The winners of the fifth annual Pug Awards, the people’s choice awards for architecture, were announced June 3, at the McKinsey Building. The fifth annual Pug Awards invited Torontonians to vote online from May 1st to May 31st this year at www.pugawards.com for 24 new residential developments and 8 commercial/institutional developments. The eligible buildings must have been completed in 2008, be located in the city of Toronto, have an area greater than 50,000 sq. ft., or be considered noteworthy by the Pug Awards Advisory Board.
The big winners were One St. Thomas as the best new building in the residential category and Transformation AGO/Art Gallery of Ontario as the best new building in the commercial/institutional category. Honourable mentions went to Quantum 2 at MintoMidtown followed by Kilgour Estates in the residential category and Max Gluskin House, Department of Economics, UofT followed by the Four Seasons
Corporate Headquarters in the commercial/institutional category.
One St. Thomas was designed by New York’s Robert A.M. Stern Architects in conjunction with Young + Wright Architects and was developed by St. Thomas Developments in association with the Lee Development Group. The development at
1 St. Thomas Street is a 29 storey stepped, point tower in downtown Toronto.
The Art Gallery of Ontario, designed by Canada’s Frank Gehry of Gehry International,
Architects Inc., was developed by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Highlights of the transformed AGO include: a new Dundas street entrance aligned with Walker Court;
a sculpture gallery that extends 450 feet along the north side of the building, enabling visitors to see out onto Dundas Street and passersby to see into the Gallery; a sculptural staircase that soars from the second floor, linking Walker Court to the new tower for contemporary art; and the integration of glass windows throughout the building that allow visitors to experience the surrounding cityscape from inside the Gallery.
“Not withstanding their limited budgets (on a relative basis), the winners of the 2009
Pug Awards in both the commercial and residential categories are on par with the highest quality new buildings in any major city and will hopefully encourage other developers to retain the best designers, whether they be local or international, and to strive for excellence in architecture”, says Gary Berman, co-founder of the Pug Awards and managing director at Tricon Capital Group.
“For the fifth consecutive year, the people of Toronto have embraced the Pug
Awards as a platform from which to voice their opinions, thereby heightening the awareness of urban planning and architecture in our city” says Anna Simone cofounder of the Pug Awards and a principal at interior design firm Cecconi Simone.
“As developers, architects and designers, we can only benefit from this feedback as a guide to improve future developments.”
The complete voting results for all the buildings nominated are as follows:
Rank Project Name
1 One St. Thomas
2 Quantum 2 – North Tower
3 Kilgour Estates
5 West One
6 The Gallery
7 College Park 2
8 Garment Factory Lofts
9 Regency Yorkville
10 The Clairmont
11 High Park Lofts
12 Loggia 1 & 2
14 Meridian Residences
16 One Sherway – Phase 1
17 9T6 Condominiums
18 Panache Condominiums
19 Kingswood on Bloor
21 Nuvo 2 at Essex
22 Mansions of Humberwood 2
24 Hampton Plaza
Rank Project Name
1 Art Gallery of Ontario
2 Max Gluskin House (U of T Economics)
3 Four Seasons Corporate Headquarters
4 Children’s Aid Society
5 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
6 85 Hanna
7 T.O. Life Square
8 Mount Sinai Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Centre
The winners were presented with certificates and engraved building plaques. As well, the names of the winning developers and architects are inscribed on the Pug Cup. The Pug Cup will be displayed at City Hall as a reminder to developers, architects and building officials that the people of Toronto care about the architectural landscape of their city.
The winners of the third annual Pug Ed student competition were also announced at the awards ceremony. Kaiyue Pan of Jesse Ketchum Public School took first place and Nousin Hussain of Queen Alexandra Senior Public School was the runner up.
Honourable mentions were given to Mona Wang of Jesse Ketchum Public School and
Farihah Chowdhury of Nelson Mandela Park Public School. The winner received a
$4,000 educational bursary, while the runner up received a $2,000 bursary.
The Pug Ed program is designed to teach students about the built environment that surrounds them, to uncover the fundamentals of good architecture and planning, and
to foster an appreciation for the importance of well-conceived, responsible design practices in urban society. Following a series of after school sessions in which students were engaged by design professionals from various disciplines – architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, development, city council and the carpentry union – the students’ knowledge was put to the test with a design competition that involved the hypothetical redesign of Maple Leaf Gardens. This year 30, grade 8 students participated from Jesse Ketchum Public, Queen Alexandra Senior Public School and Nelson Mandela Park Public School.
Aside from the award presentations, the evening included a lively roundtable discussion on master planning in Toronto. The esteemed panel featured:
– George Baird, Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto and partner in the Toronto-based architecture and urban design firm Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
– Joe Berridge, Partner at Urban Strategies Inc.
– Adam Vaughan, Councilor for Ward 20 (Trinity- Spadina)
– Alan Vihant, Vice-President Development, Concord Adex