The Portland Loo has been voted the best public restroom in Canada, which has three of them. It has its own Facebook page and blog.
And as of last week, Monterey residents have one to call their own. It’s beige.
Located in Simoneau Plaza, the city’s transit hub, the loo will help provide relief to scores pedestrians in downtown Monterey, and will replace two nearby Porta-Potties.
The Weekly first reported on the new loo last August, when $179,000 was approved for its purchase and installation:
The Portland Loo, as the restroom is called, is the brainchild of former Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard, who hatched the concept for his city in 2006. What sets it apart from other public restrooms is a sleek, user-friendly design (wheelchairs and bikes can fit inside, and solar panels on top power the facility), ease with which it can be cleaned (all surfaces are steel) and its virtual indestructibility.
“We want to get something on the street that can take all sorts of abuse,” says Evan Madden of Madden Fabrication, which manufactures the loos. “We design it so that a baseball bat can get taken to any part of it.”
Another challenge for public restrooms is making them unattractive as a place to hole up or engage in illegal activity like drug use. The Portland Loo combats this by having open bars on the top and bottom, which serve as ventilation and allow police to look underneath and see if more than one set of feet is inside.
The loo is free to the public and currently open from 6am to 10pm, and an exterior hand washing station is available to passersby.
The city announced the installation on its website Feb. 20, where it states, “It is the first Portland Loo in California to be specially color-coded to meet the request of the Architectural Review Committee.”
Any taggers hoping to desecrate the shiny beige throne (e.g. “#beigelife” or “City-by-the-Beige”) might be out of luck—Portland Loos are said to be graffiti-proof.