It might seem funny to some, but visiting the sixth floor bathroom of the Bay at Queen and Yonge was high on my list of things to do when I went to Toronto.
The first time I was in that bathroom I remember opening the door. I remember expecting the regular metal stalls and stainless steel sinks of any modern institutional bathroom. I really wasn't ready for what was on the other side. The scene plays out in my mind like the one from Monsters, Inc. when Mike and Sulley are hanging on the door on the Scare Floor and go through the opening in the wall only to find themselves in a maze of doors swinging and zooming all over the place. What happened when I opened the door to the bathroom wasn't nearly as exciting as that but I did have the same feeling of surprise. On the other side of the door was a perfectly preserved 1920s or 30s bathroom: wooden doors, tiled floor, metal register covers, overhead pipes and a few big windows with privacy glass.
So when I walked through the door this time, I was remembering that first time and it was like the Mike and Sulley thing all over again except this time it wasn't exciting, it was sad. It was as if Mike and Sulley passed into the same room but instead of doors swinging wildly about, they stayed pin straight and moved on tracks that turned at sharp angles. And that wonderful energy was replaced with a feeling of cold insensitivity. All of the wooden doors in the bathroom were replaced with metal ones and the sinks were replaced with stainless steel. I honestly thought I was in the wrong place. But then I noticed the floor tiles. Then the overhead pipes. And hidden behind a row of stalls were the windows. The three big, beautiful windows. And I knew I was in the right place.
While I'm really sad that they replaced the wood and porcelain, I should be able to overlook it when the sun shines in.