Second annual Pugly Awards launches

As Toronto’s love affair with construction continues, so too does the Pugly Awards. The second annual online competition to recognize the city’s best known, most loved, and least liked new developments of 2005 launched on May 1 at a media conference held at Toronto’s Spoke Club.

Together with Toronto Mayor David Miller, Pugly Award founders Gary Berman and Anna Simone unveiled the 15 buildings nominated for this year’s competition.

“The list of buildings under consideration for this year’s Puglies is an excellent representation of the current state of architecture in the GTA,” says Gary Berman. “They truly represent the best and worst elements of our city’s current development boom.

“We were overwhelmed by last year’s response to the inaugural Pugly Awards and we look forward to the awards once again giving the citizens of Toronto an opportunity to raise their voices and comment about the city’s appearance.”

Based on the success of last year’s inaugural Pugly Awards, which organizers boast received over 10,000 votes, this year’s program has been added to the City of Toronto’s Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd) calendar of events.

Lending his support to the Pugly Awards, Mayor David Miller attended today’s media conference and echoed the Pugly’s call for Torontonians to get engaged and passionate about the development of their city.

The online voting for the 15 nominated buildings will run from May 1-31, 2006, and those under consideration include residential developments greater than 100 units and commercial/institutional projects greater than 50,000 square feet. Only those buildings which met these requirements and which were completed in the former City of Toronto during 2005 are eligible for the current Pugly Awards.

The buildings nominated for a 2006 Pugly Award are:

*85 Bloor Condominiums (85 Bloor Street West)
*Glen Lake (2495 Dundas Street West)
*Harbour View Estates I & II (10 Navy Wharf Court and 9 Spadina Avenue)
*High Park Condominiums (70 High Park Avenue)
*King’s Court (230 King Street East)
*Lawrence Park (485 Rosewell Avenue)
*Opus Pantages (220 Victoria Street)
*Radio City I & II (285 Mutual Street)
*18 Yorkville (18 Yorkville Avenue)

*SAS Building (280 King Street East)
*Morrison Hall (University of Toronto)
*Mars Project Phase I (College and University)
*Cosmopolitan Hotel (8 Colborne Avenue)
*Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (University of Toronto)
*National Ballet School (404 Jarvis Street)

Sponsored by Tricon Capital Group Inc. and Cecconi Simone Inc., the awards were founded in 2004 by Gary Berman and Anna Simone.

The 2006 Advisory Board includes Gary Berman, Anna Simone, Galen G. Weston, Geddy Lee, Allan Gotlieb, David Crombie, Jeanne Beker, Michael King, James Fleck, Alan Greenberg, Peter Freed, David Berman, Geoff Matus, Myles Mindham, Richard Diamond, Charles Cutts, Lawrence Ayliffe, Shinan Govani, John MacFarlane, Danny Roth, Margie Zeidler, Alice Adelkind, Paul Austin and Kenneth Tanenbaum.

“We believe that our Board is reflective of the passion the citizens of Toronto have for their city and that’s what the Pugly Awards are most about,” says Pugly Awards cofounder Anna Simone. “They were established to encourage people to stop looking at their feet as they walk between buildings, and to look up. They were established to empower Torontonians, to give them the opportunity to say what they like and dislike about Toronto’s development and provide them with the sense that their voices count.

“Last year’s voter response proved that Torontonians care about issues of architecture and design in their backyards and we are hopeful that this year’s program will attract even more voters.”

The 2006 Pugly Awards winners will be announced during the week of June 6, 2006.

For a complete explanation of the selection criteria and voting rules, please visit Voting will take place from May 1-31, 2006.