The identity of a city in large part is shaped by the quality of its public realm. Land owned and operated by the public sector constitutes the majority of space that we engage with on a daily basis. While the design of buildings on private land contributes to that experience, the space between buildings is where civic life unfolds. In this talk the panel representing five unique points of view will be discussing Toronto’s public realm.

Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor West, Toronto

Wednesday May 5, 2010, 6:00pm
John Bentley Mays, Architecture Columnist, Globe Real Estate
John Bentley Mays is an award-winning Toronto writer on art and architecture. Since 2003, he has written a weekly column on architecture and urban design for The Globe and Mail’s Real Estate section. His writings also frequently appear in Canadian Architecture, Canadian Art, International Architecture and Design and other periodicals. He is currently at work on a book about the early shapers of Toronto’s urban texture and vision.
Adam Vaughan, Councillor, Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina
Before being elected to City Council as representative of Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina in 2006, Adam Vaughan worked as a political journalist at CityTV, CBC Radio and TV, CKLN, and has also written for various publications such as Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, and Eye Weekly. He has always lived in the downtown Toronto area, where he continues to live with his wife in the Queen and Bathurst neighbourhood. Adam has two children aged 6 and 12.
Marianne McKenna, Partner, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Marianne McKenna, OAA, OAQ, FRAIC, is a founding partner of KPMB Architects, one of Toronto’s leading design studios. She was born in Montreal and educated at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia and at Yale University. She was the partner-in-charge of the recently completed Royal Conservatory of Music and is currently working on the Minnesota Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Elyse Parker, Director, Public Realm Section, Transportation Services, City of Toronto
Elyse Parker is the Director of the City of Toronto’s new Public Realm Section in the Transportation Services Division. In this role she leads teams who coordinate and implement programs - including harmonized street furniture, pedestrian projects and beautiful streets – all directed to making Toronto’s streets more beautiful and liveable. She was previously the senior planner for the downtown area. She has degrees in landscape architecture and urban design and is the recipient of the 2008 Ontario Association of Landscape Architects award for Public Practice. At this time her particular passion is “Everyday Urbanism”, the unplanned and often unintentional design moves and small efforts that build cities incrementally.
Gary Switzer, President and CEO of MOD Developments Inc.
Gary Switzer is the President and CEO of MOD Developments Inc. A graduate of the University of Toronto School of Architecture in 1978, Mr. Switzer founded the high-rise division of Great Gulf Homes in 1988 and was responsible for a number of successful and award-winning developments in Toronto, including The Saint James, The Morgan, The Hudson, 18 Yorkville, X and Charlie. MOD’s first development will be released soon, a 45-storey mixed-use project at 5 St. Joseph, near Yonge & Wellesley in downtown Toronto.
Ron Palmer, Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area
Over the past 10 years, Bloor-Yorkville has been inundated by major condominium projects that have changed the face of the community, and have had a tremendous impact on the public realm that surrounds them. In many respects the BIA has become at least the co-guardian of the public realm, sometimes in partnership with the City, sometimes alone. Mr. Palmer, in his role as Chair of the Planning, Preservation and Urban Design Committee of the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area, has been, and continues to be a champion for the cause of the Bloor-Yorkville BIA.<br>He is also a partner at The Planning Partnership, a Bloor-Yorkville based planning, urban design, communications and landscape architectural firm.
The Pug Awards gratefully acknowledges the support of our Platinum Sponsors for their commitment to enhancing Toronto's cityscape through the promotion of innovative architecture and design. Through their advocacy of the Pug Ed youth education program, our Members' have given our city and its students an opportunity to think critically about urban environments and sparked community engagement that will resonate for generations to come. Thank you.
Pug Awards Inc. Charitable Registration no. 81189 9426 RR0001. Web Design & Development by ninth+crux