I was delighted this morning to open the paper and see that the Royal Ontario Museum, which is just a few blocks from where I live, and from which I have been averting my eyes for a few years now, has been voted one of the world’s ugliest buildings! This is truly heartening news. The ROM was for decades housed in a grand and stately old building, but then they decided to make an “addition”. Unfortunately, the addition resembles a crashed airplane. It is ugly in itself, but made worse by the way it clashes with the existing building. I am very happy to see its ugliness publicly acknowledged.
I live in an area with more than its fair share of ugly buildings. Just a bit further away than the ROM is Graduate House (where, I confess, I used to live). It looks like a bomb bunker wrapped (incompletely) in aluminum foil. The positions of the windows appear to have been decided using a random number generator. (I had one friend whose only window was about 2 ft. high and level with the floor). The interior is even worse than the exterior. A truly hideous structure.
A few blocks further and you find the Ontario College of Art and Design. Their new building looks like a cross between a defective computer screen, a matchbox, and a spider. I am now careful to never walk down the neighbouring streets without an umbrella, the better to shield my eyes from the horror. This building is a public menace.
Anyway, the good news is that one of these buildings has today been denounced as an eyesore. It’s a start.