It is time for a useful, though perhaps not academically-focused, post today. I am talking about the washroom.
In Canada, we don’t like to talk about the “toilet,” unless we are talking about the purchase, maintenance, or installation of one. The word sounds like an appliance, similar in use to “chair,” “table,” or “stove.”
“Washroom,” ” bathroom,” and “restroom” all talk about the space where a toilet, sink and the like are located. Restroom sounds like a public place – a boss might ask a worker to clean the restroom, for example, but it would be strange to use this word in your house. Bathroom is a better word for your house, but washroom wouldn’t be wrong in that case.
Other countries might say “WC,” which stands for “water closet.” WC is the more common expression, but we rarely see this in Canada.
As a cultural note, teachers of children will always require students to ask permission to go to the washroom. Teachers of adults may or may not require this. If the class is very large, this is less likely than if the class is small.