Lonely Planet Writer

On a road trip through Canada? The country’s best restroom is in a gas station

If you need a pit stop on a road trip through Canada, it may be time to head through Whitecourt, Alberta, as a local gas station has just been deemed to have the nicest bathroom in the country.

A gas station restroom in Alberta has been named the best in the country.
A gas station restroom in Alberta has been named the best in the country. Image by Cintas Canada

A contest was held for the title of “Canada’s Best Restroom” and the Whitecourt Esso Super Station took the title in the online competition with 90% of the vote. “Public restrooms don’t typically get a lot of praise, which is why we’re proud to honour Whitecourt for its stylish stalls and commitment to cleanliness,” said Jillian Bauer, a marketing manager for Cintas Corporation, which held the competition. The gas station opened in July 2015, and is described as featuring “decorative lighting and wall tiles paired with sleek counter-tops, making it easy to forget that you’re in a gas station washroom”. The 2016 finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements. Thousands of votes were cast, with Whitecourt Esso coming in first, followed by Sauce Italian Kitchen & Market in Calgary, the Assiniboine Park Lyric Theatre in Winnipeg, the W Montreal in Montreal and East Village in Calgary.

A gas station restroom in Alberta has been named the best in the country.
A gas station restroom in Alberta has been named the best in the country. Image by Cintas Canada

While restrooms generally don’t get a lot of attention, some places around the world are trying to do something outside the norm with their facilities. Shiyan Hu Ecologic Park in China recently unveiled a glass restroom, where visitors can head in and get a great view of the surrounding nature while answering its call. In fact, Lonely Planet even compiled an extensive list of some of the world’s most incredible toilets for its book Toilets: A Spotter’s Guide.