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05/20/2010

The Can Opener

Richard Lautens - Staff Photographer

It is an odd thing when the assignment drops into my iPhone to go to the grand opening of a toilet.  The words toilet and grand don't often go together but in this case it was the ribbon cutting of the first public pay toilet in Toronto.
Neighbours, media and politicians, including the Mayor were on hand for the event.  The toilet was several years in the planning and cost hundreds of thousands of (non-taxpayer) dollars.
It was a very surreal experience as tourists posed for pictures in front of the facility with the beaming Mayor, David Miller.

Mayor_toilet-500
Mayor David Miller was asked by a couple of tourists to pose by the new facility

I must admit it is a very cool, high tech commode.  For a mere 25 cents you have automatic doors, a cavernous interior, soothing music and even instructions on how everything works.  There is even a warning that after 20 minutes, finished or not, the door will open.  It is a far cry from the concrete wall with drain in Paris or the hole in the ground with foot platforms in Japan. 

Crapper_900 The media crowd the newly opened door to the facility

RL_toilet_800
Local resident Howard Bogley was the first proud user of the facility.  How odd it must have been for Howard to know that dozens of reporters are waiting just outside the door for the inaugural flush


Who knows, this may finally put Toronto on the map.  For me however, it was much ado about doo-doo.

-rlautens@thestar.ca

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