For my morning stroll, I walk to the Square 1 Mall, a five minute walk from our home. Square 1 Mall opens at 6 am, not for shoppers, but for the cleaning staff and for the salespersons to set up their stores. The aisles are nearly empty where it is always warm at +25°C with music and it never rains or snows. The ground is even and level and there is no chance of slipping and falling. Morning walkers, mostly senior citizens use the facility.
Square 1 Mall is the largest shopping centre in Ontario and the second largest shopping centre in Canada. It has over 2,200,000 square feet (200,000 m2) of retail space, with more than 360 stores and services.
As I entered the mall on a freezing December morning, the girl at the Santa-Photo Centre which comes up every Christmas Holidays, was setting up the place. This is where families take their Photo-with-Santa while they shop at the mall. Is there a better way to remember the holidays than having your picture taken with Santa?
Nearing completion of my walk, I felt an urgent need to empty my bladder, to wet the white porcelain throne in the washroom. I was lost in my thoughts as I entered one of the many washrooms in the mall. I went through the front door and turned left to the men’s washroom.
There it was, a spic and span, freshly cleaned washroom welcomed me in. I was a bit surprised to find the washroom a bit too spacious for a Canadian public washroom. Was it that it catered for turning of a wheelchair bound user? I presumed. The grab bars confirmed that the cubicle was meant for a differently-abled person. Still there was something amiss!
As I completed the nature’s call and turned I saw the sanitary waste bin – a container that allows safe disposal of sanitary waste in washrooms. If washroom users continuously flush items that shouldn’t go down the toilet, it is bound to cause drain blockages and plumbing issues. Providing toilet paper and soap are essential in every washroom environment, but personal hygiene disposal units must be provided too.
It is a women’s washroom!! Reality dawned on me. When I entered, I saw only the last three letters of the signage. English language and its spellings can be real tricky! Not my fault!!!! I justified.
Why couldn’t there be Gender Neutral Washrooms?? A mother taking her son or a father taking his daughter to a washroom, where will they go?
Toronto Police Headquarters, The Royal Ontario Museum and many schools provide gender neutral washrooms. Four of the family washrooms in Square 1 Mall are gender neutral.
Slowly I stepped out and walked to the entrance of the washroom. Luckily for me I was the only one. I adjusted my mask to cover my entire face and walked out with my right leg first. Why with my right leg? Please click here to read the reason.
The Time magazine should have declared the Mask and not Musk as the person of the year 2021???
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Before we usher in 2022, me must examine the Terms and Conditions that come with it!!!!
2021 was one of the most challenging year for most of us. Let us be thankful that we are happy and safe and all set to enter into 2022.