Winners of the 2012 Pug Awards announced

The winners of the 2012 Pug Awards, the People’s Choice Awards for Architecture, were recently unveiled at the Pugs closing ceremony at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the 2011 Pug Awards winner for Best Commercial/Institutional Building.

Taking top spot this year are 83 Redpath for Best Residential Building and the Centre for Green Cities for Best Commercial / Institutional Building. Honourable mentions include James Cooper Mansion and Quay West at Tip Top in the Residential category, and St. Michael’s Hospital Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and the Instructional Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus in the Commercial/Institutional category. The Shops of Summerhill is the recipient of the Paul Oberman Award for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse and Heritage Restoration, now in its second year. It also has received more positive votes than any other nominee in 2012, both Residential and Commercial/Institutional.

Pearl Condominium and Toronto Rehab University Centre, Patient Care & Research Tower are bottom-ranked in the Residential category and Commercial/Institutional category respectively.

The eighth annual Pug Awards invited all Torontonians to cast their votes for the best and worst new buildings from a record field of 44 nominees. Online voting took place from May 1-31, 2012 at, sparking passionate discussion among voters, with more comments and social shares this year than ever before. “The Pugs are creating a platform with which the public can compare buildings side by side and be extremely discriminating,” says Anna Simone, co-founder of the Pug Awards. “We’re becoming more discerning about our buildings and the votes are showing it. We’re not accepting mediocrity.”

The 2012 Pug Awards nominees and voting patterns show a persistence of trends from years past. According to Gary Berman, co-founder of the Pugs, “Residential entries continue to be disappointing, as evidenced by the vast majority of nominees receiving negative vote counts, as in prior years. Projects with a heritage component continue to outperform.” By contrast, Commercial/Institutional contenders remain in good standing with voters, earning more yeas than nays.

To be eligible for a Pug Award nomination, developments must have been completed in 2011, be located within the City of Toronto and consist of an area of 50,000 square feet or greater or be considered noteworthy by the Pug Awards Advisory Board.

For a full list of project rankings, please visit