No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs

No Place to Go: How Public Toilets Fail Our Private Needs

by Lezlie Lowe
  • from-the-atlantic-canada
  • general-other-non-fiction
From pay potties to deserted alleyways, and in cities from London to San Francisco to Toronto, No Place To Go talks about where we go in public. It’s a marriage of urbanism, social narrative, and pop culture that shows the ways public bathrooms just don't work. Like, for the homeless who, faced with no place to go 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. For girls who quit sports teams because they don’t want to run to the edge of the pitch to pee. Bathroom bills that will stomp on the rights of trans people dominate the news. And where was Hillary Clinton before she arrived back to the stage late after a commercial break during the live Democratic leadership debate in December 2015? Stuck in a queue for the women’s toilet. 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?


Lezlie Lowe, author

Lezlie Lowe began her freelance radio, newspaper, and magazine career in 1996. She has penned and produced long-form pieces on urban rats, roadkill cemeteries, sex work, and, prominently, public toilets. Lowe has been a finalist and winner at the Radio Television Digital News Association Awards, the Atlantic Journalism Awards, and the Canadian Association of Journalists Awards. Her job as principal researcher helped win the Atlantic Film Festival Rex Tasker Award for Best Documentary for Sluts: The Documentary. She has taught journalism at the University of King’s College since 2003. Since her first magazine piece on public bathrooms appeared in 2005, Lowe has written extensively about the design and accessibility of these unsung facets of urban development. Lowe blogs about municipal amenities at and has gathered a posse of fellow public toilet scrutinizers on Twitter @lezlielowe.

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Coach House Books



rights available: World

Additional Information

number of pages: 212

publication date: 09/11/2018

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: complete manuscript