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Public Relief

That title is from a headline in a recent issue of the Boston Globe. The article addressed the subject of Public Toilets and it got me thinking about how Charlottetown scores on this matter. I think we come out with a 90 on the subject. I just reviewed the downtown as it is my deep interest. Lets review: 1] Tourist Information Centre 2] Peakes Quay 3] Prince Edward Hotel 4] Confederation Centre and the Library 5] City Hall 6] The Coles Building 6] Province House 7] The Basilica Recreation Centre 8] Confederation Court Mall 9] The Polyclinic and 10] The Charlottetown Hotel in addition to restaurants and coffee shops and etc.. So you see I think my mark is right on. Now some of these I have to admit are not quite public, but if you behaved properly I don't think you would be turned away. So we have come a long way since the bus stop was the only stop in town. My first thought was that we had done that at a lot less cost per unit than Boston is about to spend, but maybe we haven't. For $250,000 each, Boston is going to have city toilets that have " doors that open automatically after 20 minutes; the toilet disinfects itself after each use; the floors move for washing and drying cycles; it is monitored electronically around the clock on a panel board at a central site like the war room in "Failsafe". And it sports toilet paper dispensers on both sides of the commode". You have to admit they'll be classy. We remember places like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids and any number of other places in our travels or even closer to home like our old school washrooms, the old market or the basement of the Basilica that apparently were well used, but not so well cleaned. Today as outdoor privies have become a thing of the past people expect available and improved washrooms everywhere they go. If this subject interests you further you might enjoy a couple of books to give you an idea as to how the subject is being addressed in another city: "Dear John, A Guide to Some of the Best Seats in New York City" and " Where to Go, A Guide to Manhattan's Toilets" and, oh yes, try the Boston web site on the subject : www.boston-online.com/restrooms.html.

Written Wednesday, September 13, 2000 at 10:31 AM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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