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LETTER: New development will 'deaden character and romance' of old neighbourhood

Too often, modern homes and buildings are uninspired and grey paint is used to camouflage the fact, says letter writer
Man on computer

OrilliaMatters received the following letter from Kate Grigg in response to the story, 'Former scrapyard to be transformed into townhomes', which was published Nov. 9.


All this grey is getting to me.

Popping up all over town, buildings and houses with grey siding or grey-painted exteriors. It’s an easy, effective formula –– grey on grey, or grey walls, white trim, and a colour that pops on the door –– strong red, sunny yellow, bubblegum pink.

At first I liked the occasional grey house, especially if it was done well, real stucco (not spray over styrofoam) or real wood or real stone (not the plastic-y looking stuff). But now it’s getting me down, all the grey, as other grey things do, too many cloudy days, prison walls, parking lots, getting old.

The grey craze which began with interiors and is now overtaking exteriors has been going on for a while. The people at Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams must be going slowly mad having hundreds of colours in their portfolio but mixing nothing but endless cans of grey. Now and then some daring soul asks for grey-blue, or even, miraculously, classic navy but it’s probably not enough to save a paint mixer’s sanity.

People think that it’s modern, painting everything grey. They are happy to rush like lemmings over the grey cliff. But modern is not particularly easy to live with. You have to keep everything sleek and minimal for modern to look good and life is messy. And sometimes all that perfection, all that restraint can feel a little hollow. There must be some reason a warm heritage-style place like the Mariposa Market is always packed to the gills. There must be some reason for the contemporary style not taking all that well the first time around. Maybe it’s going over better now because with everyone separated from real life by screens and other forms of technology hollow is beginning to feel normal.

Not that modern architecture isn’t beautiful or that I’m against it all together. In the right hands modern architecture is art. It’s just that most of the time modern homes and buildings are executed at a less inspired level and a few cans of grey paint are used to camouflage the fact.

Now a Toronto developer is going to build on Schachter’s old scrapyard, deadening all the character and romance of that old neighbourhood, and substituting, more than likely, a whole lot of grey.

The world isn’t meant to be grey.

 Kate Grigg