Public Inconvenience: Disused Toilets in Canaan Lane, Edinburgh

The disused public toilets in Edinburgh's Canaan Lane, in the Morningside area of the city.

(Images: Urban Ghosts; the disused public toilets in Edinburgh’s Canaan Lane)

Public toilets are known as “conveniences” for a reason, but those caught short in Edinburgh should know that these well-placed essentials are becoming an endangered species. The old loos at the foot of Morrison Street were demolished last year to make way for the Haymarket redevelopment, around the same time that the council announced plans to close a swath of public toilets across the Scots capital in a bid to save the city money.

One of those buildings was an unappealing 1960s block in the otherwise pretty Canaan Lane. The post-war loos, which stand opposite one of Edinburgh’s best loved pubs, The Canny Man’s, in the Morningside area of the city, is set to be replaced by a six-storey residential building that has itself drawn criticism from residents and community leaders.

As of yesterday, the abandoned public toilets are still standing. The structure itself appears to remain in good order, though the area around it is overgrown and blighted with litter. Meanwhile, nearby in Morningside lies an interesting local oddity, hidden in plain sight behind the traditional tenements: the Wild West of Edinburgh.