McPake began his professional career when he signed for then Scottish First Division team Livingston in August 2000 as a youth academy player. He did not make his debut for the club until almost 4 years later in April 2004 when Livingston were playing in the SPL, a year later he cemented his place with the club by agreeing to sign a new two year contract.
In January 2006 the Scottish Second Division side Greenock Morton acquired the player on loan, after McPake rejected loan moves to other Division Two sides Gretna and Partick Thistle. He made his debut for Morton against Gretna on January 14 and went on to make 10 appearances for the club, scoring two goals in the process. He played as a striker throughout his entire loan spell at Morton, and his two goals were both in the same game against Alloa Athletic.
In October 2006 Scottish media reported that the player would be moving to English Football League Championship Plymouth Argyle and it was confirmed that he was due to go to the club for a week long trial, Livingston later changed their minds and the trial never materialized. In July 2007, two months after the appointment of manager Mark Proctor, McPake was made the captain of the club. Scottish Premier League outfit St. Mirren had a bid for the player rejected, and were widely expected to make an improved offer.
McPake signed a pre-contract in December 2008 to join Coventry City in the summer of 2009. Coventry and Livingston agreed a fee on February 2, 2009 to complete the transfer immediately. He scored his first goal for the club against Leicester City on 21 March 2010.