Ask people what new transit line is being built in Toronto now and they may be aware of the Crosstown LRT along Eglinton Avenue, but they are unlikely to know there's now another major line getting going further north. The Finch West LRT took a big step forward in May 2018 when a contract was awarded to the Mosaic Transit Group to design, build, finance, and maintain the line, set to be operational in 2023. 

Finch West LTR Map, image courtesy of Metrolinx

Pre-construction and early construction activity are already in progress, while several of the LRT stops—all but one at surface level—are to be under construction by the end of the year. The line will have one underground station as well, however, where it meets the TTC's Yonge-University Line 1 at Finch West subway station, itself having opened in December 2017 with the extension of that line to Vaughan.

Looking east over Finch Avenue toward Keele Street and beyond, image via submission to City of Toronto

Now, Metrolinx and Mosaic Transit Group have submitted an application to the City seeking Site Plan Approval for the LRT station at Finch West. Designed by Arup, it will add an entrance building at the southeast corner of Keele Street and Finch Avenue, a landscaped median on Finch either side of Keele and above the station punctuated by a pair of skylights, and an underground connection to the subway station. (The subway station has street entrances many metres to the north on either side of Keele Street, and a terminal for local buses incorporated into the northeast entrance building.)

Looking northeast to Finch West station, Aug 2018 image retrieved from Google Street View

The connection between the LRT platforms and both the subway and the street will be complicated. The roof of the LRT station will be just 2 metres below street level under Finch Avenue.

Looking east along the LRT platform at Finch West station, image via submission to City of Toronto

With a centre platform, riders getting off the LRT here will descend—via stairs, escalator, or an elevator—to a concourse level. They will be able to turn right, exit through fare gates and then take stairs, escalator, or an elevator two flights up to street level (as seen in the rendering below), or will be able to turn left, exit through fare gates and then follow a hall northwards, rise up one level via stairs or a ramp, and then turn west where the hall will connect with the underground concourse level of the subway station. To reach the subway or buses, they will enter through fare gates then either descend a level to the subway platform or ascend a level to the bus terminal.

Looking southwest within Finch West's underground connections, image via submission to City of Toronto

Accessing the Finch West LRT from the subway will require a similar up-down-up travel pattern in the opposite direction, while accessing the LRT from the street will require riders to descend two levels from within the street entrance before rising one level up again to reach the LRT platform.

Looking northeast over Finch West LRT Station, image via submission to City of Toronto

While Metrolinx has come under some criticism for the standalone station buildings along the Crosstown LRT that are currently under construction along Eglinton—that more advance planning could have allowed the entrances to be incorporated directly into new buildings along that line—it appears that they are nevertheless taking the same approach here in creating a standalone entrance. The property the entrance building is on at 3933 Keele Street also happens to be, however, one of the 11 sites that was earmarked by the City for affordable housing in 2018 as part of the HousingNow initiative. That plan calls for 190 housing units, half of them affordable, to be built on the lot. The Finch West LRT station entrance takes up approximately two thirds of the lot and proposes interim landscaping on the southern third of the lot, presumably to be available for the CreateTO initiative at some point, but we have found no references to the HousingNow plan in the LRT station Site Plan Application. 

Additional information and many more images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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