I've always loved colourful buildings. It's something that goes back to my early childhood.
I regularly visited Ireland where it isn't uncommon to see a row of houses that include a red, purple and blue one, or a centuries-old retail street with glaring yellow facade inserted into the mix. I also spent the first few years of my life in the Willow Park Housing Co-op on Burrows Avenue, affectionatley known as 'Lego Land' because of the mixture of colourful facades.
In the past couple of decades it has become increasingly common to see boldly coloured homes here, especially in the West End or Wolseley and now even in new suburban developments that once stuck to neutrals and pastels.
This splash of colour has moved onto the commercial streetscape as well.
Last decade saw the introduction of the aboriginal medicine wheel inspired palate of red, yellow, black and white. One of the first and most obvious examples is the Norrie Centre on Selkirk Avenue which opened in 2005. Since then, it has almost become a staple for new, Aboriginal-related social service buildings.
Earlier this year, Anybody Want a Peanut wrote of the "Haciendaization" of St. Mary's Road that began with the blood orange Banville and Jones in 2005 and continued with the deep red of Miller's Meat Market and the rich, golden Santa Lucia Pizza.
In the past year a new, bold and perhaps risky colour splashed onto the scene: lime green. Some buildings chose to use it sparingly, such as 363 Broadway and Youth for Christ's Youth Centre of Excellence. Others, like the new Centennial Recreation Centre and the BG BX condos at St. Matthews and Wall have taken it to a whole new level.
As someone who appreciates a colourful street scape I have to say that it's quite interesting to look at - for now.
Unlike the other colour schemes that are rooted in some historic, cultural or geographic context, the lime green isn't, (at least as far as I'm aware.) It makes me wonder that if in a few years it will be seen as the the Miami Vice powder blue and pink that still adorns,and dates, the interiors of some of our 1980s developments like Portage Place.
Only time will tell whether building owners will soon be scratching their heads to devise inexpensive ways to de-green their buildings. In the meantime, though, welcome to the streetscape !