Ask Torontoist: What's that UFO in the Humber Valley?
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Ask Torontoist: What’s that UFO in the Humber Valley?

Ask Torontoist features questions posed by you, and answered by our elite team of specially trained investigative experts (also known as our staff). Send your questions to [email protected].

Reader Lee Chapman asks:

When you cycle from the lake up to Old Mill subway on the Humber trail, there is this interesting piece of architecture. It’s a disk on posts. Somewhat intended, it seems, as a shelter. It looks like a space ship landing pod, almost. What is it really for?

Photo by klepl from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Torontoist answers:

This beautiful structure is but a humble public washroom, dating from the time when Torontonians (well, pre-amalgamation Metro Torontonians) actually took pride in public infrastructure. You’ll be disappointed if you try to use it for its intended purpose, though: it’s been shuttered since 2002 because of extensive and repeated vandalism, no doubt aided by its simultaneously isolated and easy to reach location. An urban legend holds that the washroom is the work of a young Raymond Moriyama (designer of the Toronto Reference Library, Ontario Science Centre, and many other modern landmarks in Toronto and beyond) , but it was actually designed by Alan Crossley in 1959.
Thanks to Jennifer Kowalski and Mary Battaglia at Parks, Forestry, and Recreation for information.