Calgary toilets named finalists for 'Canada's Best Restroom' contest

The automated public toilets in the East Village and the washrooms at Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market have made it to the top five in a nationwide contest.

East Village and Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market washrooms make top 5 list

Award-winning washrooms at Calgary's East Village, left, and Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market. (Mike Symington/CBC/Jenna Sauce)

A couple of Calgary loos have flushed away the competition to be named finalists in a national toilet contest.

The automated public toilets in the East Village and the washrooms at Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market have made this year's top five list for Canada's Best Restroom.

Also on the list — the facilities in a luxury hotel in Montreal, an outdoor park in Winnipeg and an Esso gas station in Whitecourt, Alta.

"We base the selection on the cleanliness of the restroom, the visual appeal, innovation, the functionality and any unique design elements that they may have," said Jillian Bauer, marketing manager at Cintas Facility Services, the company behind the contest.

Unlike this lavatory in the Guggenheim Museum, the top five finalists for the 'Best Restroom in Canada' contest do not include any 18-karat gold toilets. (Kristopher McKay/Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)

Cleanliness is key

The ladies restroom at the Calgary restaurant was selected for its beauty and style (heck, every stall has a crystal chandelier and a "purse ledge") and the public lavatories in the East Village were chosen for their innovation.

"A sanitized toilet seat emerges from the wall … they also feature artwork displayed on the exterior walls, which changes every 24 months," said the company in a press release on Tuesday.

Ironically two years ago the city had to scale back the operating hours of the East Village toilets because people were using them to do drugs inside. 

Bauer said about 30 Canadian restrooms were nominated for the contest and did not have to be clients of Cintas in order to be considered. 

The public is invited to vote for their favourite loo until Oct. 24.

The winning washroom will receive $2,500 worth of Cintas cleaning supplies and services, which Bauer said will benefit the business — and anyone doing their business.

"Around 90 per of customers will not return to a business if the restroom is dirty."