‘Go’ Anywhere

toilet.jpgIn the last few days (usually while eating dinner) a topic has come up that sparks much interest: self-cleaning, automated, public washrooms being introduced to the streets of Vancouver.

… a batch of self-cleaning, electronically monitored, fully automatic toilets are now on their way to downtown Vancouver, and Toronto is next in the lineup….The so-called automatic public toilets, or APTs, not only flush automatically but also are fully disinfected and blown dry after each use. Each standalone unit houses one toilet, with a self-locking door and a timer that lets you know when the allotted time (usually 10 to 15 minutes) is about to end….And if you’re not done when the time expires? Start waving to passersby, because the door will spring open anyway [globe and mail].


Vancouver City Counsel will have to decide on the amount of time each user will be allotted (10 minutes is the favourite at this time) and but the cost of the coin-operated toilet will probably be minimal, if not free – since according to the globe article, BC Law would prohibit such a fee.

All in all it seems like a good idea. The taxpayers will not be footing the bill, as the toilets will be billboard-monuments of sorts, sponsored by various companies. Paris, London and various other world-class cities have had these in place for years.

Often it’s hard to find a place to ‘go’ downtown that isn’t just for patrons only. The idea of Jetsons-esque self-cleaning commodes is somewhat amusing, certainly intriguing and I’m just interested to see how big of a ‘hit’ they will be, if at all. You can certainly tell that some people have a rough time finding a place to go (just by some of the sights and smells around town).

The plan is to roll out the high-tech porta potties by November 19th, which is (according to the WTO (World Toilet Organization)) World Toilet Day.

With the Olympics coming and all kinds of plans and budgets going down the drain, do you think that this is something positive and would you be willing to try it out if you were in need of a quick pit stop? Or will these touristy gems clutter up the sidewalks and be the bathroom equivalent of the Spirit Bears?

7 Comments so far

  1. LoLo D. (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 8:47 am

    Sometimes I have a shy bladder! I don’t want the door springing open just when I’m pulling up my pants or something. Will it flush after the door has sprung open when your time is up? It’s like the creepy computerized house that holds you hostage but instead it tries to evict you! :(


  2. Rebecca (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 8:59 am

    Wonder if there will there be a timer inside so you can watch it countdown. Just don’t wear tight complicated pants with 40 buttons & zippers and you should have ample time to pull them up :p

    (although I’m not sure what I mean by ‘complicated pants’ :-| )


  3. Gus (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 9:59 am

    Similarly I recall reading something this past year where in London they have one now that is a 2 way mirror. So if you are on the toliet, you can see passers go by, but they can’t see you. Hmmmm.


  4. Ariane (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 11:32 am

    being someone with umm… ‘digestive issues’…this would be so great! but the whole time limit thing? like, is there a coin slot where you can pop in a quarter and buy yourself another ten mins? sometimes if you’re not feeling so hot, that might not be long enough! and then the door just pops open???!!! eek.


  5. Carla (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

    makes me think of that japanese prank show where they raise the toilet up through the roof while you’re on it allowing everyone to see you with your pants down


  6. Dustin (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    November 19th also happens to be my birthday. The shame…


  7. Irish Spring (unregistered) on August 26th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    Someone told me that it would be funny to lock a street person in one of these while it sanitizes itself



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