Space for a patio: Nine-storey apartment proposed for former James Street Pub site

james street
A rendering of the proposed apartment building on the site of the former James Street Pub.

A Toronto developer has unveiled plans for a nine-storey mixed-use apartment building at what was long the site of one of Centretown’s most popular watering holes.

Urban Capital has filed a development application for a 128-unit apartment complex at 390 and 394 Bank St., near the corner of James Street. For more than three decades, the property has been home to taverns – first under the James Street Feed Co. name and later as the James Street Pub. 

That well-known establishment shut its doors ​– and its spacious patio at the corner of Bank and James that was the scene of many a lively get-together over adult beverages ​– in the middle of September. The existing building is slated to be demolished to make way for the new development.

According to the development application, the new building will house 55 one-bedroom units and 73 two-bedroom apartments, with about 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor that will split between two tenants. For those lamenting the loss of the pub’s outdoor seating area, the application points out that the plan includes room for “an opportunity to introduce an outdoor patio” at the corner of Bank and James.

A two-level underground parking garage would contain spaces for 64 cars and 72 bicycles. The proposal also calls for a rooftop swimming pool and outdoor amenity area as well as a party room and a fitness facility on the ground floor.

Although the property falls within the Centretown Heritage Conservation District, the site plan application says “minimal negative impacts are anticipated to the heritage attributes of the site and adjacent properties.”

The developer says the project conforms to the policies of the current community design plan, but the building will require a zoning amendment to accommodate its proposed height of 30 metres and reductions in various setbacks.