May 11, 2010
by Canadian Architect
The annual Pug Awards debuted in 2004 and celebrate the best in Toronto architecture and planning. Founded by Anna Simone, principal of design firm Cecconi Simone, and Gary Berman, president of real estate financier Tricon Capital Group, the awards invite the public to vote on the best, the middling and worst of Toronto’s newest real estate developments. The goal is to inform the public about design excellence and ultimately contribute to the growth and prosperity of Toronto. The Awards are made possible by the generous support of numerous sponsors and the Pug Awards advisory board
As we move into the 21st century’s second decade, Toronto remains one of North America’s fastest-growing cities. Bold new developments continue to spring up all over town, radically redefining the streetscape of the city. Architecture and design are now, more than ever, hot-button issues as citizens add their voices to the conversation about the city’s masterpieces and mess-terpieces. The Pug Awards have been instrumental to this shift.
The Pug Awards began as a modest initiative that raised awareness of architectural and design issues among Torontonians. Since their inception, the Pugs have evolved into a major event that annually recognizes the contributions Toronto’s development community has made to the urban landscape. By registering their opinion on recently-completed residential, commercial and institutional developments, the public can contribute to the conversation and ensure their voice is heard and help elevate architectural and planning standards across the city.
On May 5th at the Bata Shoe Museum, the Pug Awards hosted “Space Between Buildings,” the first in a series of public “Pug Talks” lectures to be held throughout the year. Pug Talks are the newest feature of the Pug Awards program and will play an important role in fulfilling the mandate of the Pugs by allowing the community to directly engage in direct dialogue with developers, architects and policymakers. The 2010 Pug Awards ceremony will feature the second installment of the year’s Pug Talks series, starring several key candidates in the 2010 Toronto mayoralty race. As architecture is a growing issue among citizens, the City of Toronto has embraced the Pugs, the Pug Trophy – awarded to the year’s top development project – has been given pride-of-place at City Hall.
By voting, citizens hold developers, architects and designers accountable for the city’s newly constructed environments. The public can vote on whether they love, like, or hate new developments. New this year, voters can follow the Pug Awards online through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
To qualify, buildings must have been completed in 2009, be located in the City of Toronto, and have an area greater than 50,000 square feet. Noteworthy buildings that do not fit these criteria may be considered by the Pug Awards Advisory Board.
To ensure each nominee is given an equal opportunity to present their building to the public, developers and/or architects are asked to supply their own building photography and description for inclusion on the online voting website. In the event that developers and/or architects are unable to provide the images, the photos are taken by a photographer appointed by the Pug Awards Executive Committee. Interactive images of the buildings with different angles/views are displayed on the new Pug Awards website with a LOVE IT, LIKE IT or HATE IT voting interface. A Google Earth map interface allows voters to zoom in to each location and view its position within the city.
For more information and to vote, please visit www.pugawards.com. Voting ends June 1, 2010.