Toronto condos forced to share plunger after new efficient toilets installed
Imagine having a new toilet installed in your condo, against your wishes, in the middle of a pandemic, and then having that toilet (and every other toilet on your floor) overflow regularly.
Then, imagine that condo management — who insisted on sending random workers into your home during a state of emergency — says you aren't allowed to use your own plunger to unclog the fixture.
Instead, you have to go down your building's front desk and trade in your ID for something called a "PooZooka" — a commercial-quality plunger of which there is only one for everybody to share.
This is reality for residents of at least one building in Toronto's densely-packed CityPlace neighbourhood, according to unhappy condo dwellers.
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"CityPlace condos are having this strange situation where management replaced the toilets with efficient toilets. Whatever type they selected, residents immediately noticed that they got backed up much more frequently," said one resident of 8 Telegram Mews.
"The condo board then emailed us to let us know that a regular plunger doesn't work — you have to go to the front desk security person to exchange your ID to get a communal building-wide 'poozooka' plunger (can't buy your own)."
Emails from the management of CityPlace's Luna Vista complex verify that these claims are, sadly, not a joke.
"TO ALL RESIDENTS, PLEASE DO NOT THROW ANY ITEM IN THE TOILET EXCEPT TOILET PAPER IN THE NEW TOILET AND IN CASE TOILET GET BLOCKED," reads an email sent to residents on June 18.
"DO NOT USE THE REGULAR PLUNGER TO UNCLOGGED NEW TOILETS," the email continues. "USE ONLY PooZooka. BORROW ONE FROM THE SECURITY! SECURITY WILL KEEP YOUR ID AS GUARANTEE!"
In addition to being easily clogged, and unplungeable by regular means, residents in a CityPlace Facebook group have been complaining that the toilets are difficult to flush.
Complaints have also been logged since March about management pushing through the installation of these toilets while people were trying to self-isolate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A resident who would like to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions from the condo board says that management is now telling people that "toilet evaluation specialists" will soon come visit every resident's suite to address the problem.
"We don't mind the idea of having water-efficient toilets, obviously, but being pressured into allowing bad toilets to be installed sucks," they said.
There's also the issue of like, having to ask your concierge for a plunger every other day.
"The privacy perspective of having to go and provide ID and disclose bathroom problems to a security guard to get a basic toilet maintenance equipment is wild," said the Telegram Mews resident.
"The vendor for 'PooZookas' only sells to building management entities as far as we can tell."
Indeed, no direct-to-consumer companies appear to sell PooZookas online at the moment.
Hopefully the special toilet people will fix the CityPlace problem before it comes down to seeking commercial plungers on Kijiji.
"It's super weird, this toilet limbo we are in," said the resident. "The communal building-wide plunger in a pandemic is such a trip. Norovirus for everyone!"
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