City Breaks, Featured

Quebec City’s Public Restrooms: Wee Wee? Oui Oui!

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Yes, that’s right, I’m writing a whole post about Quebec City’s public restrooms.  Why?  Because the world should know about Quebec City’s public restrooms.

I’m often amused by people who refuse to use toilets outside of their own home.  I assume that either these people have phenomenally large bladders or (more likely) they simply don’t get out enough.  Well, I get out quite a bit.  And I have an insanely small bladder.  There–now you know.  In fact, it is so small that I’ve contemplated making that my blogging niche–the small-bladdered traveler dot com (or something more well-thought out and punny).

Yet it continues to boggle my mind how not-well-designed-for-humans the world is.  Humans pee.  Sometimes they poop.  Yet major tourist destination cities–Paris, New Orleans, New York–fail to take into account the fact that a good many of those millions of visitors per year are going to need somewhere to go (never mind the homeless population of almost every major city who also deserve a dignified method of relief; but that’s a rant for a different blog).  You won’t always be near your hotel when nature calls, and the ‘buy a drink to use the facilities’ method is quite counter productive.  Yet most major cities I’ve visited lack public toilet facilities.

But not Quebec City.  Quebec City gets it.  Everywhere I went, I was met with signs like the (adorable) one above, or this (less adorable, but still appreciated) one…

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Notably absent from shop and restaurant windows were the ‘restrooms for patrons only’ signs; presumably because they have no need for such signs, as desperate passers-by can happily and without fanfare visit the public facilities designed and built for them.  And these public facilities aren’t even gross (Central Park, I’m looking at you); the restrooms in Place Royal were cleaner than my own bathroom at home (which I guess isn’t saying much) and the washrooms in the visitors’ center in Upper Town–across from the funnicular–featured granite sinks and actual flower arrangements.

Bravo, Quebec City!  You’re number one!  (What?  You didn’t think I could end this post without at least one bad potty joke, did you?)

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