No Place To Go Book Launch with the author Lezlie Lowe
November 3, 2018

This book is Number One in addressing the politics of where we’re allowed to “go” in public. Adults don’t talk about the business of doing our business. We work on one assumption: the world of public bathrooms is problem- and politics-free. No Place To Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs reveals the opposite is true. No Place To Go is a toilet tour from London to San Francisco to Toronto and beyond. From pay potties to deserted alleyways, No Place To Go is a marriage of urbanism, social narrative, and pop culture that shows the ways – momentous and mockable – public bathrooms just don’t work. Like, for the homeless, who, faced with no place to go sometimes literally take to the streets. (Ever heard of a municipal poop map?) For people with invisible disabilities, such as Crohn’s disease, who stay home rather than risk soiling themselves on public transit routes. For girls who quit sports teams because they don’t want to run to the edge of the pitch to pee. Celebrities like Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen have protested bathroom bills that will stomp on the rights of transpeople. And where was Hillary Clinton before she arrived back to the stage late after the first commercial break of the live-televised Democratic leadership debate in December 2015? Stuck in a queue for the women’s bathroom. Peel back the layers on public bathrooms and it’s clear many more people want for good access than have it. Public bathroom access is about cities, society, design, movement, and equity. The real question is: Why are public toilets so crappy?

2:00pm – 4:00pm
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Peter A. Herrndorf Place, National Art Centre

Hosted by Joan Kuyek from GottaGo Campaign Ottawa.

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About the Author
Lezlie Lowe is a freelance journalist and journalism instructor based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has been recognized for her long-form journalism by the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Atlantic Journalism Awards. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College, where she also teaches in the Journalism department. No Place To Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs is her first book.

Greed, Clara. Inclusive Urban Design: Public Toilets. Architectural Press. 2003. Looking at public toilet history and provision in many countries with a focus on the UK.

Solomon, Rhonda Cheryl. A Comparative Policy Analysis of Public Toilet Provision Initiatives in North American Cities: Recommendations for the Creation of a Public Toilet Strategy in Toronto. Cities Centre, University of Toronto June 2013.

Government Response to the Communities and Local Government Committee Report on the Provision of Public Toilets, January 2009. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government by Command of Her Majesty, January 2009.

Department for Communities and Local Government. Improving Access to Better Quality Toilets: A Strategic Guide. London UK. 2008. Focused on Britain, “ This strategic guide speaks out for public toilets: it reviews the evidence and sets out ways in which local authorities and their partners can secure improvements.

London Assembly. Health and Public Services Committee. An Urgent Need: The State of London’s Public Toilets. March 2006. This investigation was carried out by a group of London Assembly Members on behalf of the Health and Public Services Committee.