Spacing editor Dale posted recently on the Eye Weekly blog about the goodness of Toronto’s water, and a recent proposal to bottle it to make the point that our water is clean and good — and often better than the bottled stuff we get. It reminded me of a friend of mine who would react violently when offered Brita filtered water, shouting The Water’s Fine Damn It! I think it must be the convenience thing — water bottles are the perfect size to carry around, and certainly better than those terrible hippy Nalogen bottles that dangle from people’s bags (an image worse than the thought of drinking brown water). I think what this points to is a need for more public drinking fountains. And they need, somehow, to work all year long. Toronto used to have these neat cast iron things that were for people and the horses they rode in on. Horses on one side, people on the other. People were much closer to animals back then — though they have coffee shops in gas stations now, so I guess it’s the same thing.
Come to think of it, we need more public washrooms too. I reckon 57% of Coffee Time’s business is due to people feeling obligated to buy some of their “coffee” in order to go to the can. Buried under Queen and Spadina is a long closed public washroom — a bit like those underground ones in London, with the attendant and everything. Very civilized and urbane. Perhaps we could consider all the public urination in the area an homage to that long gone public WC. Until then, you can go to Washroom Quest and add to the database of public and not so public washrooms in Toronto. Users will be able to access a list of nearest public washrooms via the web or by text messaging their current location with their cell phone.