Worsley Urban Partners, with a design by Toronto-based architectural practice Raw Design, will be constructing a high-rise, modern mannerist condominium tower in the Church-Wellesley Village. Named Totem, the 18-storey structure will house 115 residential units as well as a three-level below grade parking garage with spaces for cars and bicycles.

Currently located on the site at 17 Dundonald Street, is a 2.5 storey office building originally built in 1956 as the Commercial Traveller’s Association of Canada Building. The structure was included on the city’s inventory of heritage properties in 2010 acknowledging the cultural heritage value in its mid-century modernism design.

Totem Condos, Toronto by Worsley Urban Partners and Raw Design ArchitectsTotem Condos Facade, rendering courtesy of Raw Design Architects

There have been some mixed feelings about the existing building in the UT Forum, with some members calling it a “gem” while others say to “knock it down”. However, the latest renderings from Raw Design may serve to appease both sides as it gives a fresh, modern look to the Dundonald streetscape, while still providing a tribute to the old building.

Although City Council has since overturned the office building’s heritage designation, the façade of the original modernist structure informs the overall design of the development. The podium will preserve some of the facade of the existing modernist building by dismantling and rebuilding parts of the north, west, and east elevations closer to the street, while above, offset floor plates which cantilever at various levels give Totem the appearance of a vertical stack, not entirely dissimilar to a totem pole.

Totem Condos, Toronto by Worsley Urban Partners and Raw Design ArchitectsTotem Condos Proposed Wellesley TTC Station Entrance, rendering courtesy of Raw Design Architects

The site’s convenient location on Dundonald Street places it right above the Wellesley TTC station, and plans call for an entrance to the subway directly from the building. The addition of this second entrance will ease some of the entry/egress congestion on the Wellesley Street entrance, and is sure to be an attractive feature for prospective buyers.

For more information on this development including building facts and renderings, visit the project’s dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the the associated Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.