The Real Estate Excellence Awards 

Prestigious standards of achievement 

NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards are the most prestigious standards of achievement within the commercial real estate development industry. As we plan for the 20th annual REX Awards, we are looking to reimagine the format and execution of this important event – as a result, the REX Awards have been put on pause for 2021. We look forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the REX Awards in 2022 with you all.

2020 was the 19th year of this annual competition established to recognize and celebrate excellence and innovation in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate in Toronto and the surrounding region. 

The focus of the seven development or transactions award categories is on results (quality and performance), skills (teamwork, collaboration, innovation and creativity) and values (community and environmental awareness). For more information read the awards descriptions here and view this year’s Project Category Winners and Finalists in the two page sections below.

In addition to the project awards, NAIOP Greater Toronto annually presents the following Real Estate Excellence Awards to individuals in recognition of their outstanding leadership and achievements: REX Icon Award, REX Community Service Award and the Developing Leader Award. Please read more about these awards in the respective sections below.

Excellence in commercial real estate

The following winning teams and projects in the 19th Annual Real Estate Excellence Awards competition (see the full article) announced during this year’s Virtual REX Awards Show are deserving of the industry’s recognition for their leadership and innovation! Please see more about the REX Awards on this page: all the Project Finalists … REX Icon and Community Service recipients … and rising stars presented with the Developing Leader Award.

View the awards announcement in the national edition of the Globe and Mail on October 6, 2020

REX project award finalists, 2020

Congratulations to the finalists! NAIOP Greater Toronto sincerely thanks everyone who made submissions in the 19th annual Real Estate Excellence Awards competition. Each year, the depth and quality of the submissions create a very challenging task for the judges. Read more about this year’s Project Award Finalists


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Real Estate Icon & Community Service awards

During the virtual REX Awards event, October 1st, the NAIOP Greater Toronto Board of Directors and members were pleased to honour Philip Gillin (Real Estate Icon Award  ̶  Video) and Jane Pepino (Community Service Award  ̶  Video) for their extraordinary contributions to commercial real estate and the Greater Toronto Area community. Read this full article which explains why these individuals are such deserving recipients of NAIOP REX Awards.

Phil has been involved in the Canadian real estate business for more than 40 years and has extensive experience in investment transactions, development, leasing, asset management, mortgage lending and portfolio strategy.

Phil retired in November 2019 and at that time was Executive Vice President and Portfolio Manager at BentallGreenOak, a member of the Sun Life group of companies where he was responsible for the management of Sun Life’s real estate equity portfolio as well as its’ commercial mortgage and construction lending portfolios. Phil was also a fund manager for two mortgage funds held by third party institutional investors.

Prior to joining Sun Life in 1998, Phil was an Executive Vice President at The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited where he was responsible for development and leasing activities in Canada. Phil joined Cadillac Fairview in 1979.

Phil has been an active member of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, for many years and was President of the Greater Toronto Chapter in 2007.

Phil remains active on two investment committees at BentallGreenOak, he sits on the board of MCAN Mortgage Corporation, he is a member of the board of Toronto Artscape Incorporated and Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.


Jane Pepino, CM, QC, LLD, LLM is a Partner with Aird & Berlis LLP. Jane founded the firm’s Municipal and Land Use Planning group and her 40+ years of experience allow her to guide clients through all aspects of planning, zoning and land development throughout Ontario, and on a broad range of municipal and provincial licensing and regulatory matters.

In her volunteer work, Jane has been widely recognized for her contributions to healthcare governance and the broader community such as the following:

• Chair at Women’s College hospital, Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council appointment to the University of Toronto’s Governing Council, best municipal lawyer in Ontario.
• Serves on the chair’s advisory council of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, the board of Toronto Lands Corporation, and the Victoria University Property Committee.
• Previous board service includes Habitat for Humanity, Sunnybrook & Women’s Health Sciences Centre, and 2010 Legacies Now.
• Founding chair of the Province of Ontario Women’s Health Council.
• Served on the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Toronto’s Metro Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Employment Equity, Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, and Ontario Human Rights Commission.
• In 2011, Jane was awarded the Canadian Urban Institute’s David Crombie Award in recognition of her extensive volunteer service in support of women’s health and public safety.

Volunteer Award

NAIOP’s Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an active member volunteer who has distinguished himself or herself through their outstanding contributions to the Chapter. Since the mid-2000s, David Ward has been a tireless volunteer and advocate of the organization and a well-deserving choice to become Chapter President in 2012. Read more about David’s contributions to NAIOP …

Reporting directly to Morguard’s Executive Vice President of Investments, David has acquired or disposed of over 10 million sq. ft. of industrial and commercial space valued over $1.7 Billion from 2005 to the present. He managed all the acquisitions for the Morguard Industrial Fund I and II and is actively pursuing other industrial, office and development opportunities throughout Canada for Morguard’s own account and for third party pension fund clients.

A dedicated volunteer and advocate for NAIOP

During his time on the Board of the Greater Toronto Chapter, David was involved in a variety of capacities, including chairing the 905 Committee, Programs Committee, organizing the annual Ski Day event and then of course overseeing all aspects of the Chapter as President. While other “past” Presidents have quietly walked away from NAIOP, David has continued being a vocal, proactive member of the chapter, sitting on the NAIOP Corporate Board and serving as Treasurer for a two-year period. He has always been and will continue to be an advocate of the Greater Toronto Chapter, no doubt volunteering to help organize an event or join a committee. David is a leader who exemplifies the expression “lead by example.”

Developing Leader award

Congratulations, Katie Fong, Alex Karamarkovic and Lynton Lewis! NAIOP Greater Toronto’s Developing Leader REX Award is given annually to one or more young professionals 35 years of age or under who have distinguished themselves in their professions and show great promise as future industry leaders. View more about the award recipients …

After a thorough review process in which all nominations in this award category are carefully considered, a sub-committee of the REX Awards Advisory Committee selects the outstanding candidate(s) for this annual award. Congratulations to this year’s deserving recipients!

Charitable beneficiary: Women’s College Hospital

Each year, NAIOP Greater Toronto aligns its choice of a REX Awards charitable beneficiary with the selection of the Community Service Award Recipient. The award recipient may recommend deserving charitable organizations operating in or around the Greater Toronto Area for the Board of Directors’ consideration. In the 19-year history of the Real Estate Excellence Awards, the accumulated proceeds donated to worthy causes have exceeded $950,000. Read about Women’s College Hospital …

NAIOP believes in contributing to a healthy, sustainable local economy and giving back to communities in which members live and work. Some of the organizations to which donations have been made are: the Geneva Center for Autism, Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, Parkinson Society Canada, the Hope for Children Fund, Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons, Eva’s Initiatives, Wellspring, Right To Play and more.

The 19th REX Awards charitable beneficiary: Women’s College Hospital

For more than 100 years, WCH has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare and continues to build on this rich legacy established by its founders – courageous pioneers who refused to accept the status quo. Today, the hospital is still shaped by leaders who break down barriers in the pursuit of equity and excellence for the 21st century.

Women’s College Hospital is a world leader in health for women, health equity and health system solutions – a hospital designed to keep people out of hospital. WCH is developing ground-breaking innovations that address issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. WCH advocates for health equity because a healthy society requires a level playing field where everyone has access to timely, high quality, efficient and compassionate care.

Women’s College Hospital has chosen an ambitious vision, to revolutionize healthcare for a healthier and more equitable world. The Hospital is achieving this bold objective as a unified organization, together with patients, caregivers, thought leaders and generous donors.

WCH sees a future of Healthcare Revolutionized, where the Hospital sets a new pace for transformative redesign in healthcare. WCH aims to confront gender and social inequities that threaten people’s health; to bring virtual care into the mainstream; to reimagine how healthcare services are delivered, all for the purpose of helping solve our health system’s most urgent issues and closing the health gaps for all.