In anticipation of transit investment and the potential for growth and change in the area, several City Divisions are collaborating on a community planning exercise in the area. The aim of the Jane Finch Initiative is to develop an integrated plan for the Jane Finch area that advances social equity and economic inclusion for current and future residents, encourages the appropriate kinds of growth and development in the area, and guides investment in community improvements.
Finch Avenue West is anticipated to undergo significant change and development in the coming years. An 11-kilometre, 18-stop light rail transit line (LRT) is under construction along the avenue from the TTC’s Finch West Station to Humber College, with expected completion in 2023. The LRT will provide convenient and reliable rapid transit to area residents, businesses and institutions, bringing improved connections to the city’s higher-order transit network for a part of Toronto that has been underserved.
In December 2015, City Council directed staff to undertake planning studies for focus areas along Finch Avenue West in advance of the opening of the new transit line. The intent was to leverage the public investment in transit infrastructure for the benefit of local communities. City Council identified the Keele-Finch area as the first priority for study (see Keele Finch Plus). City Council approved the Jane and Finch area as a subsequent priority for a future planning study.
Through an engagement process in which residents can help shape the planning of their community, the purpose of the Jane Finch Initiative is to align people- and place-focused initiatives into an integrated complete-community framework for the area.
The initiative involves three integrated streams of work:
The community development plan and the updated land use planning framework are intended to be companion documents that would work in tandem to further advance social equity and economic inclusion for current and future residents, manage future growth and development, and guide investment in infrastructure and services.
The boundaries of the Jane Finch Initiative study area align with Neighbourhood 24, Black Creek and Neighbourhood 25, Glenfield-Jane Heights. The study area is roughly bounded by Highway 400 to the west, Steeles Avenue West to the north, Black Creek to the east and Sheppard Avenue West and a portion of Black Creek to the south.
The boundaries of the secondary plan area are based on criteria including walkability (500- to 800-metre walking radius from planned LRT stops), land use (areas where growth and change may be desirable and warranted), lot sizes and ownership patterns (larger parcels where development potential is greater), and other factors that arise during community consultations or planning analysis. The boundaries of the secondary plan study area may be adjusted based on community input and analysis.
The Jane and Finch Initiative consists of three phases, with community engagement and stakeholder consultation conducted at each phase. Phase 1 requires staff to take stock of the existing conditions.
In Phase 2, options for the community are developed. In Phase 3 the policies are refined and incorporated into the final framework for presentation to Committees of Council. In Phase 3 the policies will be refined and brought into the final framework for presentation to Committees of Council.
The study will take approximately 3 years with completion anticipated for early 2024.