Voting for the Pug Awards 2011 is now open

The annual Pug Awards has launched, with a new group of competitors up for contention. For the seventh year in a row, Toronto residents can cast their ballots and rate the city’s newest residential and commercial/institutional buildings.

The people’s choice awards for architecture are stronger than ever, with 38 recently completed buildings – including 28 residential condominium projects and 10 commercial/institutional sites – up for the titles of best and worst of the year. Torontonians are used to seeing new construction no matter where they turn, and many have developed an interest in architecture and design as a result. They have opinions and they want to share them: the Pug Awards offers them the opportunity to do just that.

“Most cities would be envious of the general level of building taking place in Toronto,” said Gary Berman, co-founder of the Pug Awards and president of real estate financier Tricon Capital Group. “But we need to ensure that we don’t waste this opportunity with middling or pedestrian architecture. The development community needs to push the envelope on design so that we create buildings that we are proud of – buildings that speak to our exemplary urban society.”

But the Pug Awards is committed to furthering the conversation in more ways than one; in addition to the voting itself, the 2011 Pug Awards will also continue the popular Pug Talks series, and will keep encouraging young people to develop a passion for architecture and design, with the Pug Ed program.

The first step is voting: choosing whether you love, like or hate the city’s newest residential and commercial/institutional developments. Voting runs from May 1 until May 31, 2011, after which the votes will be compiled and a list of winners determined. They’ll be announced on June 20 at the Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, last year’s winner in the commercial/institutional category.

By offering Torontonians the chance to vote on their favourite and least favourite new buildings, the Pug Awards puts the power in the people’s hands. Citizens can help shape their city, to hold developers, architects and designers accountable for their newly constructed buildings, and to elevate Toronto’s architectural and planning standards.

“Toronto is growing up,” said Anna Simone, the second co-founder of the Pug Awards and principal of design firm Cecconi Simone. “We are finally designing buildings that are truly world-class news.”

To qualify for the Pug Awards, buildings must have been completed in 2010 and be located in the city of Toronto. They also need to have an area greater than 50,000 square feet. Noteworthy buildings that don’t fit those criteria, though, may be considered by the Pug Awards Advisory Board.

For more information and to vote, please visit