Our Story

PARA Paints History

One of the fastest growing paint brands in North America, PARA Paints is a line of premium quality architectural paints, stains, varnishes and faux finishing products supplying the contract, maintenance, design and consumer markets via independent paint and wallpaper specialists. PARA is in constant touch with its customers, anticipating and responding to their demands and needs.

Throughout its history, the company has never compromised on personalized service, value and quality.

Nathan Wilson started the Toronto Paint & Wallpaper Company in 1915 in a street level building on Yonge Street in Toronto. It was a small family business that catered 100% of its business to contractors. Nathan built the company on three key principles; quality, value and customer service.

In 1950 the company would change its name to Para Paints. In 1955 Para moved operations to Rexdale, Ontario to a larger manufacturing facility to match the growth being experienced. In the 1960’s Para started to develop a base in the independent market through strength of the brand with contractors.

The Wilson family would continue to run the business until 1982 when they would sell the estate and change the company name one last time to Para Paints Canada Inc. The company would also take on a high profile by adding designers and architects to its already growing painter/contractor dealer base. In the mid 80’s focus remained on growing the business with the addition of new dealers in three Prairie Provinces.

In 1988, PARA unveiled its trend setting and award winning Design Line II colour selection system, containing 1,125 colours. Developed with input from the design community, it clearly and visibly demonstrated the full range of colour possibilities and was an integral step in PARA’s evolution from a quality contractor oriented organization to a design oriented independent dealer organization. Well accepted and, at the time, arguably the most complete and attractive colour display on the market, it extended the appeal of PARA products to designers and retail consumers.

The company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1990 by opening a new 140,000 square foot environmentally friendly manufacturing and distribution facility in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Bordering on a park-like setting, the design and construction goal of this unique facility – which includes a two-story atrium was not only to comply with but to exceed all zoning and environmental regulations. In the same year, PARA was selected as one of Canada’s best managed privately held companies by Canadian Business magazine.

In 1991, the company Para had reached full nation-wide representation with the addition of dealers in Quebec. The company would also shorten it’s name to Para Inc.

In 1999, PARA continued its longstanding commitment to colour and design by developing and launching Design Line III colour system. Featuring over 2,400 colours, it is the most comprehensive colour tool available to consumers, designers, and painting contractors.

In 2003, Para would be acquired by Sico INC. to expand market share in the independent deal distribution channel. Focus was placed on reenergizing the brand and a new branding position and image was put in motion. Para would remain with Sico INC. for 5 years, to then be acquired by General Paint Co. in 2008.

In 2014, after being apart of The COMEX Corporation for 6 years, Para was acquired by The Sherwin Williams Company under the Diversified Brands Canada Division and continues to be apart of a power house of consumer household brands that also include Minwax, Thompsons Waterseal, Kryon, Duckback and Purdy Products.