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New smart washroom the talk of Grand Bend

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It’s not every day that a new washroom becomes the talk of the town.

But in the Lake Huron tourist community of Grand Bend, a new so-called 'smart washroom' has many residents and business owners flush with joy.

At Perfect Image Tattoo and Body Piercing, Manager Mike Delorme said he tries to be welcoming to everyone — but it can be a bit much when walk-ins do their business in his business.

“It becomes a little hectic,” explained Delorme. “You get a lot of people coming in with the beach, the water, the sand. It’s very messy as well too. It keeps us, every two hours we’re in there cleaning the washrooms for a lot of customers that aren’t even our customers,” he said.

Delorme is applauding the addition of a new pre-fab, year-round, 24/7 free public washroom being installed at the end of Main Street West.

Resident Scott Kelley agrees it’s long overdue.

“I think it’ll help. Tourism and people here all the time. Come down, walk your dog, bring your kids to the little park here and there you go,” said Kelley.

The new washroom is located right on the beach and just steps away from the strip. It is described as both self-cleaning and vandal-proof, with a bowl and change table that can hold the full weight of a person.

New smart washroom facility being installed in Grand Bend. April 17, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)The washroom is built by restroom manufacturer Urben Blu.

Project manager Cedric Perron says smart facilities are becoming popular with municipalities.

“It’s automated and self-cleaning, so you have a cycle for washing the floor and washing the bowl every 10 users. It’s something that you can program on your phone or your computer from home. You can put it at 20 users, 30 users, as you want,” explained Perron.

It may seem wasteful to some that the new washroom is just steps away from the main beach house washrooms, however, those facilities are not winterized, closed in the off-season and have limited hours in summer.

The new smart restroom is the first of its kind in Lambton County.

Lambton Shores mayor Doug Cook said it comes with a price tag of about a $500,000, which includes installation.

“Our north beach, which doesn’t have enough coverage in the summertime. Plus, the amount of people we get here on a regular basis. Grand Bend is a very busy tourism place. And we’re taking our monies that we do earn from tourism and putting back into development,” said Cook.

The new public washroom is expected to open in early May. 

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