It’s safe to say we’ve never seen a Toronto condo quite like this before. Enigma on the Park, an 86-unit development by Aragon Properties, is a mid-rise project that will rise from 138 St. Helen’s Avenue in the city’s west end.
At its highest point, the condo will reach nine-storeys, but the distinctive shape of the structure also makes room for townhouses and a range of other heights in order to better fit in with its surroundings on the side street.
Curious to learn more about this distinctive condo, we spoke to the Richard Witt, Principal at Quadrangle Architects, to get a sense of how the firm came up with the look.
The dramatic facade, he explained, is a bit of a departure from the typical glassy style of Toronto condos. The look gives passersby an eyeful, but it ensures they’re not confronted with something that overwhelms the street.
“As far as the patterning, that’s mostly in response to the relationship of the residential neighourhood. It seems bold, which it is, but the whole thing is about creating a forced perspective to minimize the building mass, so when you look at it, it doesn’t look like a big sheer wall face, it goes in and out and creates smaller pieces that makes it seem like a smaller building,” he said.
Aragon Properties, a Vancouver-based builder known for its quality projects, understood the importance of upping the design ante.
“There’s nothing outrageous really about the building but it’s not afraid to be bold,” said Witt. “It’s not a big building, but it has a presence and isn’t afraid to be slightly different.”
In a real sense, the neighbourhood is also partly responsible for the project’s style. Not only is it on a side street, a rarity in the city, but because the property flows into the neighbouring MacGregor Park, the structure isn’t as compressed as other condos.
“The park bleeds into the site and there’s an open space corridor that basically leads into the employment area and park,” Witt explained. “Most of the mid-rise projects that I’ve done tend to be on a main street so it’s unusual option for people to be living in a neighbourhood right on a park.”
The green space and the quiet of the side street all adds up to a condo project that is family-friendly. Though Enigma on the Park features a range of units, with both city views from the condo suites and ground-floor access from the townhouses, the park setting is quite the boon for families. Thanks to the wealth of two and three bedroom options, it’s easy to imagine a family settling down in one of the residences.
It’s what Witt calls the “missing piece” in Toronto’s housing market: a condo project with room for families, close to transit and the core, but on a low-key side street.
Units range in size from 422 to 1,567-square feet and start from $231,900.
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