If you’re not a well-seasoned and cultured traveler, you might not know about the International Toilet Tourism Awards, but, boy, are you about to, because this year Saskatchewan made its mark by bringing home the honour for Best Design.
The Saskatchewan Science Center‘s second-floor washrooms are designed to look like the boreal forest and are fully immersive from the moment you step through the door. The walls, floor and ceiling are printed with life-sized photos taken of the forest specifically for the project by Canadian nature photographer Todd Mintz and sounds from the boreal forest play over speakers while guests, um, use the facilities.
“The loo is a fully immersive experience by vision and sound,” reads one judge’s comment, “The toilets inside the science centre are like stepping into another world where you can do your business amid the sights and sounds of nature – without having to worry about bears. Overall, really well thought through.”
The toilet honours are awarded by Australian travel website, MyTravelResearch.com and winners get a whole lot more than a pat on the back. The overall winner is awarded AU$2,000 to be donated to the World Toilet Organization — a non-profit dedicated to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide — and a sanitation project of their choosing. Other winners — including the Sask Science Center — will receive a year’s-worth of MyTravelResearch.ca research publications and access to tourism research events (valued at AU$8,000).
The honour of overall winner went to the James Bond-themed washrooms at the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant at the top of Mt Schilthorn in Switzerland. The whole place has adopted a 007 theme since it was used as a filming location for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the bathrooms look incredible. They even feature interactive mirrors where characters from the films appear when cued. There are a lot of reasons to travel to Switzerland, and this bathroom is definitely one of them.