Feeling Pug-ish About Toronto Architecture
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Feeling Pug-ish About Toronto Architecture

Voting is now open for the ninth edition of the Pug Awards.

20130501 Daniels

It’s time for the architectural debate to begin.

Online voting opened yesterday for this year’s ninth edition of the Pug Awards, which allow the public to decide which buildings completed in 2012 they like (or hate) the most. Voters have until May 31 to choose among 43 nominees, divided between commercial/institutional and residential categories.

Judging by their press release [PDF], the Pug Awards’ organizers are impressed by the status-quo-challenging non-residential candidates, which include luxury hotels, educational facilities, and a pair of police stations. By contrast, they view the condo towers dominating the residential category, which include controversial projects like the Bohemian Embassy, as lost opportunities. According to Pug co-founder Anna Simone, who is quoted in the release, “Most of our residential buildings produce cynicism or, worse, indifference, They’re bland and forgettable, choosing the path of least resistance. We must begin to challenge ourselves, to capture the intimacy of architecture in our residential projects, even while working at a large scale.”

Simone elaborated on her thoughts during the question period of a Pug Talk panel on “The Future of the Glass Tower” at the Art Gallery of Ontario Tuesday night. She feels that despite Toronto’s rich architectural talent pool, the residential towers we build are “banal” structures that don’t speak on a world-class level. “It’s really unfortunate that we as Torontonians have had an incredible opportunity in the last 10 years,” she observed, “and yet we have very little to show for it.”

This post’s image gallery includes some of this year’s Pug Awards nominees. The winners will be announced in a June 26 ceremony at The Shops of Summerhill, last year’s winner of the Paul Oberman Award for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse and Heritage Restoration.

Images courtesy the Pug Awards.