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Beloved host Dina Pugliese given key to her hometown after 16 years in TV

Citytv's Dina Pugliese with Mayor Steven Del Duca when he presented her with a key to the City of Vaughan. (Twitter/@breakfasttv) Citytv's Dina Pugliese with Mayor Steven Del Duca when he presented her with a key to the City of Vaughan. (Twitter/@breakfasttv)
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Longtime daytime television host Dina Pugliese has just received a key to the City of Vaughan for her “outstanding contribution” to the entertainment industry.

On Friday, Mayor Steven Del Duca presented Citytv’s beloved Pugliese with the key after she announced she would be stepping down from her role after 16 years.

“In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Canadian television industry as co-host of the award-winning morning show Breakfast Television, it is my absolute pleasure to give the Key to the City of Vaughan to Dina Pugliese,” Del Duca said.

“For more than 16 years, Dina has been warmly welcomed into countless GTA homes like an extended family member. With journalistic integrity at the core of her distinguished career, she has earned the trust, confidence, and admiration of viewers in Vaughan and beyond.”

Del Duca touched on Pugliese’s accomplishments throughout her career outside of co-host on Breakfast Television, from when she started as an associate producer of The Bynon Show to when she earned a Gemini nomination as a host of VJ Search.

The mayor called Pugliese, who was raised in Woodbridge, Ont., a “beloved daughter” of Vaughan, and applauded her for her advocacy surrounding mental health.

“On a personal note, this is a truly special occasion, not only because it is the first Key to the City I am bestowing as Mayor of Vaughan, but because my family and I, like so many others, appreciate Dina’s warmth and generous spirit,” Del Duca said.

Pugliese announced her decision to step down as co-host earlier in February.

“Sharing in mornings and laughter with you has been a true Blessing. (One that I never took for granted and never will.) It is THE sole reason why I was able to last this long,” Pugliese said in an Instagram post on Feb. 15.

“But these crazy early hours also require a ton of sacrifice, the 2:30 a.m. alarm clock never gets any easier, and eventually, it takes a toll [...] My mind and body were telling me it’s time.”

Pugliese says she will be dedicating more time to her beauty line, which launched back in 2019, spending quality time with family, and travelling with her husband.

“Speaking of ties that bond, I hope you know that YOU are my extended family, forever. It is never goodbye because our connection is too strong,” Pugliese wrote. “It is truly special. You are special. Thank you for allowing me into your lives.”

Friday was Pugliese’s last day on air.

Background

VJ Search was a reality television show hosted by MuchMusic in the 2000s. MuchMusic is a Canadian television channel owned by BCE Inc., or Bell Media. Bell Media is the parent company of CTV News Toronto and CP24.

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