Fourth annual Pug Awards launched

The fourth annual Pug Awards (, the people’s choice awards for architecture, launched in Toronto on May 1, 2008.

Toronto is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America and it needs to accommodate a growing population by providing its people with new places to live, work, recreate, shop, learn and worship. The quality of new buildings and spaces in Toronto varies and some new buildings are world-class architectural projects, while others are eyesores in the urban fabric.

The Pug Awards were created as a means to hold developers, architetcts and designers accountable for newly constructed buildings in this city. By allowing the public to vote on the architectural success (or failure) of new projects, the Pug Awards have encouraged Torontonians to foster opinions about architecture and urban design. More importantly, they have enabled the public to make their opinions count.

“The Pug Awards is now in its fourth year and it gives me great pleasure to know that the Awards continue to gain momentum,” says Anna Simone, cofounder of the Pug Awards and a principal at interior design firm Cecconi Simone. “It is rewarding to see that the people of Toronto have an outlet through which to express their views and concerns regarding development in our city. It is equally satisfying to know that their input regarding future development is now tangible.”

“The Pug Awards are proving to be a terrific tool for giving the public a badly needed voice in the outcome of the development process, thereby holding the development community accountable for their work while at the same time rewarding those who uphold civic beauty by delivering quality buildings,” says Gary Berman, cofounder of the Pug Awards and managing director at Tricon Capital Group.

This year’s Pug Awards include 21 nominated buildings, 18 in the residential category and three in the commercial/institutional category. To qualify, buildings must have been completed in 2007, be located in the former City of Toronto, and have an area greater than 50,000 square feet or be considered noteworthy by the Pug Awards Advisory Board. Interactive photographs of the buildings with different angles/views are displayed on the new Pug Awards website with a LOVE IT OR HATE IT voting interface. A Google Earth Map interface allows voters to zoom in to each location and views its position within the greater city. Online voting will take place until May 31st and results of the competition will be announced on June 4, 2008 at a reception at the Gardiner Museum, last year’s winner in the commercial category.

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