King of the Throne
Will Canada’s next Best Washroom be a metallic mobile public toilet complete with solar powered lighting? Will it feature rustic hardwood floors and exposed ceiling pipes? Or will it showcase plush and scrumptious looking fabric in rich hues? How about floor-to-ceiling custom designed wallpaper and oversized oak wood doors? These are the five public washrooms that will compete for the title of Cintas’ Canada’s Best Restroom, now in its third year.
The public is invited to vote now through October 12 for their top pick at www.bestrestroom.com/canada where visitors can go on a photographic tour of each facility. The winner of the 3rd Annual Cintas’ Canada’s Best Restroom Contest will be revealed during a nationally publicized media event this fall and both the winner and runner-up will secure a place in the Hall of Fame. The 2012 finalists are:
Centre for Professional Training- (CFP) Vocational School Centre de formation professionnelle des Riverains
Repentigny, an off-island suburb located just half an hour from Montréal, plays host to the Centre for Professional Training. This vocational school’s colourful washroom was designed by local architect Luc DesMarchais to capture a young, modern and attractive look. CFP is recognized as one of North America’s largest Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) training facilities, welcoming 2,500 new students ages 15–60 years old every year. The curriculum combines ICT training with regular high school and college coursework facilitating the completion of grade 12 plus the first and second year of college in just over 2 years.
Earls- King Street
This upscale eatery along King Street in Toronto boasts custom wallpaper designed by ROLLOUT to reflect the Earls Restaurant brand and incorporate vintage elements in order to invoke nostalgia. Using scans from a set of original Earls menus Vancouver-based Krpan and Hoffbeck, who serve as in-house designers for Earls restaurants, crafted an image with a distressed effect that was papered to both the walls and ceiling giving these washrooms a contemporary yet charming feel. To give the space a more modern touch the women’s washroom is finished with a low profile porcelain sink, elegant cloud-like light fixtures and chandeliers. Imported, hand cut black marble washroom signage and wall tile in Herringbone Patterns are matched with contrasting textures of rough stone and rich wood throughout to complete this chic loo’s look.
The Georgian Court Hotel
Vancouver, British Columbia
The lobby washrooms inside the Georgian Court Hotel were designed in 2009 by award winning Canadian Designer Louis de Araujo of LDA Design. He extends the look of the vanity’s backsplash in both the men’s and women’s washroom by setting Petrus Pebbles into the marble countertop. Araujo’s design incorporates delectable materials like plush velvet seating with delicate chandeliers and pendent lights to give the space an airy feel. The atmosphere is gradually contrasted as the design team integrates deep blues and greys as well as wood grain textures into the men’s room. Spaces feature personal hand cloths and the ladies washroom is complete with hair spray, body lotion and mouth wash for a final feminine touch.
Langley Street Loo- (Langley St. near Bastion Square)
Victoria, British Columbia
The Langley Street Loo is applauded for its eco-friendly and open design, offering the optimal balance of personal privacy and public access. This ready-made stainless steel facility features a graffiti proof coating and combines a unisex toilet and an exterior hand washing station. The energy efficient loo is powered entirely by solar powered LED lighting fixtures and meets the ADA Standards (Americans with Disabilities Act for Accessible Design). The Langley Street Loo was purchased from the City of Portland, Oregon, in 2011 for $90,000.
This is London Club
In a renovated warehouse at the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district, this swanky nightclub is home to an eclectic women’s washroom. Hardwood floors and exposed ceiling pipes coupled with oversized oil paintings and luxurious seating give off the air of a modern boudoir. Complete with sleek vanities, frameless oval mirrors and elaborate sconces, the loo is fit for Marie Antoinette herself.
Fans can also participate by visiting the Best Restroom Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube Channel to post comments, receive contest updates, share photos or upload videos; links to all three sites are on the contest homepage.
Nominations for any non-residential restroom accessible to the general public were accepted online through the summer. Qualifying facilities were then judged and finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.
Cintas launched Canada’s Best Restroom Contest in 2010 to recognize establishments that place high value on hygiene and style in their public restrooms. “The condition of the washrooms in a restaurant, hotel or other public facility undoubtedly influences a customer’s overall experience,” said Cintas Canada’s senior marketing manager Leslie Molin.
“While it may not always be top of mind when dining, we realize that the washroom is an integral part of the overall design,” said Steve Salm, General Manager of e11even, which took the regal crown in last year’s contest.
Successful businesses recognize the correlation between clean restrooms and customer satisfaction and retention. “Cintas’ contest salutes owners and managers who invest in the upkeep of their facilities because they know it makes smart business sense,” Molin added.
It’s not too early to start sending in nominations for next year’s contest. “Whether you want to promote your own business, or bring recognition to a favourite restaurant, hotel, school or other establishment that you believe goes above and beyond in the design or cleanliness of its restrooms, we invite you to send us a name and photo,” says Canada’s Best Restroom Survey Editor, Sabrina Zimring.
Hall of Fame:
2011 Winner: e11even, Toronto, Ontario
2011 Runner-up: Allstream Centre, Toronto, Ontario
2010 Winner: Cactus Club Café, Vancouver, British Columbia
2010 Runner-up: Spice Route Asian Bistro & Bar, Toronto, Ontario