Edmonton's Borden Park Pavilion wins Canada's Best Restroom contest

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If nature calls when you drop the kids off at the pool in Borden Park, you can find some relief nearby at the best toilets in the country.

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The Borden Park Pavilion has been given the distinction of the Best Restroom in Canada after voters deemed the facility the number one place for a number two in Cintas Canada’s nationwide contest. Nominees were judged on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements. The city-run facility will receive $2,500 in Cintas’ cleaning products and services to help maintain it.

Nicole Fraser, city general supervisor in parks said staff are feeling a sense of pride.

“It’s really nice to receive an award that really showcases the work that the different teams, crews, Boyle Street ventures and hiregood do to keep this washroom safe and clean for citizens,” she said.

The city has made efforts to keep many public washrooms open during the COVID-19 pandemic, in some cases adding staff trained to work with vulnerable populations, and keep the spaces clean and safe for everyone, Fraser said.

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This 273-metre-squared circular structure is nothing to turn your nose up at.

Honoured by the Governor General for outstanding architecture in 2018, the pavilion’s exterior is camouflaged among the trees with its highly reflective glass panels that make it look much more like an art gallery than an outhouse.

Inside, there’s a seating area with bright white tables and chairs, and a vibrant and colourful mural wraps the interior between the men’s and women’s rooms. You will feel like a monarch on the porcelain throne inside the tidy and accessible bathrooms wiped clean by dedicated staff. In the announcement, Cintas notes some hands-free elements and a stainless-steel trough-style sink that prevents water from splashing on the floor.

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Cintas Canada has been running the contest since 2010.  Marketing Manager Candice Raynsford said it promotes the importance of maintaining public washrooms for businesses, especially amid the pandemic as hygiene has their attention.

“The public needs to be able to have access to washrooms, and if a washroom is clean they’re going to want to come back to that business or that facility again,” she said.

She adds that visual appeal is also important and will bring people back: “you really want to make patrons feel comfortable when they’re using your facility.”

Alberta has flushed out the competition when it comes to outstanding bathrooms.

Westview RV Park in Wetaskiwin won the title in 2020, Beaver Hills Shell in Lac La Biche won in 2019, and St. Albert Honda won in 2018. Two of the other five finalists for this year’s contest were also in Alberta: Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, and the ROOFTOP in Calgary.

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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