Kawartha Lakes Public Library - Digital Collections
Looking Back: Toilet
, p. 30

Hooper, John, Author
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Item Type:
Written: 8 June 1997
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
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Full Text

How on earth did large families manage to get along with but one bathroom in the house?

There were eight (including my parents) plus my aunt, living in our home when I was a youngster, and we all had to use the one and only "john" in the place but we managed!

When I think of the way things have changed it truly makes me wonder how we did make the one bathroom do.

For example, my son has three four-piece bathrooms plus two basins and toilets located elsewhere in the house just for him and his wife and two boys!

"It's just so much more convenient when we have company," he says.

I remember my father telling me about his mother and how disgusted she was when toilets were beginning to be installed in homes. She thought it absolutely filthy that anyone would live, eat and sleep in the same building where they answered nature's call!

It took some persuasion before she was finally convinced that it was perfectly sanitary to have an indoor convenience and thus avoiding going outside in the cold of winter.

I recall seeing but one water tank attached to the wall about four feet above the toilet and that was in the basement of the Olympia Tea Room. That was in the days when they depended on gravity for flushing. Attached to the tank was a long chain with a wooden handle on it that we pulled on when we were finished using the "can". Thus come the old phrase my late uncle used when he wanted in the bathroom. He would just holler "c'mon, pull the chain!"

Makes folks wonder what we would do to-day if we had to go back to the one bathroom per house era.

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Looking Back: Toilet