A new brown entry for the Yellow Door?

By Dan Delmar on May 29, 2008

A well-known artistic space in the McGill Ghetto is a bit less recognizable after undergoing some minor renovations: The Yellow Door's yellow door is no more.

Actually, the worn-out piece of pine is resting against a wall in the kitchen of the Aylmer St. building. Director Pietro Bozzo said the organization has been renovating their home for the last year and among the changes was the replacement of the trademark door, which has welcomed guests since 1965.

The group applied for renovation permits with the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough and, Bozzo said, he was told by inspectors that a bright yellow door would not conform with architectural standards in city bylaws. Michel Tanguay, the borough's communications officer, was surprised after hearing of the controversy and said no such bylaws exist: The Yellow Door can, legally, have a yellow door, he said. There are regulations concerning the style of doors that can be used, but the Yellow Door followed those rules to the tee.

As of press time, the door's colour is still a rich, mahogany brown. Bozzo said he went along with the supposed colour restrictions because he didn't want to start a fuss.

"I understood where they were coming from. We didn't feel any severe pressure from anybody and I'm too busy with bricks and mortar to worry about the door," Bozzo said. "It's not about the name or the door, but the people and work that happens inside."

The organization is roughly a century old and is, technically, known as the YMCA of McGill. On top of welcoming poets and folk artists in the building's coffeehouse, the Yellow Door also offers programs for seniors, a food pantry and collective kitchen for students and also lends space to various other community groups.

Bozzo is now taking creative suggestions on what to do with the old yellow door.


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