Dad transforms daughter's bed into Parliament Hill's Centre Block
Robert Coleman spent a year transforming his daughter's bunk bed into a replica of Parliament Hill's Centre Block building. (Robert Coleman)
TORONTO -- It may not be a race car or a fairytale castle, but a three-year-old girl can now be the prime minister of her very own Centre Block bed, thanks to her father’s talent for woodworking.
“I’m just a nerd with some tools,” Robert Coleman said with a laugh during a phone interview with CTVNews.ca on Thursday.
Using one-centimetre thick plywood, the Ottawa public servant transformed his daughter’s IKEA bunk bed into an impressive replica of Parliament Hill’s iconic Centre Block building.
“I like to do fun woodwork projects. It’s kind of my hobby,” Coleman explained. “I saw some castle-bed type things that had a slide and a staircase and various elaborate things and I thought about doing something like that.
“I thought ‘Well, how can I personalize this and make it kind of fun and different?’”
Now if the historic building containing the House of Commons and Senate chambers seems like an odd choice for a three-year-old girl, who, Coleman admits, has yet to comprehend the concept of parliamentary democracy, the father-of-two provided a simple explanation.
“It’s just more fun than anything else,” he said. “She likes it. She calls it her castle.”
And while Parliament Hill’s Centre Block multibillion-dollar renovations are expected to take more than a decade to complete, Coleman said he was able to build his version in exactly a year.
Complete with a nook for his daughter’s “parliamentary library,” carvings of Canadian wildlife, and the iconic Peace Tower, the Centre Block bed is truly a sight to behold.
There are even four real clocks adorning the Peace Tower, but Coleman said he took the batteries out of them.
“They were just clicking away. It was like the opening scene of ‘Back to the Future’ and she doesn’t know how to tell the time,” he explained.
Coleman’s attention to detail is also apparent in the carved silhouette of a figure in one of the windows on the building’s third floor. He explained that it’s supposed to be the prime minister working in his office.
He did, however, take some artistic licence with the addition of a slide on one end of the building, but maybe that’s something politicians would embrace as a new means of travelling between floors once the renovations on the real thing are complete.
When asked if he has any plans to build another unique bed for his seven-month-old son (perhaps Rideau Hall or the Confederation Building?), Coleman said he’ll “cross that bridge when I get to it.”