Pug The Pain Away
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Pug The Pain Away

Argyle Authentic Lofts
The Pug Awards are back! Now in their fourth year, the awards name the best and worst new buildings in Toronto, as determined by visitors who choose whether they love or hate the 21 nominees on the Pug Awards’ website. In the previous three years, Toronto Police Service 51 Division’s building, the National Ballet School, and Gardiner Museum have all been winners, based on percentage of positive votes; Wellington Square, Glen Lake, and—most spectacularly—Be Bloor have all come out as losers.
This year, the most exciting entry (and the one sure to be the most divisive, thus preventing it from winning) is the ROM Crystal, that magnificent downtown behemoth we all either love or love to hate. The Argyle Authentic Lofts on Dovercourt (pictured above) look lovely too, and the building is a shoo-in to take top honours: it does exactly what the ROM did—fit old and new together—but hides the former inside the latter rather than shoving them together. It’s not nearly as spectacular or fun as the Crystal, but it’s far more universally attractive.
Sadly, there’s little else to get really psyched about in this year’s Pugs: the rest of the entrants are mostly dull, cookie-cutter condos, many of them green—not environmentally-friendly, but just plain green. (Why do condo developers think that light green windows look nice on buildings? They really, really don’t.)
Our only beef with the otherwise spectacular Pug Awards last year was their website, but, thankfully, it’s a little friendlier, more fun, and less of a hassle than the “time-wasting, browser-resizing, frustratingly Flashtastic affair” that Marc Lostracco said it was last year (though it is still Flashtastic). Also new this year: the Pug Cup, a 52-pound, three-foot-tall trophy to be displayed at Pug-worthy City Hall and serve “as a reminder to developers, architects, and building officials that the people of Toronto care about the architectural landscape of their city.”
You can show you care by voting before May 31. The winners and losers will all be announced on June 4.
Photo by Joy von Tiedemann, courtesy of the Pug Awards.