Triangles: Who Builds Toronto? - Toronto Buildings: Popular and Unpopular

In Toronto, the builder alone decides how a building will look. The city planning department can say where a building can or cannot be, and how it should interact with its surroundings, but its appearance is up to the builder. Neighbours can make suggestions, but that’s all. Even the all-powerful Ontario Municipal Board does not interest itself in a building’s aesthetics.

Some cities have Design Review Panels that have more or less power over the appearance of major developments. In certain parts of Toronto, a professional Design Review Panel can offer suggestions about how a major building might be designed, but other than moral persuasion, it has no effective power.

With the hope that public opinion might encourage (or shame) developers to make better buildings, a private organization offers Torontonians a chance to express their views online about good and bad buildings. The annual PUG Awards, as they’re called, reflect popular opinions about the year’s major commercial and residential developments.

Popular 60 Richmond East Housing Co-operative by Teeple Architects, for the Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Popular Telus Centre for Performance and Learning by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg architects, for the Royal Conservatory of Music
Popular RBC Centre by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates with Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &Co and B+H Architects, for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation
Popular Pure Spirit at the Distillery by architectsAlliance, for Cityscape Development Corporation
Unpopular Grand Triomphe Condominiums Phase II by Burka Architects, for Tridel
Unpopular Plaza Royale Condominiums by Kregg Fordyce architects, for Tor-Bel Developments
Unpopular Harbour Light by Diamond and Schmitt architects, for The Salvation Army
Popular One St. Thomas Residences by Robert A. M. Stern (dean of the Yale School of Architecture), for the Lee Development Group
Unpopular Toronto Centre for Phenogenomics by Dipesh Patel of G+G Partnership architects, for Mount Sinai Hospital and others
Unpopular Hampton Plaza Condominiums developed by the Torbel Group
Popular Hazelton Hotel by Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele architects, for developers Peter Cohen of The Dawsco Group and Bruce Greenberg of The Starwood Group
Unpopular Marriott Residence Inn by Page + Steele architects, for the Limen Group Ltd
Unpopular 76 Shuter Street Condominiums by Young & Wright architects, for Cresford Developments
Popular National Ballet School by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg architects with Goldsmith Borgal architects, for the National Ballet School
Popular 18 Yorkville Condominiums by architectsAlliance, for Great Gulf Homes
Unpopular Glen Lake Condominiums developed by Georgian Homes corporation
Popular Art Gallery of Ontario Transformation by Frank Gehry of Gehry International Architects, for the Art Gallery of Ontario
Popular Art Gallery of Ontario Transformation by Frank Gehry of Gehry International Architects, for the Art Gallery of Ontario


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