It’s a sprint to the finish in best restroom contest

Reckonings column by Della Mallette, Oct. 14 Grand Forks Gazette

Nowadays you can’t turn on the TV or open a newspaper—the Gazette included—without being faced with the federal election.

My email inbox has been inundated with emails from political parties. The Conservatives are particularly good at it: every press release is followed up by another “backgrounder” email. And Justin, let’s just say we’re on a first name basis.

With silly season in full swing, I completely forgot about another election that I’ve been following. The polls closed last week and I did not exercise my right to vote.

Soon we’ll all know the outcome of the Canada’s Best Restroom contest.

“It’s a sprint to the finish, as five finalists from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia compete for the title of Canada’s Best Restroom,” announced Leslie Molin, senior marketing manager with contest sponsor Cintas Canada. “This year’s finalists truly understand the positive impact a clean and well-stocked restroom has on their customers and their business.”

Five businesses were short-listed: three from Alberta, one from Ontario and one from B.C.’s own Kelowna. The electorate went online to vote for its favourite and the results will be announced soon at a nationally publicized media event.

BNA Brewing Company & Eatery is the Kelowna contender.

“The washroom at this brewery and restaurant transports visitors back in time,” reads the bio for BNA. “Located inside a historic building that was once home to The British North American Tobacco Company, the washroom maintains its heritage but has a modern, classy, and unforgettable look.

“The washroom was the vision of the restaurant owner herself, with no detail overlooked. As you enter the women’s washroom, you feel like you’ve stepped backstage at the theater, with bulb lights around the mirrors and beautiful exposed brick. One of the standout features includes faucets that come directly out of the mirrors.

“The upstairs unisex washroom maintains the same retro feel but builds off the playful atmosphere of the pub. Features include entrances on both sides and a three-faucet trough-style sink.”

Yes, you are welcome to view photos of all five finalists. From the faucets to fancy towels, the restrooms are shown in all their spotless glory.

At the Bank and Baron Pub in Calgary, “guests find a fanciful experience in the washroom, with dazzling gold-trimmed mirrors against a custom art glass mosaic covering the walls.”

I admit I’m curious to see the Edmonton Renaissance Airport Hotel: “Black tiled walls, marble sinks and full-length mirrors are ‘sealed with a kiss’ as ruby red lips are the statement throughout the washroom from wall art, to a full-size couch.”

A couch! That’s what my bathroom is missing!

Calgary boasts the Tommyfield Gastro Pub, a U.K.-inspired pub. “Whether enjoying a fulfilling dinner downstairs or catching the game upstairs, a trip to the washrooms truly tops off this double-decker experience.”

Whether you call that room in your home a bathroom, washroom, restroom, biffy, john, potty, loo, privy, head, commode, toilet, water closet, facilities, newspaper chair, can, head, throne room or the oval office, by some stretch of the imagination it could be an experience. Especially if your name for that room is “the great outdoors.”

So all I can do now is wait for another email telling me when and where the national media event will be. And if Kelowna’s BNA Brewing company & Eatery wins, I reckon I just may have to take a trip. After all, you don’t see faucets coming out of mirrors every day.