Zoo, airport among finalists for Canada's best washroom
Published Monday, August 11, 2014 11:07AM EDT
A zoo or an airport may not be the places you’d expect to find a superior washroom, but both are among the five finalists in a contest to find the best place to do a No. 1 or No. 2 in Canada.
The Calgary Zoo and Vancouver Airport, along with Patria restaurant in Toronto, Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls, and the Shaw Club Hotel and Spa in Niagara on the Lake are all vying to win Cintas' Canada's best restroom award.
"They want it to be inviting. They want to walk in and know it's clean, it smells clean," Cintas Canada's Leslie Molin told Canada AM Monday, explaining what people look for. "(Also) That it's well stocked. The last thing you want isto be in in the stall and realize you don't have paper or you go and wash your hands and realize there is not enough soap."
While the Calgary Zoo and YVR loos may not appear to be the fanciest around, Molin said there are good reasons why they made it to the top five.
"The Calgary Zoo, you wouldn't have thought, but it has a lot people going through it all the time and they maintain it. It's this great décor where you walk in and you have huts, wonderful hieroglyphics on the wall, and it's just really fun," she said.
As for Vancouver's airport restrooms, they earn high marks in two categories that matter to many – maintenance and design.
"Here's a really, really busy airport in Canada and they keep it pristine…It's absolutely beautiful mosaics on the wall and they have a lovely design element of waves on the floor," Molin said.
The wall of the men's washroom at Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls, Ont. has giant, gaping shark mouths that reveal mirrors inside. Molin said they get a lot of feedback from patrons who say they’d love to have one at home.
While it may seem silly to rate the best place to go when you have to go, Molin said attention to cleanliness and design underscore a business’ level of customer service. In the case of restaurantwashrooms, for example, patrons tend to equate a clean washroom to a clean kitchen.
Cintas provides restroom cleaning and supplies to tens of thousands of businesses in Canada. This is the fifth year they are conducting the commode competition in Canada. Previous winners include the Cactus Club Café in Vancouver, e11even in Toronto, the outdoor Langley Street Loo in Victoria, and the Shell Super Station in Valleyview, Alta.
Since the competition’s inception in the U.S. more than a decade ago, winners there have ranged from a casino to a port-o-let-looking bathroom.
This year’s five Canadian finalists were narrowed down from approximately 100 nominations. And now it is time for the public to vote for the winner. Anyone can vote by going to the Cintas website, looking through a fully gallery of images for each restroom and ranking them in order.
The winner will be announced in October after votingconcludes. The winner will receive $2,500 toward Cintas services.