You might be familiar with the Opera House in Syndey or St. Kilda Beach in Melbourne, but do you know what the most Instagrammed attraction in Perth is?
We’ll give you a hint. It’s not a monument, historical site, work of art, or UNESCO listing.
It’s a shed.
But to be fair, the Crawley Edge Boatshed is an adorable sight. Painted a soft shade of blue, the shed sits at the end of a narrow dock above the sparkling waters of the Swan River.
Thanks to social media, the Crawley Edge Boatshed is rising in popularity. Flocks of tourists seek it out just for the ‘gram.
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Unfortunately, the Crawley Edge Boat Shed has become a major issue for Perth locals. For starters, the shed is in a tricky location. Since it was not built as an attraction, visitors must park on surrounding residential streets. To reach the shed, they must cross Mounts Bay Road on foot. Mounts Bay is one of Perth’s busiest thoroughfares, making each crossing a wee bit dangerous.
Perth’s city council met on May 28 to discuss the over tourism issue at the Crawley Edge Boatshed.
“There has been an increase over the past few years of visitors to this area, with tour buses as well as self-driven visitors stopping here for photo opportunities,” the council reported.
The discussion identified that the closest public restroom facility was located 2.4 kilometres away. As a result, restaurants within the vicinity of the shed had problems with tourists entering to use their facilities.
According to The West Australian, nearby Zafferano’s has filed many complaints about toilet use with the city. They claim that some visitors have even disrupted their restaurant business and been verbally abusive.
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It’s unlikely that visitors to the Crawley Edge Boat Shed will cease overnight. In order to resolve existing issues, the City of Perth has decided to build a public toilet to service the attraction — and not just any toilet.
The project will be Perth’s first solar-powered toilet. CNN reports that it will cost AUD $400,000 (CAD $367,584) to install and another AUD $20,000 (CAD $18,379) for maintenance each year.
The three-toilet facility will be built in a strategic location with appropriate signage for tourists. The council deems these costs are worth it to fulfill visitors’ basic needs and relieve local businesses from providing these facilities.
Similar to the contest held for architectural plans to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral, a competition was organized to choose a design for the Crawley Edge toilet facility. The winning plan involves sandstone, galvanized steel, and ochre-coloured concrete.
“The new public toilet facility has been designed with the surrounding flora in mind, while also remaining robust and of simple built form,” says Perth’s Deputy Chair Commissioner Gaye McMat.
“This new public toilet will make visiting the Blue Boat House and its surrounds a more pleasant experience for tourists and visitors.”
Construction is scheduled to commence in June and the new public toilets are expected to open in October.