners don't want on the property, you don't get to use that facility.

 

lagatta

Yes, that particularly targets homeless people, or those assumed to be homeless. We were also shut out of the toilets at Complexe Desjardins, after a big protest against the first Iraq war. Fortunately I knew where there was another decent toilet nearby, in a hotel. But a "homeless-looking" person or even the punkier-looking of our protesters would have been shut out from there.

I imagine that groups of youth, especially youth of colour, are often shut out of shopping malls.

La Grande bibliothèque here has a policy of being welcome to SDFs ("sans domicile fixe") as long as they don't make trouble.

 

6079_Smith_W

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2013/ap...

The one problem with these recycle options is drugs like antibiotics and hormones that wind up back in the food chain. Still, it is something that should be going into the compost.

 

lagatta4

Here is a brief history of public facilities in Montréal after Mayor Coderre is finally planning to return them after Mayor Drapeau eliminated them decades ago:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/public-washrooms-toilet-coderre-m...

My composting is finally accepting cat droppings if they are in a compostable bag. But I'd feel really strange composting human ones, that aren't as ... compact ... as those of small felines. I do think we have to find ways of composting and recycling human and animal waste. 

Pogo Pogo's picture

Our neighbor on Thetis Island has a compost toilet, which is a combination of a indoor plumbing and an outhouse.  In urban areas dealing with #2 will have to be through the waste water treatment system.  Finding a way to restrict harmful products from the system is I guess job one.