Totem Condo ReviewAugust 20, 2018 | Buying
As one of the next condos to be added to the neighbourhood at 17 Dundonald Street, the 141-suite, 18 storey Totem Condo is tiny in comparison to the massive condo projects that surround it. I was very excited to check out this boutique condo today in person so that I could provide some feedback for this Totem Condo review!
First off, the location is prime. It’s centrally located just off Yonge Street, so that it’s within the heart of it all, but also set-back on a residential street with houses to make it feel like it’s part of a quiet neighbourhood. Plus, it’s super close to Wellesley Subway Station, not just by the regular path of walking on the street, but also with a dedicated subway connection from the building directly into Wellesley Subway Station itself! The door for access is located in the lobby and not open yet, but as opposed to other condo projects that falsely promise underground connections, this one actually did pull through! In fact, if you check out the platform of Wellesley Subway Station right now, you’ll see the door that provides the future connection to the building. Additionally, it won’t just be residents of Totem Condo that will enjoy this secondary access point into the subway – there will also be a public access connection to the subway too, as you can see in the builder’s rendering.
The Lobby & Hallways
This building just recently took occupancy for the lower floors only, so it’s understandably a full construction site at the time of this writing. There were crews hauling bins of construction materials in the plywood-sided elevators, men with construction helmets everywhere, concrete hallways and barebones walls. Everything was white and simple, so time will still have to tell as to how the finishes come together for the common elements at Totem Condos.
The insides of the completed units are the only true representations of the finished parts of the building right now. I had the chance to visit a 1 bedroom as well as a 1+1 bedroom unit while there, with each facing a different exposure. The suites were all typically finished with standard items that would be found in any regular condo in the neighbourhood. The appliances were all the “European sizing”, except for the dishwasher, that was full sized.
The sliding panels for all of the enclosed bedrooms (basically the bedrooms without full swing doors and a proper window) that arrive with the unit are fully clear, rather than the frosted glass. Privacy might be a concern here for some people, which might lead tenants or owners to install their own glass frosting.
I did really like the groovy overhead light for the main living areas in all of the suites!
Facing north towards Dundonald was a treat, particularly since I was on a low floor and at the tree-top level. For me personally, there is something so serene about looking out of a condo and seeing actual homes and mature trees, so I really liked that aspect of the north exposure. Facing south was a completely different experience since the south part of the building looks directly into a cluster of three other multi-residential buildings: Vox Condos & 22 Wellesley (both on Wellesley Street) and 15 Dundonald Street, the neighbouring rental apartment building.
As someone who is super eco-conscious and sensitive about odours, off-gassing and dust, I found the site to be far too dusty and smelly to live in currently. Even though the lower floor units are technically ready for occupancy, it might take a little while for the resins, glues and paints to dissipate, otherwise, some people might not be able to handle living there right now. For me personally, I had to hold my breath and take a “balcony break” in one of the units because the smell of off-gassing was so strong. It obviously didn’t help that the owner of this unit hadn’t opened the windows or circulated any air through the space, otherwise it probably wouldn’t have been that bad. All this to say however, that this is pretty normal for a new unit at occupancy, and the odours do disappear after proper ventilation.
I did like the building quite a bit. The size and scale is appropriate for the street, it fits right in as a boutique-sized building where neighbours will likely know neighbours, and it has a very convenient in-building access to Wellesley Subway Station. Whether there’s a floor plan that works for you in layout and price is the only question!
If you’re looking for help with this project after reading this Totem Condo review, feel free to reach out to us at The Condo Lounge for more assistance right here!