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The Fixer: Follow your nose to Finch TTC washroom

by Jack Lakey
The Fixer

Why is it that washrooms in some TTC stations are so appallingly pungent?

It is unreasonable to expect the scent of lavender potpourri in a high-traffic public washroom, but the TTC’s are in a league of its own when it comes to foul smells that sometimes waft beyond the door.

We’ve had many complaints about TTC privies, most recently from Javier Gonzalez about the men’s room at Finch station, which he says “has a big odour problem.”

“The men’s washroom door, located near the northern escalator, remains open at all times and emits a disgusting smell of urine that hits commuters as soon as they emerge from track level.

“Every time people go up the escalator there is widespread revulsion. The stench is truly remarkable and it’s there at all times of the day.”

We went there shortly before afternoon rush hour and smelled the washroom well before we got to the door, which is near the retail shops in the pedestrian concourse. How lucky for them.

While shooting photos, we noticed a TTC employee giving us a sharp once-over. After explaining who we were and what we were doing, she laughed and said the smell is a fact of life at Finch.

“It’s not too bad right now, but if you’re here around 7 o’clock, after rush hour, it is just awful,” she said. “You can smell it halfway up the escalator.”

The TTC puts considerable effort into keeping its washrooms clean, but with so many people using them, it’s a struggle. A lot of them do things in public washrooms they’d never consider at home.

But the TTC knows its customers and should be trying harder to deal with foul smells. It’s one thing when the odour is contained within the premises, but quite another when it offends people nowhere near the door.

STATUS: Danny Nicholson, who deals with media for the TTC, is checking to see what can be done about the stench at Finch, and will get back to us.