Ottawa awarded fifth best washrooms

( -- It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before the glitsy new Ottawa Convention Centre, opened in April at a cost of $170 million, would get the attention it deserves. And so it did this morning by attracting a prestigious award as Cintas Canada Ltd., makers of bathroom supplies and whatnot, named it as having Canada’s fifth-best rest rooms in 2010.

Imagine that, fifth in the entire country!

As impressive as it sounds, placing fifth does not, however, qualify Ottawa’s finest meeting space to take its place in what’s billed as Canada’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame. That stand-alone honour is reserved for the first-place winner, Toronto’s spiffy restaurant e11even, where toilet space was designed by none other than world renowned Rockwell Group based in New York City. As you may expect, it’s really spiffy. So beautiful, it almost seems a shame to, ah, pee in it.

Says Cintas, about the first-place Toronto winner: “Ensuring the luxury and intimate ambiance of the restaurant was infused into the restrooms, guests are able to relax and indulge in a private space with finishes such as rich marble tiling from floor to ceiling, modern sink basins, elegant mosaic tile accents and hygienic Toto washlets.”

Keep in mind, folks, we’re talking about sinks and toilets here.

As for the Ottawa Convention Centre’s special space:

It’s washrooms are quite a sight!

Designers wanted to avoid one large bank of washrooms on each of four meeting floors, preferring to spread them out and place them where people expected washrooms to be. In order to accomplish this, the washrooms at the north end of Levels Two and Three are located inside a key design featuire — the ‘orb’ — to maximize the use of space.

These handicap-accessible restrooms have no exterior doors leading into the washrooms, which are accessed through curved entranceways. This prevents the spread of germs, as do the hands-free faucets.

The curved entrances also keep light, odours and noise from escaping the washroom. The Ottawa Convention Centre uses a rainwater cistern located under the building to decrease water consumption by nearly 70 per cent.

Wow, talk about an endorsement! Kinda makes you want to go, doesn’t it?

A spokesperson for the contest says it’s open each year to all businesses, restaurants, hotels — and not just new ones. That means Ottawa Convention Centre can try again next year.

For a viewing of all contestants and last year’s primo place for porcelain, check the website here.

Now in its second year, the award was decided from five finalists selected by thousands of folks who voted online on the Cintas Canada website. The idea is to promote good hygiene, which translates into good business.

Not surprisingly, Cintas Canada based in Mississauga designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, and document shredding services to about 55,000 businesses in Canada.

I have no idea what shredding corporate documents has to do with toilets, unless of course the Top Secret fibre-based material is recycled to make, ah, tissue paper.


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