Dear Readers;
When I was a kid growing up in Toronto they had all sorts of public pay toilets, which prompted that old saying on the crapper wall;
Here I sit,
Paid a dime,
and only farted!
With the current rate of inflation, a quarter seems about right for a modern day trip to the Loo!
By Steve Kupferman
When the first automated public toilet opened on Queens Quay West in 2010, the City was expecting to have a bunch more of them installed in relatively short order. Now, after two years of delays, the City has announced that a second one is going to be opening tomorrow, at Lake Shore East and Northern Dancer boulevards, right by Ashbridge’s Bay Park. It, like its predecessor, will cost 25 cents per use.
The reason the washrooms have been so slow in coming is that they’re hard to install. Each one has a whole gaggle of special features—heating and air conditioning, an alarm system, an intercom for emergencies, self-cleaning surfaces, and so forth. Plus, the toilets are housed inside bulky, metal-plated sheds. A March 2012 City staff report blames the delays on a lack of spots with access to all the utilities needed to run that type of machinery. “It has been difficult to find appropriate locations due to the size and weight of the 3 square metre unit and the availability of necessary water, sewer, and power hook-ups,” says the report.
The pay toilets are part of the City’s agreement with Astral Media, an advertising company that is providing Toronto with street furniture (like garbage cans and transit shelters) in exchange for the exclusive right to sell advertisements on some of it. Astral is supposed to be providing 20 pay toilets over the 20-year length of the contract. We’re currently in year five, though, and we’re only getting toilet number two. According to the same staff report quoted earlier, Astral’s contract called for seven of the robotic pissoirs to have been installed by the end of this year.
Despite all that, this is good. Have you ever tried to find a clean public washroom near Ashbridge’s Bay? It’s not easy. The new toilet should be well worth the quarter, once beach season arrives.