CREW in St James Town

Women Get Together During Covid

Download the PDF  about our virtual program on mitigating isolation.

77 Howard Street

A core group of 14 volunteers, most of us St James Town residents, have been working with CREW’s Lidia Ferriera in St James Town since September 2019. We are contributing to the resilience of residents at 77 Howard Street, which is home to several of our volunteers. The outreach and organizing underway at 77 Howard is expected to extend to 650 Parliament where a fire in 2018 triggered long-term evacuation.

Three of our volunteers are moving back to 650 Parliament and we want to continue our work there.

Every building in St. James Town has its own identity. Residents are very diverse. Many have been in Canada for less than five years, although others are 2nd generation. The neighbourhood, with more than 18,000 residents, is the densest in Canada. Ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse it is also becoming income diverse. But it is still home to many vulnerable people, including seniors.


Community Resilience to Extreme Weather (CREW) has spent nearly six years promoting the possession of emergency kits and plans to neighbourhood communities. This work also emphasizes the importance of preparing for emergencies and the meaning of shelter in place. Tragically, because of COVID-19, all Canadians now understand the significance of these measures

The most vulnerable among us are suffering the worst impacts of COVID-19: financial, food security, employment prospects, uncertainty about the future of children, and coping with isolation in small spaces with no outside spaces. Preparation for emergencies can be beyond residents’ means, and sheltering in place may add to the hardship.

St. James Town residents have many strengths and are extremely resilient.

Click here for the CREW in Saint Jamestown Facebook group to connect with fellow residents and keep up to date with the latest information and click here to join the private discussion group.

About St. James Town

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St. James Town is a downtown Toronto neighbourhood with 19 high rises crowded into one big city block. Many buildings are in need of updates and maintenance. In 2017 CREW was invited to co-host workshops with the St. James Town co-op in St. James Town. Residents were asked to map the resources, people, organizations and places that would be go-to’s for a local extreme weather emergency response. Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management officer joined us to discuss hazards, best practices and strategies. Since then, a summer, 2018 electrical fire triggered the evacuation of 1,500 people for 18 months, and 2018 and 2019 winter’s extreme freeze and thaw cycles burst pipes and flooded electrical rooms in a number of buildings, causing extended power outages. 

CREW in St. James Town

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CREW has been building leadership capacity and volunteer teams in this exceptionally diverse neighbourhood for more than two years. CREW brings people together in workshops, training sessions, door to door outreach, asset mapping, lobby greeting tables, community events, gardening, homework clubs, English as a Second Language classes, and more. We believe that the positive response to our pilot “neighbour-helping-neighbour” approach at 77 Howard Street demonstrates the interest of residents in helping each other during times of stress and emergency.

Local Service Providers and Others

City Councillor - Kristen Wong-Tam

Community Corner

Community Matters

St. James Town Co-op

St. James Town Library

Wellesley Community Centre

Mental Health

Mental health link - 15 languages

Food delivery

Red Cross food basket - 416-304-1982

They deliver to anyone with the postal code starting with the letter M

You need to call to register: You are eligible if you do not have access to regular food services and are not already helped by service providers. The food comes from a food bank. It does not contain fresh produce.

Food delivery for seniors - 180 languages

Food banks within 2 kilometres from St. James Town

Daily Bread Food Bank - Allan Gardens Food Bank. 416-924-9619

St. Luke's United Church
353 Sherbourne Street

Thursdays and Fridays
1 PM - 3.30 PM
Serving outside

577 meters from Food Basics


Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre
439 Dundas Street East
Parliament and Dundas

Food bank is open every other Thursday,

Your name must be on the list by Tuesday at 4pm 416-360-4350 x 245. You will not be served if name is not on list.

First time users must bring ID. Pickup at side door.

1.08 kilometres from Food Basics


St Bartholomew’s

509 Dundas Street East
(Regent Park)

Mondays and Thursdays
10 AM - 11.30 AM

1.12 Kilometres from Food Basics


Salvation Army
77 River Street
Mondays and Wednesdays
By appointment only - phone ahead.


1.5 Kilometres from Food Basics


St. Anne’s Parish
121 First Street

Gerrard and Broadview (at Degrassi)
By appointment only - phone ahead.



1.91 Kilometres from Food Basics