St. James Town

Situated in the northeast corner of Toronto Centre or Ward 13, St. James Town is a neighbourhood of 18,615 people, according to the most recent Census. Many experts, including residents, believe the real figure may be as high as 25,000 to 30,000. This discrepancy may owe to tenants sharing rent costs with family and friends who live with them but who are not counted in the Census. First generation immigrants make up about two thirds of St. James Town’s population, and it is said that over 100 languages are spoken here.

Here we present a short list of articles, reports, videos, and blogs that provide valuable information about the history of the neighbourhood dating back to the 1970s, as well as several recent landmark events. We welcome suggestions for additional items. This is a work in progress!

Whitzman, Carolyn. 2001. “Social Infrastructure in Tall Buildings: A Tale of Two Towers.” Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Research Paper

Fumia, Doreen. 2010. “Divides, High-Rise, and Boundaries: A Study of Toronto’s Downtown East Side Neighbourhoods.” Ethnologies 32(2): 257-289. 2014. “A Mini History on St. James Town”

Cori. 2018. “The Story of Toronto’s St. James Town”.

Haque, Nasim, and Estelle Sun. 2011. Voices of Multi-Cultural Youth: Impact of Urban Neighbourhood on Health and Well-Being. Wellesley Institute.

Elsayed, Danya. 2019. “Hundreds calling for ‘highly neglected’ St. James Town to become neighbourhood improvement area.” CBC News 12 July.

Greene, Gregory. 2019. Resilient Communities: St. James Town (video)

Kopun, Francine, 2020. “Toronto ‘Living on Borrowed Time’ with its Large, Aging Residential Towers.” Toronto Star 2 March.

Organizations and agencies

Here we present a list of organizations that support, serve, and advocate for St. James Town residents. We welcome suggestions for expanding this list. We have included the website of Ward 13 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, and her almost daily updates on news and resources in relation to COVID-19.

Community Corner

Community Matters

CREW Toronto

Bleecker/Wellesley Activity Network

OASIS Food Hub

St. James Town Community Cooperative

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

The Church of St. Peter and St. Simon-the-Apostle

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Councillor for Ward 13

Kristyn Wong-Tam’s updates on COVID-19. Notice that under “links and resources” she provides a links to a great variety of supports and programs to help people during the pandemic.