Surrey park facilities among runners-up in Canada-wide contest for best bathroom

It didn’t place first, but a Surrey, B.C., restroom was among the top five in Canada in an annual contest.

Users of public loos were asked to nominate the best places to “go” in their hometowns, and a design made for City of Surrey parks was among the nominees that made the short list.

The design, which was described in a news release by contest organizer Cintas Canada, Ltd., as playful, durable and safe, was one of five options for voters across Canada.

“The washroom was designed to be universally accessible, hands-free with no-touch fixtures and configured for solar power,” Cintas, a provider of services and products that include restroom supplies, wrote in a news release in June.

“It also features public art panels on all four sides of the structure. The design employs a distinct form, strong colours and unique use of materials.”

But the Surrey park design lost to Borden Park in Edmonton. The winning facilities feature wood, glass and concrete, and have hands-free elements meant to reduce the spread of germs.

Others in the top five this year were: Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta.; the Toronto Zoo; and The Rooftop in Calgary.

B.C. bathrooms have often made the shortlist in the contest, including in 2019 when Vancouver’s Laurence and Chico Café and Bauhaus Restaurant were on the list.

Also in Vancouver, Anh and Chi was in the top five in 2018.

The Vancouver International Airport bathrooms made the list in 2014, and the year before that, Vancouver’s Steamworks Brew Pub and Richmond’s Chop Steakhouse were in the top five.

But a West Coast washroom has not held the top title since 2021, when Victoria’s Langley Street Loo resonated with voters.

The title was also claimed by the Byrne Road location of Cactus Club Café in Burnaby in 2010.

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