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    About

    St. James Town (sometimes misspelled St. Jamestown) is a neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It lies in the northeast corner of the downtown area. The neighbourhood covers the area bounded by Sherbourne Street to the west, Bloor Street East to the north, Parliament Street to the east, and Wellesley Street East to the south....

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    St. James Town is the largest high-rise community in Canada. It has been identified as one of 13 economically deprived neighborhoods within the city. It consists of 19 high-rise buildings (14 to 32 stories). These residential towers were built in the 1960s. Officially, approximately 17,000 people live in the neighbourhood's 19 apartment towers and 4 low rise buildings, making it one of Canada's most densely populated communities.

    History

    St. James Town (sometimes misspelled St. Jamestown) is a neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It lies in the northeast corner of the downtown area. The neighbourhood covers the area bounded by Sherbourne Street to the west, Bloor Street East to the north, Parliament Street to the east, and Wellesley Street East to the south....

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    St. James Town is the largest high-rise community in Canada. It has been identified as one of 13 economically deprived neighborhoods within the city. It consists of 19 high-rise buildings (14 to 32 stories). These residential towers were built in the 1960s. Officially, approximately 17,000 people live in the neighbourhood's 19 apartment towers and 4 low rise buildings, making it one of Canada's most densely populated communities.

    History

    St. James Town began to grow in the 19th century when it became a semi-suburban area home to the city's middle class. The area was rezoned in the 1950s, and the nineteenth century homes were leveled, and apartment towers — inspired by Le Corbusier's Towers in the Park concept — were erected. Each tower, which were named after major Canadian cities, accommodated thousands of residents surrounded by green space, but with few amenities. The 14 story Quebec was completed in 1959, the 18 story Victoria in 1965, and The Toronto's 24 floors in 1967. In the same census time period (1961 - 1971) St. Jamestown's population explodes to 11,462 from only 862.

    In the late 1960s, the developers attempted to acquire land south of Wellesley, as far as Carlton Street, to expand the St. James Town development. Many residents of the area resisted, with the support of civic activist and future Mayor of Toronto John Sewell. The St. James Town expansion was cancelled, and the homes that had been demolished were replaced with several housing cooperatives.

    St. James Town's highrises were originally designed after the Second World War to house young "swinging single" middle class residents. This plan was spurred forward by the federal government, that saw city building as a key to post-depression, post-war, nation's recovery. The apartments lacked appeal though, poorly constructed, and with a lack of amenities to support the density spike; many prospective tenants instead moved to suburban houses in the developing areas of Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York. The area quickly became much poorer. Four buildings were later built by the province to provide public housing. Today, the towers are mostly home to newly arrived immigrant families, with only 33% being born in Canada, according to the 2011 Census.

    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. Lanterra Developments has also proposed plans to replace some of the remaining Victorian homes in St. Jamestown with several more towers.

    On September 24, 2010, a fire broke out on the 24th floor of 200 Wellesley St East (the white building behind the library and community centre). Fourteen people were taken to hospital due to injuries, including three firefighters and two children; three of the injuries were classed as serious. The cause of the fire was determined to be a cigarette thrown from a balcony above.

    In 2013, St. James Town became the host of the World's Tallest Mural, pending approval by Guinness.

    Census tract 0065.00 of the 2006 Canadian census covers St. James Town. According to that census, the neighbourhood has 14,666 residents. Average income is $22,341, one of the lowest in Toronto. In the 2011 National Household Survey, the average income of residents in Ontario is reported to be $42,264. When compared to the average income of residents in this Census Tract from the 2011 Census year, this is a difference of $19,923. When further examined against the average income of residents in Canada, whereby it is reported to be $40,650 in the 2011 National Household Survey, the difference remains similar at $18,309. Both of these differences therefore shows us the sharp income disparities in this Census Tract and its resulting socio-economic impacts on its residents (Census 2006, Census 2011). In addition, this can be seen in the income distribution of the neighbourhood in 2011 with 57% of the inhabitants earning less than $19,999 and only 6% earning more than $60,000. In fact the majority of individuals (82.6%) over the age of 15 earn an income of less than $39,999 before tax. The large amount of people in the lower income conditions is appalling especially in light of the fact that most immigrants and people in social housing live in large families crammed into small quarters. Due to its cultural and minority demographics, St. James Town is often thought as "the world within a block". It is mostly a so-called minority community, largely filled with immigrants — especially those who arrived in the 1990s. The ten most common languages in the neighbourhood, after English, are:

    1. Tagalog - 8.1%
    2. Tamil - 5.5%
    3. Unspecified Chinese - 2.5%
    4. Mandarin - 2.5%
    5. Korean - 1.9%
    6. Spanish - 1.8%
    7. Russian - 1.8%
    8. Serbian - 1.4%
    9. Bengali - 1.4%
    10. Urdu - 1.4%

    The diversity of the neighbourhood can be further supported by the fact that in 2011, 59% of the population identified as an immigrant. An immigrant is one who is citizen of Canada and has moved to Canada from somewhere else. 8% of the population identified as non-permanent residents and 33% identified as non-immigrants.

    The disproportional number of renters to owners in this area has been explored on the 2006 and 2011 census and the numbers tell a troubling story about the falling number of property owners in this census Tract area. The data suggest in 2006, 50 people owned one of the limited amount of older model properties in the area but by 2011 that number had fallen to 40. This however could be in correlation to the fall in the overall population in the area. Though the area is seeing improvements in terms of access to amenities the population has indeed dropped from 14,666 to 13,910 between census years 2006 and 2011.(census 2006,census 2011)

    In terms of the 2011 National Household Survey, there was Global Non-Response rate of 21.7% which means that only 25.8% of the population completed the survey. This number is actually higher than the 20% response rate of the 2006 Long Form census, however due to the voluntary nature of the census, the data is not as reliable compared to the mandatory long form census of 2006. This is because when it is a voluntary census rather one required by law, there is a high chance of non-response bias especially as the GNR grows larger which means that there is a higher chance that those who are responding to the voluntary survey is not completely randomized. In comparison to Canada, which has a GNR of 26.1%, and Ontario, which has a GNR of 27.1%, CT5350065.0 has a lower GNR rate which that there may be less of a non-response bias.

    Generation Status

    According to the 2006 long form census and the 2011 National Household Survey the majority of individuals in St. James Town (census tract 5350065.00) would be categorized as being of first generation status (Statistics Canada, 2006; Statistics Canada, 2011). First generation status applies to people who were born outside of Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011). Second generation refers to people born in Canada but their mother and father were born outside of Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011). The final category, third generation and more, covers people who were born and Canada and both their mother and father were also born in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011).

    The following is a breakdown of the percentages of those considered first, second, and third generation or more in St. James Town in both 2006 and 2011.

    2006:

    First Generation Status: 78%

    Second Generation Status: 8%

    Third Generation Status and more: 14%

    2011:

    First Generation Status: 67%

    Second Generation Status: 20%

    Third Generation Status and more: 13%

    From 2006 to 2011 the biggest change in the generation status occurred in the second-generation category where those considered second generation rose 12% from 8% to 20%. This indicates that individuals that were born in Canada with a mother or father born outside of Canada increased from 2006 to 2011. First generation status, on the other hand, decreased (despite still containing the majority of the population both years) and those considered third generation and more decreased by 1%. It can therefore be concluded that the majority of people living in St. James Town were not born in Canada according to both the 2006 long form census (where they accounted for 78% of those who completed the survey) and the 2011 National Household Survey (where they accounted for 67% of those who completed the survey). This information can be related to previously mentioned data on income and immigration status and diversity.

    It is to be noted that in 2006 the long form census had a 20% completion rate compared to the 2011 National Household Survey, which had a 25.85% completion rate. Therefore, more people completed the survey in 2011 compared to 2006, but as previously mentioned, one must be aware of a possibility of a non-response bias, meaning those answering the survey might not be random and may have affected the data.

    Immigrant Status

    In 2006, there was a total of 14, 666 residents in St. James Town. Of this population, 14, 606 identified themselves as an immigrant. In 2011 (Global Non-Response Rate: 21.7)* (Statistics Canada, 2006; Statistics Canada, 2011)., the population dropped by 6

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