Six-year-old Brayden Matthews likes port-a-potties. He likes their colours. He likes spotting them on the landscape.

And now he can enjoy playing with them, too.

The Welland boy who has been diagnosed with autism likes everything about the portable toilets, including their bright colours and that they can be found on construction sites.

“When we drive around town he notices them and starts to count them,” his grandmother Judie Matthews said.

When Brayden was playing with his construction Lego blocks and toys he asked his grandmother and mother, Kristy Matthews, why he didn’t have a portable toilet for his toys — it only made sense to have a bathroom on his miniature job site.

Judie said she looked everywhere for one, including dollar stores and toy stores, but she was left disappointed.

“I couldn’t find one anywhere,” she said.

After sitting on the idea for a while, she decided to reach out to Halco Portables in Welland to see if the company knew where to find toy portable toilets. Judie spoke to operations manager Steve Schilstra who said he might have a portable toilet piggy bank at home.

“I found it and threw some change in it … it felt really nice to help out,” Schilstra said.

Brayden was happy to receive the miniature that he could put to use in his toy construction site.

Schilstra said he decided to share Brayden’s story on a portable sanitation industry Facebook group. He said Brayden’s excitement and enthusiasm was sweet and thought maybe other people in the industry might enjoy hearing about Brayden.

Schilstra said he was floored at the amount of people who liked and shared his Facebook post.

“People wanted to give back and gifts started coming in,” Schilstra said.

Portable sanitation companies from Canada and the United States sent miniature potties, T-shirts, caps and Lego for Brayden.

“It’s amazing, we never expected this. We were happy with the piggy bank,” Kristy said.

Judie agreed, saying it gives her joy knowing there’s people out there who care about their “little guy.”

“There is something special about him, he’s such a sweet boy,” Judie said smiling.

What Brayden likes most about the toy potties is that he can hold them. He said the potty Lego set is his favourite and he’s looking forward to playing with it.

“I can build a ramp with Lego,” he said with a big grin.

Schilstra and company owner Dino Collini recently took Brayden for a tour of the Halco Portables to let him check out different types of portable sanitation bathrooms. Brayden said his favourites were the green ones, because that’s his favourite colour. 


HALCO disinfects all its washrooms after every service using INO bano Cleaner Degreaser Disinfectant. A formulation that disinfects in as little as 5 seconds. Effective against H1N1, Influenza A, Staph, Norovirus, HIV, HBV, HCV and much more.