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Who Cares About Architecture?

In Toronto, as in all cities, there are two camps, those who care about architecture and those who don't notice a thing. Fortunately those who do care are a vocal bunch, whether blogging or putting the word out publicly. If you're the caring kind too there's a new place for you to make your opinion count. The Pug Awards (formerly the Pugly Awards but now with a cute little pug-faced icon) offers a slick new website where all of Toronto can get involved in the state of architecture by way of a vote. They post the latest building projects and you pick whether you think the design deserves FAME or SHAME. By June 6th votes are tallied for a celebrated best and worst of Toronto architecture list.

Not sure how to judge? The Pug Awards, now in its fifth year, offers up some advice to voting novices. In this competition originality is king - no more brick boxes - it's gotta have the fresh factor and add something to it's surroundings. Interaction at street level is also integral - who needs another condo with built-in strip mall?

Last year the site registered 5000 votes and hopefully registered on the minds of developers working to build up a beautiful city. Hall of shamers include a growing list of condo developments while some of the favs are the National Ballet School and Calatrava's BCE Place Atrium. However, I can't help but think that our opinions often change over the years, even if we offer resistance initially. Many of us were astonished by OCAD's new addition when it first sprouted up. I'll admit now it's grown on me.

Love to hear from you too. What are your favourite examples of architecture and which buildings do you think Toronto could live without?


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