When public servant and woodworker Robert Colema was looking for novelty bed designs for his daughter Kathryn’s “big girl bed,” he found a lot of castles.
“I thought ‘Well I’ll try and do something like that, but I’ll put a bit of a personal spin on it,” Colema told CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning.
As a third-generation federal public servant living in Ottawa, Parliament Hill was the obvious choice.
“It was just a fun thing to do,” he said.
Unable to find any Centre Block bed designs online, Colema took out some graph paper and photos of Parliament Hill and started drawing.
“I thought it was going to take me about three months,” he said. “The entire project took a year. It got more and more complicated.”
Colema spared no detail for his daughter.
Kathryn’s bed includes a Peace Tower with working clocks (although the batteries had to be removed because they were too loud), a Library of Parliament filled with Kathryn’s favourite books, gargoyles, a front door, stairs and a slide for quick exits.
The slide is a feature not found in the real-life Centre Block, which is closed for about a decade for a major renovation.
She isn’t quite able to say the word “Parliament” yet so both her bed and the real Parliament Hill are known in the family as Kathryn’s castle, said Colema.
“Now when we drive past the Parliament building, I say, ‘Kathryn do you see your castle?'” he said.
Despite all the work, Colema wants to put the bed up on Kijiji when his daughter grows out of it and donate the proceeds to charity.