The Royal Treat­ment

Hip­pocrates’ well-worn plat­i­tude “Let food be thy medicine” speaks to the phi­los­o­phy be­hind a kitchen makeover at The Royal Ot­tawa

Ottawa Magazine - - THIS CITY - — Sam Chilton

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.

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