Lying unseen for decades under layers of paint and hidden in black and white photographs was a whole world of colour waiting to be discovered. The True Colours palette contains 35 original colours that reflect the people and places of early Western Canada.

Donald Luxton, the Heritage Consultant who volunteered hundreds of hours scraping Vancouver homes to uncover these original paint schemes, reflects on the True Colours Program.

“The True Colours program has been a remarkable experience. When the program started, we could not have anticipated the depth and richness of the historical palette that we would uncover, the interest that this would generate among homeowners and the general public and the ongoing desire for information about authentic heritage colours. What I have learned through this program is how carefully colours were chosen to highlight different types of historic architecture, and how paint technology and appearance was so well understood by the designers and builders of the time. The use of colour was not arbitrary and was an integral part of design. The restoration of authentic colours has provided another level of accuracy and sophistication in our understanding of our heritage buildings.”


To assist with determining heritage colours and how to correctly use the True Colour Paint Palette, the Victoria Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and Heritage BC have produced the following resources for building owners.


View the True Colours Palette. Hard copies are available at the Fernie Museum and NuFloors, the Benjamin Moore paint store in Fernie.

Building owners on the Municipal Heritage Inventory are eligible for a 15% discount off True Colour heritage exterior paints at the Fernie Benjamin Moore store, NuFloors. Your paint schematics must be approved by a Heritage Consultant to receive a paint discount.