Wigwamen Terrace

Annex, Toronto

A three-storey addition to a 1970s housing development establishes new homes for Indigenous seniors and improved social connections through new shared spaces.

 

Just north of Spadina Subway Station and adjacent to the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Wigwamen Terrace is a 1970s-era housing development for Indigenous seniors. Like many buildings from this period, it was due for a refresh, so Wigwamen, Ontario’s oldest and largest urban Indigenous housing provider, sought out our help to chart a new future for the property. 

Our feasibility study determined that an addition could improve accessibility, energy consumption, and add 24 single bedroom units within a compact 1,350m² design. This study then earned Wigwamen a grant from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund to bring the project to life.

A three-storey addition crowns the building’s western wing, doubling its height and transforming its presence. At the pinnacle, a double-height community room encased in transparent glass, serves as the project’s centerpiece. Once relegated to the basement, this space now stands as a beacon of community, and offers residents a luminous hub in which to foster connections, appreciate panoramic city views and the changing light and weather. Complementing this elevated experience, we’ve introduced a rooftop terrace adorned with Indigenous plantings, effectively expanding the outdoor areas available to residents.

The addition boasts an air-tight envelope that works with a highly efficient mechanical system to exceed the National Energy Code targets for both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The new units also exceed accessibility requirements, helping more residents find comfortable and safe ways to age in place.

Media

Urban Toronto – (March 2020) Wigwamen Terrace Expansion Progressing on Spadina near Bloor
Urban Toronto – (June 2017) Three-Storey Addition Proposed to Wigwamen Terrace