toronto architecture

People in Toronto neighbourhood divided over black and grey house trend

There is something about home architecture trends in Toronto in recent years that feels admittedly unwelcoming, whether it's due to the dark colour palettes, over-the-top minimalism or industrial feel.

The city seems to be home to a growing number of stark "throw-away" condo buildings constructed quickly and relatively cheaply of conrete and glass, as well as ultra-modern, boxy style homes that some aptly note don't mesh with older styles of housing in their neighbourhoods.

One lengthy discussion in a community Facebook group over the weekend touched on this topic, with one resident saying that they feel new and renovated homes in their area feel "gloomy, foreboding and even ominous," especially compared to more "cheerful" architecture and colours in other neighbourhoods.

To them, it was the black and grey exteriors that are a large part of the problem, with others in the same Danforth-East York-Woodbine Community group adding that such homes "don't even represent the area" and "take away from the whole neighborhood."

"I find them out of character with our older neighbourhoods," one added on the subject. "The trend toward black, grey, boxy, in my humble opinion, is ugly, unimaginative, dystopian-looking," another chimed.

Some speculate that the trend is popular among home flippers, with materials such as stucco being cheaper than others, and aluminum siding only readily available in more basic, muted colours.

"They're afraid to use colours when building to flip because they want to sell neutral homes with black, grey and white tones. Black boxes are the future look for flippers in neighbourhoods," one resident wrote.

Though some stated that they like aspects of the sleek aesthetic — such as the fact that such spaces tend to be more ergonomic and more energy efficient — most seemed to agree that a bit more colour would do wonders to improve such designs, which if you live in Toronto, you've probably seen many of.

As some experts have noted, the lovers of such modern architecture are "overwhelmingly in the minority" as we eschew ornament and the unique for uniform, cold buildings that "give most regular humans the heebie-jeebies."

Thankfully, many note that industrial home design is due to be on the out, along  with "too much gray."

Lead photo by


Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Real Estate

Young adults in Toronto face way greater living challenges than their parents ever did

Home prices in Ontario's cottage country are expected to rise nearly $60K in 2023

Toronto home drops asking price by $1.6 million

Toronto home prices are expected to plummet by more than $140K in 2023

This $4.9 million Toronto home feels like living in Muskoka

Toronto home for sale at $11 million comes with jaw-dropping interiors

This ultra-modern Toronto home with an elevator is for sale at $10.8 million

Cigar boxes used to be made in this $729K Toronto home