Paying to go in the Beaches… Way too slow!

December 7, 2012

Walking down Woodbine Beach one may notice a new construction project on Lake Shore Boulevard by Coxwell. Indeed, while the area already has a generous amount of public restroom facilities – none match the sophisticated technology of our new automated self-cleaning toilet. Yet what exactly is the justification for spending $400,000 dollars on a one stall pimped out porta potty? Also; if your business is human nature, is it not a taxpayer’s right to use a commode without having to dig up loose change?
Toronto ushered in it’s first self-cleaning, one user public toilet in 2010 at the waterfront location on Rees Street and Queen’s Quay West with high expectations of having twenty more across the city. Despite a brief hype, the project run by Astral Media with the city seems to be slow in progressing. The second location of one of these pay-per-use restrooms is located right here in our own neighbourhood. While all but complete, the contraption is yet to serve it’s first paying customer.
While a novelty in Toronto, these washrooms are already used all over North America. Vancouver for example has built several of these monstrosities, the only difference is that out west there is no fee to pee. In fact for a number of reasons the City of Vancouver is considering doing away with these self-cleaning loos. The main issues Vancouver is facing includes heavy vandalism, drug use, homeless sleeping inside, indecent acts, constant malfunctions, accessibility issues, and in one case just last year an individual was locked inside. He tried the fail-safe lever, designed to open the door when it malfunctions, that didn’t work – requiring a rescue team with crowbars to assist him out.
Granted for $400,000 a piece, these are the World’s most high-tech urinals but as Vancouver has learned – the hidden costs of maintenance, repair and costs to the city’s reputation are far higher then traditional public restrooms.
Boardwalk Pub’s George Foulidis, said he would like to see even more washrooms in the area. Mr. Foulidis is more then positive with the idea of charging customers to use outdoor washrooms. He just does not want the public to think they have his permission to use his Pub’s toilets in the summertime. “Regardless of how good they upgrade them there’s not enough!”


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