By: Marco Ovies, Staff Writer
As someone who suffers from lactose intolerance but still eats an insane amount of dairy, I consider myself a sort of bathroom connoisseur. I visited every (men’s) bathroom on all three SFU campuses and compiled a guide of the nine best and three worst places to take a load off (if you know what I mean).
The Best Bathrooms: The good, the great, and the gorgeous
- Fifth floor of the Academic Quadrangle (AQ) (Nearby: AQ 5009)
This is probably the nicest bathroom you will ever visit on Burnaby campus. It features gorgeous open windows which offer natural lighting and provides a view of the AQ pond. You can watch the first years run to their classes while you do your business in a stall that has barely been used. Visit early in the day for the best experience as this bathroom sees slightly more traffic after lunch hours.
Tags: Poo with a view, squeaky clean, wheelchair accessible
- Harbour Centre’s all genders bathroom (Nearby: HCC 1260)
This is probably the most modern bathroom on the entire list. There is a full-length mirror to take all the selfies you could ever want and each stall is accompanied by a full door, meaning no awkward gaps for people to sneak a look. The toilets are clean enough to actually sit on, and there are even cute little plants as decor. To someone who is not used to using an all genders bathroom, it might be a bit shocking — once you get used to it, this is an amazing bathroom experience.
Tags: Full door who needs more?, accessible, inclusive
- Sustainable Energy Engineering Building (Nearest location: EB3001)
I was excited about trying this bathroom out since it’s new. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Its white and futuristic design perfectly matched the aesthetic of the entire building. The lighting, plus the full-length mirror, was perfect for showing off my amazing fit for that day. In addition, this bathroom included the fancy new Dyson sinks with the hand dryers on the side. It was so efficiently designed that I was in and out of this bathroom in an instant.
Tags: Futuristic, fit-friendly, clean, accessible
- Bottom floor of Robert C. Brown Hall (Near: RCB 4201)
It’s quiet, it’s secluded, and it’s surprisingly clean considering it’s in the mustiest part of Burnaby campus. While there are multiple bathrooms you can visit on the way down (which are all far nicer than your average toilet) it is very much worth your time to head to the very bottom. Though the privacy of this pooping grounds is by far the nicest feature, the bathroom itself is nice as well. It’s always fully stocked with toilet paper and cleaner than most homes I’ve been in. While I don’t suggest anyone eat off of this bathroom’s floor, I’m sure it wouldn’t kill you if you did.
Tags: Squeaky clean, inspirational, must see
- Surrey Campus Mall Bathroom (Near: Central City Food Court)
This bathroom might not be directly on campus, but it is connected to campus so it still counts. The quality of this bathroom is the same as any other Surrey Campus stall, but the ambiance is much nicer. The white tiles brighten the room and lift me out of my seasonal depression, unlike the cold dark walls of other bathrooms.
Tags: Highlighting the lighting, depression suppression
- Blenz Coffee Surrey Campus (Near: Blenz Coffee)
This bathroom is so exclusive that you need to be buzzed in by security. There is a button on the wall you need to press so security can check you out on the camera and decide whether to let you in. While this one is also technically not on the Surrey Campus, it is worth the extra minute of walking for this elevated experience. The only difficulty with this bathroom is that you have to purchase something at Blenz Coffee before using it. But if you ever do end up buying something, take the opportunity to sit on this porcelain throne. You will never have a public bathroom experience as great as this one.
Tags: Pooping Heaven, accessible, Surrey campus’ cleanest
- Right beside Taco Cantina (Near: James Douglas Study Area)
Conveniently right beside the restaurant that gives me the runs, these set of bathrooms are an essential pitstop if you need to drop a deuce. Each of them are designed as an handicap-accessible bathroom so it is just one toilet per room, meaning you can do your business in peace. If you need to do a quick outfit change too, these bathrooms offer plenty of space to move about. The best part about these bathrooms are that they are also tucked away in a little corner. The low foot traffic they see mean they are are well stocked up toilet paper, and don’t often have oddly warm seats when you sit down.
Tags: Taco Tuesday, hidden, accessible
- Across the hall from Renaissance Cafe (Near: AQ Renaissance Coffee)
This one is good if you’re in a rush to get to class but still need to grab your morning coffee. Order your beverage and feel free to run into here while you wait. It’s clean, well stocked, and small enough that you don’t have to worry about too many people crowding it. Avoid this bathroom when classes let out as line-ups can lead to a 10 minute wait time. Editor’s note: Marco was unable to take a picture of this one to confirm the nearby location because a security guard was watching him.
Tags: Reliable, en-route, beware of rush hour
- Second Floor of the Goldcorp building (Near: GCA 2160)
Vancouver is the artsiest of the three campuses and this bathroom reflects that. This bathroom is not only functional, but also fashionable. Be warned, this one is located in a high foot traffic area so expect it to be messy. Regardless, it is always well kept and well stocked on bathroom supplies.
Tags: Artsy fartsy, cleaner than expected, booked and busy
The Worst Bathrooms: The bad, the ugly, and the most horrendous
- All the bathrooms at Surrey Campus
This is very much your average bathroom experience so don’t go in expecting anything spectacular. The overall aesthetic of the bathrooms are nothing too incredible. The lighting overall left me wanting more and each bathroom is coloured in a dark shade of blah. However, the toilets do flush, the toilet paper was stocked, and the floors weren’t oddly sticky. So it does hit everything that a bathroom needs to function, but I would not go out of my way to use these ones specifically.
Tags: Least of a problem child of the three, meh, average bathroom
- The one in Saywell Hall by the bus loop (Nearby: SWH 10655)
This bathroom is the pit stop of students running to catch their bus before it leaves. Therefore, this place is splatter city. People are barely even looking while they aim into the bowl and relentlessly leave toilet paper everywhere. This is a perfect example of a bathroom that in itself is not the worst, but has become bad due to its poor placement. There is no saving this situation. R.I.P. Saywell Hall toilet.
Tags: Beware of splatter, R.I.P. (Rest In Pee-ce)
- The first bathroom in the Education Wing (Nearby: EDB 7550)
I was genuinely scared heading into this bathroom. You have to ascend a tiny staircase in order to get here, meaning it is definitely not accessible. At the time I visited this bathroom, the hallway leading to this bathroom had the lightbulb burnt out, so I had to navigate in the dark praying this was actually a bathroom and not SFU’s ploy to murder me. Inside, there is a weird communal shower area with no curtain. Who would need a shower in the Education wing is beyond me. The tiles are a convenient brown colour, most likely to disguise the stains of bodily fluids. Worst of all, there was no toilet paper. If you love yourself, try and avoid this bathroom at all costs.
Tags: Chaotic energy, frightening, urine trouble if you end up here, not accessible in the slightest
For a more holistic guide on wheelchair-friendly and gender neutral bathrooms, check out the SFSS’ bathroom resource list online (begins page 37).