The NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter’s Real Estate Excellence (REX) Awards -- one of the industry's most prestigious distinctions -- are returning for their 20th year.

The annual competition, started in 2001, recognizes excellence and innovation across the GTA's commercial real estate industry from office to industrial to mixed-use. Taking place on Thursday April 7, the awards ceremony will honour outstanding developments as well as leaders in the commercial real estate industry in categories such as Development of the Year, Investment Deal of the Year, Lease of the Year, Real Estate Icon, Volunteer of the Year, and Community Service.

This year saw a record number of submissions, something NAIOP Toronto says goes to show that even a pandemic can't slow down the commercial real estate industry. Developments selected for consideration for the Development of the Year Award must have been completed or substantially completed between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Among those up for consideration are the PwC-YMCA Mixed Use Tower, CIBC SQUARE, and Menkes' Waterfront Innovation Centre.

Started by George Carras, founder of RealNet and R-Labs Canada Inc., and real estate investor and REIT trustee Andre Kuzmicki, the REX Awards have significantly evolved over time. Initially a black tie event with a handful of awards, it has grown into a more relaxed affair with multiple award categories.

Two of the awards that have been around since the REX Award's inception are the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Community Service Award, recognizing individuals who made significant contributions to the market or the community.

"Both awards were fashioned as an example to the younger people in the industry to pursue excellence and make a positive impact," NAIOP says.

This year, the Community Service Award recipient is TD's Managing Director, Head of Property Brokerage Jamie Ziegel. Former BentallGreenOak CEO Gary Whitelaw has been named the winner of the now-dubbed Real Estate Icon Award.

The 20th annual REX Awards will take place at REBEL Entertainment Complex. Tickets for the event can be bought online.

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