Finch West LRT: A transit revolution in Emery Village

By Staff Reporter

The Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, a pivotal development in Toronto’s transit landscape, is rapidly progressing towards completion, marking a significant transformation in public transportation for the Emery Village community and beyond. This extensive project, poised to enhance connectivity across the city’s northwest end, has been a beacon of anticipation and excitement for residents and commuters.

Stretching 11 kilometres with 18 stops, the Finch West LRT promises a seamless and efficient transit experience. The line will run along Finch Avenue West from Keele Street to Highway 27, turning south to reach the Humber College north campus. This route is not just about connecting points A and B; it’s about knitting together communities, facilitating accessible access to education, work, and leisure, and breathing new life into the local economy.

One of the Finch West LRT’s most significant milestones was the completion of its first complete trip to Humber College. This maiden voyage of the light rail vehicle is a testament to the project’s progress and a glimpse into the future of transit in the area. The achievement is a critical step in the testing and commissioning phase, ensuring that every aspect of the LRT meets the highest safety and efficiency standards.

The Finch West LRT is expected to cater to about 14.6 million riders a year by 2031, a testament to its anticipated impact on the daily commute in Toronto. The line is set to replace the bustling 36 Finch West bus route, providing a more streamlined and comfortable transit option for thousands of commuters.

The construction process has been comprehensive, involving not just the laying of tracks and building of stations but also the creation of a 10,000-square-metre maintenance and storage facility. This facility will house the LRT vehicles and provide service, repair, and inspection spaces. The project also includes the installation of 116 customer canopies, ticketing machines, and a Public Visual Information System, adding to the user-friendly nature of the transit system.

In terms of infrastructure, the line features accessible platforms, improved streetscapes, and cycling infrastructure, making it a holistic addition to Toronto’s urban landscape. These elements reflect a commitment to improve transit and enhance the overall livability and accessibility of the surrounding areas.

As the project nears completion, Metrolinx has been focusing on the final stages of construction, including installing the preparatory duct bank and guideway. The surrounding community has been informed about the ongoing work, which essentially takes place during regular daytime hours, although occasional overnight or weekend work has been necessary.

The Finch West LRT is more than just a transit project; it symbolizes growth and progress. It represents a significant leap towards a more connected, sustainable, and vibrant urban environment. As the project unfolds, residents and businesses in Emery Village eagerly await the new opportunities and conveniences this transit line will bring.

With Metrolinx’s commitment and the community’s support, the Finch West LRT is on track to be a game-changer for public transit in Toronto, promising to be completed before the end of 2024. This development is not just a win for Emery Village but for the entire city, heralding a new era of urban mobility and connectivity.