Sometime early next year, if Metrolinx is to be believed, the first train on the Finch West LRT will roll down the tracks.
The light rail line first envisioned under the David Miller regime, then endlessly delayed, will stretch from Finch West station all the way to Humber College.
It’s the quiet middle child of Metrolinx’s Toronto developments, overshadowed by more prominent projects closer to the downtown core like the Ontario Line and Eglinton Crosstown.
Cutting across swaths of the city underserved by generations of planners and politicians—from Jane and Finch to Rexdale—the 18-stop line promises to reduce commuting times and spur transit-oriented development.
Already, malls are being redeveloped, apartment towers that were once reliable sources of cheap housing are changing hands, and rents are on the rise.
Meanwhile, all along Finch Avenue West, construction has snarled traffic and made pedestrian crossings chaotic and outright dangerous.
How will the project change life in the city's northwest? Who will it bring in and who will it push out? The Finch West Issue is our deep dive into a corner of Toronto on the eve of transformation.
Welcome to Finch West.

In this issue

Editor's Letter by Nicholas Hune-Brown

Welcome to Finch West

The LRT doesn’t open until next year at the earliest, but it’s already transforming Toronto’s northwest.

Feature by Inori Roy

The Slow Fight for Rapid Transit on Finch West

After more than fifty years of talk, northwest Toronto is finally getting an LRT. But as the new line brings higher rents, changing businesses, and on-going construction, residents are demanding a say in how their community will change.

Feature by Simon Lewsen with photography by Chloë Ellingson

The Crisis After the Crisis

During lockdowns, politicians, journalists, and policy makers suddenly started paying attention to communities along the Finch West corridor. Then they stopped. A panoramic look at Toronto’s northwest after the COVID emergency.

Feature by Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph

At Jane and Finch, a Fight for Community Space

Metrolinx is building a maintenance shed in the middle of their community. These residents are fighting to make sure they get something in return.

Short Feature by Furqan Mohamed with photography by Yader Guzman

Everybody’s Got to Eat

Decadent chicken sandwiches, steaming bowls of pho ga, classic jerk chicken, and pillowy pupusas worth the commute—eating our way across Jane and Finch.

Perspective by Daysha Loppie

Growing Up on the 36 Finch West

It takes me two hours on transit to visit my mom in Rexdale. Can a transit line begin to connect a neighbourhood that sometimes feels a world apart?

Feature by Richard Trapunski with photography by Christopher Katsarov Luna

“Canada’s Worst Obstacle Course”

Metrolinx has promised Toronto a more interconnected tomorrow. As it rips up some of the city’s busiest streets, is it paying enough attention to the safety and wellbeing of Torontonians today?

Short Feature by Kunal Chaudhary

The Apartments the Union Built

In the 1980s, aircraft workers in Malton were struggling to find housing—so they built their own. What can this obscure Rexdale housing co-op teach us today?