Memorable public bathrooms of the world

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

On one occasion we were asked: “So, your site’s not a guide to finding a public convenience, then?”

As a service to all those people that may have wound up here looking for just such a site, here’s a little information about toilet tourism.

Perhaps you’d like an insight about the facilities at the International Space Station? Or to fantasise about using a 24-carat gold loo in Hong Kong?

For those wanting quite the opposite experience, try a remote wooden structure with no door situated at Terratima Lodge in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

All these and more are featured in Toilets of the World by Sian James and Morna Gregory, a Canadian photography and writing partnership.

As the duo mention on their website, they first met at a horse riding stable in Alberta, Canada, where they worked together shovelling horse manure. Now, twenty years later, they point out that they find themselves in an ironically similar profession.

Here’s a news story about their book from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Outhouse ‘memorable’ bathroom

Canadian commode on international top 10 list

Earlier this month, Victoria debuted “pop-up” night urinals designed to curb public urination on city streets between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. Vancouver city officials, meanwhile, are awaiting the arrival of eight fully automated, high-tech public toilets that self-sanitize as well as monitor the length of time a user is in the restroom to minimize crime.

The Australian government has funded a national toilet map that directs the full-bladdered to one of 14,000 public and private toilets across the country, with online users able to download the loo lowdown onto a Global Positioning System device.

And in Beijing, where more than 10 per cent of visitor complaints are related to restroom facilities, authorities are spending more than $50 million renovating and installing thousands of five-star “tourism toilets” in advance of the 2008 Olympics. Read the full story here…

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