Victoria has been voted No. 1 in the country for both No. 1 and No. 2.
Victoria's Langley Street Loo near Bastion Square has been voted Canada's Best Restroom in the third annual online competition sponsored by Cintas Canada.
Saying he was "flush with excitement," Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin accepted the plaque Tuesday from Rod Farquharson, Cintas director of sales and operations.
Smiles and potty puns were the order of the day as some Victoria councillors gathered near the public washroom to watch Fortin accept the award, which he hopes to have mounted on the stainless steel outhouse.
Setting the tone for the event was the city's communications department, which rolled out the announcement (and added extra value) by wrapping its awards ceremony notification around rolls of toilet paper. Then, city councillors Chris Coleman and Charlayne Thornton-Joe good-naturedly sacrificed any hope of higher office by posing for media photographs while sitting on the privy.
"It's a wonderful recognition, totally a fun competition, but to have the best washroom in Canada that's kind of a cool thing to do," Fortin said.
"It just speaks to who we are: university town, tourist town, late-night economy - all those sorts of things that make Victoria a little bit special. This is just a recognition."
Victoria beat out four other finalists.
Those prone to dumping on Toronto had better hold it. Toronto's This Is London Club took second and Earls on King Street took third. Vancouver's The Georgian Court Hotel was fourth while the Centre for Professional Training, in Repentigny, Que., brought up the rear.
Farquharson said Cintas, a supplier of entrance mats and restroom and tile-cleaning supplies, readily admits it is a "quirky" competition.
"But we do believe there is a true business relationship that you can't deny between offering your customers, or in this case the community, a clean, hygienic, well-designed restroom and business success," he said.
The city's 24/7 Langley Street Loo was bought from the City of Portland in 2011 for $90,000 as part of Victoria's strategy to encourage late-night vibrancy in the downtown while at the same time combatting the problem of public urination that had been plaguing some downtown businesses.
Awards for Victoria's public privies are starting to pile up. In 2010, Victoria's $75,000 urinal at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Government Street, which was custom designed for the city by Matthew Soules Architecture in Vancouver, claimed the International Downtown Association's Downtown Pinnacle Award.
Asked how Victoria, which doesn't have sewage treatment and instead pumps raw, screened sewage into Juan de Fuca Strait would fare in a competition about what happens after the flush, Fortin said: "I'm glad that we're exploring sewage treatment because what you put in there we need to make sure we deal with it the right way."
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