The Royal Treatment
Hippocrates’ well-worn platitude “Let food be thy medicine” speaks to the philosophy behind a kitchen makeover at The Royal Ottawa
Remember when sitting down for a homecooked meal was an important family ritual? The Royal’s kitchen has long embodied the idea that good meals bring people together.
And yet “It’s more than a place to prepare and eat meals,” says Kieran Menard, who has benefited from The Royal’s services and now volunteers with the hospital. He says it’s a welcoming place where families can visit a loved one undergoing treatment, as well as an alcove for patients to talk freely without the emotional weight that therapy often entails.
It has also played a crucial role in preparing residents for independent living. “For a mentally ill individual, daily activities can become difficult,” says Melanie Taylor, an occupational therapist at The Royal.
Whether by aiding in the development of social skills and team-building, garnering work experience, or supporting a hobby, the kitchen is a positive, motivating place. But until recently, it lacked sufficient counter space and relied on a single oven.
The reinvention came courtesy of Astro Design, which wanted to give back to the community to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The space now reflects the enthusiasm of its proceedings, the sleek design featuring walls of triangular tilework with tasteful pink accents. More importantly, it features larger counter space made from durable materials, more appliances, double sinks, and discreet fridges. In the end, it allows for twice as many cooks in the kitchen.