When asked why he delivers food weekly to Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital, Tony Silla offers an unusual reply. “During this gloomy period, I wanted to shed some light,” says the owner of local restaurant La Grange Urbaine.  “All we hear about is[the] number of cases, deaths, job losses, bankruptcies… I wanted to add some brightness to the narrative!”

It all began when during the first wave of the pandemic, a company manager called to order supper for his team, as they were considered essential workers. They were incredibly grateful that Silla delivered a delicious meal. This got Silla thinking about the more critical essential workers, particularly at the hospitals. He reached out to the nearby Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital and offered to bring food prepared by the team at La Grange Urbaine. The offer was happily accepted.

“It’s not about the food, it’s about the treat! It’s about letting people know they matter,” says Silla. He claims there is something comforting about food. Many people in Laval have experienced (or at least heard of) the tasty, wholesome menu at La Grange Urbaine.  As our health workers consistently help the ill during this particularly demanding time, Silla decided that he would consistently spread some cheer. In fact, his staff claim he is like Santa Claus on Thursday afternoons as he gleefully prepares for this weekly delivery.

Silla had been told at one point that the staff didn’t even have enough time to eat the food, which saddened him but did not detract him from his mission. Silla’s wife began sharing his deeds on Facebook as a means of spreading the cheer to even more people. Afterall, everyone loves to hear feel-good stories. Silla recently heard that as word got around, employees from all parts of the hospital make their way to grab a slice of pizza or plate of pasta while sharing a moment with their colleagues. He admits this has brought him much satisfaction.

Times are exceptionally difficult for restaurants, in particular during this period, but La Grange Urbaine enjoys a loyal clientele who continue to order take-out—including their family dinners—and purchase gift cards. Throughout the summer of 2020, the restaurant was at capacity (as full as the government allowed). “The community rallied around us and it is my pleasure to give back,” says Silla. Who says, ‘No good deed goes unpunished’?

If everyone chooses to help one cause, to promote goodness somewhere, then the world will be a better place for us all.