St. James Town – The Neighbourhood2020-03-30T00:02:04+01:00

About the neighbourhood

St. James Town is the largest high-rise community in Canada and is the most densely populated neighbourhood in Canada.It is bound by Sherbourne Street to the west, Bloor Street East to the north, Parliament Street to the east and Wellesley Street East to the south.

St. James Town is a high turnover community, where newcomers to Canada make up a large portion of the population. St. James Town is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic neighbourhood. It has been identified as one of 13 economically deprived neighborhoods within the city

  • Landing pad for immigrants

  • Near downtown

  • High turnover community

  • Access to green spaces

  • Accessibility to transit hub

  • Several school systems

  • Diverse community

Diversity & Demographics
High-Rise Buildings
Population (2016)
Density (ppl/km²)

History of St. James Town

Originally a semi-suburban neighbourhood home to the city’s middle class in the 19th century, this neighbourhood of Victorian housing stock was rezoned in the 1950s when the City of Toronto announced major zoning amendments for the downtown core.

During this period, the nineteenth century homes were levelled, and apartment towers were erected. Each tower accommodated thousands of residents surrounded by green spaces. Each of the buildings is named after a major Canadian city.

However, the neighbourhood spun into greater decline and rather than the government changing tack, more towers continued to pop up, creating the current most densely populated community in all of Canada, as well as one of the poorest.

In September of 1997 the former City of Toronto council approved St. James Town 2000: A Community Action Plan which aims to revitalize St. James Town through initiatives such as the building of a multi-service community centre, improvements to parks, and the maintenance and repair of St. James Town buildings.

In 2001, the City of Toronto launched a major initiative to improve the area, including the construction of a new Toronto Public Library branch and community centre, which opened in 2004 at the corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley. In 2013, St. James Town became the host of the World’s Tallest Mural, as approved by Guinness. Today, the towers are mostly home to newly arrived immigrant, and low-income families.

Upcoming Events

St. James Town Festival

Every year, St. James Town residents along with the Service Providers’ Network host a Festival to acknowledge and celebrate the diversity and togetherness of the neighbourhood.

Know More
Resources for landlords and tenants of St. James Town.

The St. James Town Catering Collective

Flavours from our Neighbours is a vibrant lip smacking catering collective in one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Toronto.  We, a group of passionate residents, have got together to make this happen.  The diverse and delicious cuisines from across the globe are reflected in our menu .  “Cooking with heart, and cooking healthy” is the secret ingredient  of our success.


Neighbourhood Gallery

Crisis Management

650 Parliament

On the 21st of August 2018, a fire broke out in 650 Parliament Street displacing its 1500 odd residents temporarily. The residents have been placed at various locations on a temporary basis with help of The City and other agencies and organisations while the reconstruction is in progress.

Latest updates on 650 Parliament

260 Wellesley

On Tuesday January 22, 2019, 260 Wellesley experienced a situation that caused the hydro, water, and heating to be shut down for the entire building. Power and water was restored between Friday January 25-Saturday, January 26th.

Crisis Management Summary