Fake News by Leon Keer (Montreal pavement toilet art)

My friend Joseph took me to this alley leading off St Laurent Boulevard in Montreal to see this amazing 3D toilet pavement art, Fake News, designed by Leon Keer

Poop Cafe, Oakville

Today I went for a bike ride to Oakville to see the new Poop Cafe that opened up recently. I love how their first location in Toronto was so popular they added a second one! 😂🚽

Sudbury shadows at the Laughing Buddha

Shadows at the Laughing Buddha in Sudbury, ON

Abandoned Longbranch Motel

I was driving along Highway 69 to Sudbury, Ontario and happened to notice a creepy abandoned motel just north of a tiny settlement called Still River. I couldn’t help but pull in to check it out and I’m so glad I did. What a place this was! I’m always down to explore derelict buildings; throw some abandoned toilets into the mix and I’m in heaven. Here’s a literal suite of the most disgustingly dilapidated shitters I’ve seen in my life.

According to the Ontario Abandoned website, this is the Longbranch Motel and has remained abandoned by side of the highway since the early 2000’s.

Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man

Dan from Toilography got the chance to chat to Jack Sim – global sanitation crusader and founder of the World Toilet Organization & the United Nations-recognized World Toilet Day!

He was in town with director Lily Zepeda for the premiere of the film, Mr Toilet: The World’s #2 Man at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which details his dedication to the loo:

“To a stranger, he’s a guy obsessed with toilets, but to those who know him, he’s “Mr. Toilet,” a crusader in global sanitation. Born in the Singapore slums, Jack Sim knows firsthand the agonies of not having a proper loo. Now, he’s dedicating his life to a crisis no one dares talk about: Shit. Using humor as his main weapon, he plunges into his biggest challenge yet when he is asked to secure 6 million toilets for the “Clean India” initiative. But with few resources and no help from the government, his epic project and reputation are in jeopardy.”

Also make sure you catch the end of the chat to hear Jack’s hilarious poop joke! Thanks so much Jack and Lily for your time and wishing you the best of success with the film.

You can see the trailer below or for more info go to mrtoiletfilm.com

Felix Hotel

A loo with a view at Felix Hotel in Mascot, Sydney

Abandoned toilets at Castle Hill

Late at night my brother and I paid a visit to a side of Townsville’s Castle Hill that neither of us had been to before. Instead of heading up the usual Castle Hill Road, we ventured to a little-known entrance in Garbutt and had fun exploring some old abandoned, graffiti-clad rooms close to an old disused quarry, dotted around the hill’s southern incline.

I was amused to come across what must have once been a block of toilets, who knows how many decades ago. All that remains today were a couple of footprints of where the crappers used to be, and some piping which appeared to have some toilet paper stuffed inside.

Here’s one of the other abandoned rooms I was talking about, covered in local tags:

Pi$$ off the Dragon and $hit on the Peony

At first glance these tiled toilet walls at Shanghai’s Museum of Contemporary Art look like beautiful red & blue flowers:

But take a closer look at exactly what they’re made up of 😆

That’s right – the flowers actually consist of a myriad of highly NSFW curse words and phrases including $HITTYPARTY, $HITTYPEOPLE, EATYOUR$HIT, THE FUCKINGRICH, PISSMONEY and YOURFUCKINGDIRTYHAND$

No wonder this 2007 exhibition by Tsang Kin-Wah is titled “Pi$$ off the Dragon and $hit on the Peony”. A true toilet art masterpiece.

Suzhou’s relatively clean toilets

Unlike the toilets I covered in my post about Suzhou’s lack of sanitation, there were some relatively clean and well-maintained loos dotted around the city in the areas frequented by tourists. Many of them were staffed by what appeared to be a full-time cleaner. Here’s a sample of some of them.

The artistic entrance to a modern-style toilet block just west of the Pingjiang pedestrian area

Very clean and modern inside this toilet block

Another public toilet close to the touristic area of Suzhou

Perhaps not as sanitized on the inside as it could have been but at least the facilities themselves were modern

Suzhou squatter at Panmen Gate

Yet another modern, staffed toilet close to the Pingjiang pedestrian area

Cute toilet sign!

Lack of sanitation in Suzhou

Warning, this post may be a little graphic for some.

Today I was in Suzhou, about 100km west of Shanghai. I diverted off the beaten track to walk around some laneways when I chanced upon not one but two local-style latrines. I must say up until today I’d been pretty impressed with the availability and cleanliness of public toilets during my time in China so far but seeing the reality of sanitation in less-touristic areas really puts things into perspective.

The first one I came across was a facility along an alley that ran east of the beautiful Pingjiang pedestrian area. I’d been getting lost in the pathways that wound between the densely-built houses when I noticed this room which easily could have been mistaken for a garage:

It turned out of course to be a public restroom, but very different to any I’d seen before. It was open & highly exposed with barely any privacy, no stalls and no basin: merely a tiled wall to urinate on and a hole in the ground for solid waste.

I admit it took me quite by surprise to stumble across a facility with such lack of sanitation, yet so close to an area frequented by tourists who had access to a plethora of modern, clean restrooms.

Later that day I was walking around the Nanmen Market, a highly localized and seemingly non-touristic area where fish, meat and other such produce could be procured. This gives you an idea of the type of area I’m talking about – the cleanliness isn’t quite at the level you’d expect to see at a western market:

I’d followed the signs to a public restroom a block or two north of the market which was clean and well-maintained, but on my return I noticed a short, dark, foul-smelling alleyway teeming with empty crates which workers were frequenting, within the same building as the market. Curiosity got the better of me so I followed it down to find the entrance to yet another local-style latrine. This time, two trenches on either end of the room were separated by concrete dividers. This is where market workers would go about their business, facing outwards while squatting.

Similarly to the restroom I’d seen earlier in the day, there was no basin. There was a hose, however, which at least suggested running water was available; presumably the waste would be manually flushed away at some stage throughout the day.

As eye-opening as these two restrooms were for me, one of them did seem to have access to running water and both offered a modicum (to say the very least) of privacy. I’m certain there are others out there in worse condition than this. Sanitation – or lack thereof – is definitely something I’d like to explore more through this lil photo project of mine in the future.

As fun and crazy as it is to find the artistic & elegant toilets there is a serious side to it too!