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3 Alberta washrooms in the running for Canada’s Best Restroom contest

The washroom at the Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

It’s a title that has been won in Alberta several times and once again, our province has a number of candidates in the running for the title of Canada’s Best Restroom.

Cintas Canada has unveiled its five finalists for the 2021 Canada’s Best Restroom Contest and three Alberta loos have made the cut: one in Edmonton, one in Red Deer and one in Calgary.

Read more: Alberta gas station restroom named best in Canada

The contest is meant to highlight businesses that have invested in developing and maintaining exceptional washrooms.

“These five facilities demonstrate a commitment to prioritizing hygiene and customer service — especially as cleanliness is so important right now — combined with creativity and whimsy not usually seen in washrooms,” said Candice Raynsford, marketing manager with Cintas Canada.

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Nominees were judged on five criteria: cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique elements.

Here’s a look at the five finalists.

Borden Park – Edmonton, Alta.

This washroom is located in a city park in northeast Edmonton and designed by gh3.

The washrooms are located within a single-level pavilion surrounded by reflective glass. Cintas said an “integrated approach to environmental sustainability” is evident in the choice of materials, which include wood, concrete and glass.

Hands-free elements are used to reduce germs and a stainless-steel trough-style sink prevents water from splashing on the floor.

“The sleek washroom stands as a striking improvement on the typical concrete options, and a sign of outstanding design to come,” according to the Cintas nominee list.

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The washroom at Borden Park in Edmonton, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at Borden Park in Edmonton, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

Sweet Market Esso Station – Red Deer, Alta.

Located in an Esso gas station, these washrooms in Red Deer include high-end tiles and five-star finishes.

Artwork, herringbone floors, chandeliers and gold-rimmed mirrors make the facilities feel more like a high-end hotel than a gas station pit stop.

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“These washrooms are always a topic of customer conversation in the store where selfies take centre stage. The constant comments regarding the awe of it all — plus the extreme cleanliness — are great reminders of the sheer elegance and grandeur these restrooms provide for the customer,” reads the Cintas website.

The washroom at the Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Sweet Market Esso Station in Red Deer, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

The Rooftop – Calgary, Alta.

The washrooms at The Rooftop in Calgary were designed to be inclusive, engaging and unique.

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A life-sized bobblehead greets patrons as they enter “the alley.” Graffiti wallpaper with sections taken largely from the “John Lennon Peace Wall,” originally created in Prague, line the walls of the washrooms.

The bathrooms also include a porta-potty door in the “mostly men” section and hidden selfie walls.

The washroom at The Rooftop in Calgary, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at The Rooftop in Calgary, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at The Rooftop in Calgary, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at The Rooftop in Calgary, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at The Rooftop in Calgary, Alta., has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

Surrey Park – Surrey, BC

Also located within a park, this washroom is meant to be playful, durable and safe.

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It was designed to be universally accessible, hands-free with no-touch fixtures and configured for solar power. It also features public art panels on all four sides of the structure.

The washroom at Surrey Park has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at Surrey Park has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at Surrey Park has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at Surrey Park has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

Toronto Zoo – Toronto, Ont.

The new washrooms in the Tundra Trek at the Toronto Zoo have made the list for their mission of connecting people, animals and conservation science to fight extinction.

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They also feature iconic Canadian species, with polar bear figures separating the urinals and paw prints on the floor.

Cool blue mosaic walls are meant to represent the calm transition of horizon to sky, and dark and dramatic overheard features represent the vast night sky across the tundra.

Each handwashing unit features a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser and hand dryer. The trough-style sink eliminates water splashing on the floor and includes hooks on the outside of the counter to hang a purse, backpack or coat.

The washroom at the Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada
The washroom at the Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek has made the list of nominees in the 2021 Canada's Best Restroom contest. Credit, Cintas Canada

Past winners

In 2020, the washroom at Westview RV Park in Wetaskiwin, Alta., was named Canada’s Best Restroom.

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In 2019, the title was also won by an Alberta bathroom when a Lac La Biche gas station took home the top nod.

In 2018, the St. Albert Honda dealership north of Edmonton won the prize.

The winner of the Canada’s Best Restroom contest will receive $2,500 in facility services from Cintas to help maintain their award-winning washrooms.

Canadians can now vote for their favourite washroom on the Cintas website. Voting is open until July 9.

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