Prince Rupert is getting a little more colourful this summer thanks to local businessman, Glen Saunders. Over the past month, Glen has organised the painting of a number of buildings around town. Many of them are older heritage buildings, sprinkled throughout the downtown area on Second, Third Avenue and Fraser Street.

The project started with a small crew of volunteers from Hecate Strait Employment Development Society and a few willing landlords. The building owners pay for the paint and help choose a colour with our local Rona colour expert, Sharon. The only stipulation is that it had to be bright and colourful. As word got around about the project, more people began showing up to help. Last weekend, we painted a total of eight buildings in one weekend, thanks to many volunteers and Glen’s mad co ordination efforts.

The Man With The Plan

Glen was back and forth in his Moo Mobile (as we called it) with more paint, a taller ladder, another roller, painting advice or moral support and a willingness to get up on the ladder when others weren’t as comfortable. He had a hand in painting each and every building.

Packing up for the day

Many people who come through Prince Rupert know of Cow Bay, a charming cow themed corner of the city. Cow Bay has plenty of interesting shopping, an art gallery, restaurants like Cowpaccinos, Opa Sushi, Dolly’s and my personal favourite, The Cow Bay Cafe. I think a little of that charm has now spilt out to the rest of the city.

The Moose Hall

This project is good for Prince Rupert and it’s citizens. Many of the buildings downtown are empty and most were in disrepair. These old neglected buildings did not present a vibrant image of downtown; moral was low and business was leaving town. This project has already proven to please both the people who live here and those who pass through. Being a part of this project has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people in town and we’ve all enjoyed the positive feedback from everyone who walks or drives by. Neighbouring business owners and random people often stopped with kind words but also to sometimes drop off water and snacks.

MonicaPainting The Electrician

Casey working on Coastal Eyecare


Mark and Char

Sico donated some of the paint for the project! The Moose Hall was one recipient, allowing the Royal Order of Moose to continue saving for a desperately needed new roof.


We are known as the City of Rainbows and now we look it. These are just some of the buildings that got painted. One day I’ll have a finished picture of them all. (click to look at any of the pictures bigger or see more of them.)

Looks sharpFriendship HouseRainforest BooksChris Proctor Contracting

The ElectricianApt messageFairview


Rainforest BooksLeanne's

U-BrewI love this colourYellow House

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10 Responses to Adding A Little Colour To Prince Rupert

  1. Vanessa says:

    what fun. Who says the tropical climates should be the only ones with colorful buildings!

  2. elementsofmylife says:

    How beautiful. Rainbows on the land and not just up in the sky. I’m loving the photos of these transformed places, the people behind the efforts and the careful placement of your xtracycle in some of the photos too. I can only imagine how gratifying it is to take part of such an initiative. Painting over graffiti in my old neighbourhood was awesome but it was peanuts compared to this!

  3. dawnsuzette says:

    This is just so awesome. Yay for Prince Rupert! Yay for the community of people who made it all happen! A hopeful thing in this world. A good thing.

  4. k says:

    such a great project Annie. i love vibrant buildings to brighten up the landscape, especially here on the coast where the grey clouds can take over sometimes. what a great way to brighten people’s moods too.

  5. JjlW says:

    Love the photos! I am so glad you made a blog post on this because I have absolutely no idea what is happening in Prince Rupert. Looking forward to seeing this when I return home!

  6. Wow, I love every one of those colors!!

    What a great project.

  7. Lynn says:

    I’m loving these colours! What a great way to pull together to bring some spirit to our surroundings.

    I just heard about this a few days ago…sometimes I think I go through life with my head under a rock or something!

  8. taisa says:

    Wow, that looks great! Such a bright colourful change- I bet it feels great to walk past these buildings that have been given such a facelift!

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    So inspiring. I live in a small town with a somewhat struggling main street. Loving this idea.

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