Floor 11 is the only kitchen in Pitman without stovetops.

Photo: Sierra Bein

The microwave life

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By Aidan Hamelin

The beginning of this year marked the opening of Pitman Hall’s newly renovated 11th-floor communal kitchen, which is fully equipped with an industrial sized refrigerator, two commercial ovens and three microwaves-all chrome.

But there’s no stovetops, making it Ikea-showroom pretty but lacking a key function.

“The fact that there’s no cooktops is definitely annoying, because most of the time when you’re making something like a meal you’re going to be using a cooktop. For example, if I were to use the kitchen more regularly I would definitely make eggs there, but I can’t do that because they don’t have a cooktop,” said Jay Ferguson, a first-year graphic communications management student.

He said the kitchen is very pretty but isn’t quite as functional as it should be, a typical opinion among 11th-floor residents.

“If they don’t want to do it this year I can understand that, but at least eventually putting in a cooktop wood be good, just because it doesn’t make sense practicality wise, it’s not practical at all to have no cooktops,” Ferguson said.

The decision to omit a stovetop from the kitchen was not a conscious one on the part of Ryerson’s Student Housing Services (RSHS), said Ian Crookshank, Director of Housing and Residence Life.

According to Crookshank, the original design included a stovetop but the instillation proved problematic.

“We were told by the city that without venting to the outside we couldn’t have stovetops,” said Crookshank.

Solving the ventilation problem wasn’t impossible but would involve restructuring the building that would have made the renovation too expensive, Crookshank explained.

“It was going to take what was a reasonably affordable project and make it the most expensive kitchen ever built,” Crookshank said.

The kitchen required a renovation after a suspected electrical fire that spread from the 10th floor destroyed it in 2012.

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