Vote now for the 8th Annual Pug Awards

Toronto’s decade-old building boom is changing the face of the city as never before. While other urban centres languish, Toronto continues to thrive. More condos are being built here than anywhere else in North America, perhaps the world. Community, learning and research centres and corporate office complexes are expanding rapidly too. There’s no denying the quantity of projects but what about their quality?

People can now weigh in with the 8th annual Pug Awards. The public is invited to vote on the most extensive list of nominees in the history of the Pugs and proclaim the best and worst buildings of the year.

According to Pug Awards co-founders Gary Berman and Anna Simone, the Pug Awards are steering Toronto in the right direction architecturally but there’s no room for complacency.

“The Pugs are now a permanent fixture of Toronto’s building industry and are helping to elevate design standards in our great city,” declares Berman, president of Tricon Capital Group. “While the quality of architecture is improving, lots of work remains to help inform the development community and public about the importance of good planning and to create a culture that truly celebrates great design.”

“I’d like to say that the Pugs have had a positive influence on the quality of architecture in Toronto’” agrees Simone, principal of Cecconi Simone. ”Although we’ve made some progress, we have a long way to go. But we can only do that as a community, as a city, as active citizens.”

This year’s 32 residential nominees are: Beyond the Sea North & South Tower; iLoft at Mystic Pointe; The James Club; 1717 Avenue Road; Aria Condominiums; Avonshire; Legacy at Heron’s Hill; M1 & M2 at Metro Place; Pearl Condominiums; St. Gabriel Manor; Centro North & South Towers and Townhouses; Solaris I + II at Metrogate; 33 Bay Residences at Pinnacle Centre; 83 Redpath; Bliss Condominiums; Churchill Park; Corktown District; Crystal Blu; James Cooper Mansion; Lumière; M5V Life; Neptune & Neptune 2, WaterParkCity; NXT Condominiums; One Bedford at Bloor; One Park West; Park Lake Residences; Quay West at Tip Top; Queen and Portland; Rêve King West; Roncesvalles Lofts; The 500; and The Avenue.

The year’s 12 commercial / institutional nominees are: Living Life on the Avenue Retirement Residence; PwC Tower, Southcore Financial Centre; The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto; Toronto Rehab University Centre, Patient Care & Research Tower; L-Building, Humber College Lakeshore Campus; YWCA Elm Centre; Ronald McDonald House Toronto; Library and Academic Facility, Centennial College Progress Campus; Instructional Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus; St. Michael’s Hospital Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute; The Centre for Green Cities, Evergreen Brick Works; and The Shops of Summerhill.

Winners will be announced at the Pug Awards closing ceremony on June 13, 2012 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, voted Best Commercial/Institutional Building in the 2011 Pug Awards.

The Pugs are committed to lively engagement in Toronto’s architectural evolution beyond the awards themselves. Now in its sixth year, Pug Ed continues to lay the foundation for future design excellence by involving Toronto Grade 7 and 8 students in an intense exploration in the city’s built form. This is achieved with compelling presentations by local design leaders and practitioners, followed by a student design competition. This year, rather than students travelling to an outside location, pre-recorded talks by leading experts will be screened at the participating schools, reducing the constraints of venue and expanding Pug Ed to more participants.

About 40 students from Jesse Ketchum Public School and Queen Alexandra Public School will be taking part in Pug Ed 2012, with each student preparing a complete redevelopment proposal for a specific waterfront site and presenting it to a panel of distinguished professionals on May 31, 2012. The winners, announced at the Pug Awards closing ceremony on June 13, 2012, will each receive a generous educational bursary.

The annual Pug Awards, now in their eighth year, celebrate the best in Toronto architecture. Created by Anna Simone, Founding Partner and Principal, Cecconi Simone, and Gary Berman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Tricon Capital Group, the Pugs invite the public to vote for Toronto’s best, middling and worst new developments of the year. The goal is to promote design excellence in Toronto through public engagement. The Pug Awards are made possible with the generous support of numerous sponsors and the Pug Awards Advisory Board.

For more information on the awards and how to vote, please visit