Plans for a Jane and Finch hub in North York coming together

Community Sep 14, 2017 by Fannie Sunshine North York Mirror

A community group is ramping up plans for a hub in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area.

“We’re definitely closer to getting the hub,” said Michelle Francis, co-chair of Community Action Planning Group-York West (CAPG), noting there is still a lot of work to do.

An Ontario Trillium grant was awarded to the group to hire a co-ordinator to conduct a feasibility study for the hub, with goals to have a firm plan in place within five months, she said.

Plans for a hub, under the working name Community Hub and Centre for the Arts, stemmed from Metrolinx’s plans to build a maintenance and storage facility for the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) on vacant land beside Yorkgate Mall.

Formed five years ago with a focus on community transit issues, CAPG supports plans to build the 11-kilometre, 18-stop, $1 billion LRT line that will run along the surface of Finch Avenue from the new Finch West subway station on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension at Keele Street to Humber College. Major construction is expected to start in 2018 and be completed in 2021.

Metrolinx purchased land on Finch Avenue — between Norfinch Drive and York Gate Boulevard — for the future maintenance and storage facility (MSF) for up to 75 light rail vehicles, along with storage of some light rail vehicles for the future Jane LRT corridor.

CAPG is asking the maintenance and storage facility bidders for a 50-metre setback from Finch Avenue to allow for a future community hub. The winning bidder is expected to be announced in April 2018.

In a December 2016 email, Metrolinx said both the environmental assessment and project agreement call for the setback to be 32 metres, to create space between the maintenance and storage facility and Finch Avenue rather than a building.

“The bidders have been advised of the community’s request for (the) MSF facility to be set back by 50 metres,” Metrolinx said. “In the event that the winning proponent is able to minimize the MSF footprint to allow for a 50-metre setback, Metrolinx would consider leasing or selling the land to the city, who would work with the community group to build the community hub.”

CAPG met with the three bidders in summer 2016 to present their case, and although 50 metres is preferred, Francis said the group will work with a 32-metre footprint.

Along with hosting three community workshops, Francis said CAPG plans to meet with neighbourhood groups to hammer out what programs and services the hub should offer.

“We just really need this facility,” she said, adding suggestions to date include services for job training, health and well-being; a production studio; a community kitchen; and a child care facility. “There are so many people at Jane and Finch. Programs and services exist now, but they are scattered across different facilities and there is no great central place.”

Community hubs have the backing of Premier Kathleen Wynne, who put together a framework advisory group in August 2015 to look at the issue.

To contact CAPG, email capg.yw@gmail.com

Plans for a Jane and Finch hub in North York coming together

Hub is greatly needed in the neighbourhood, community group says

Community Sep 14, 2017 by Fannie Sunshine North York Mirror

A community group is ramping up plans for a hub in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area.

“We’re definitely closer to getting the hub,” said Michelle Francis, co-chair of Community Action Planning Group-York West (CAPG), noting there is still a lot of work to do.

An Ontario Trillium grant was awarded to the group to hire a co-ordinator to conduct a feasibility study for the hub, with goals to have a firm plan in place within five months, she said.

Plans for a hub, under the working name Community Hub and Centre for the Arts, stemmed from Metrolinx’s plans to build a maintenance and storage facility for the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) on vacant land beside Yorkgate Mall.

Formed five years ago with a focus on community transit issues, CAPG supports plans to build the 11-kilometre, 18-stop, $1 billion LRT line that will run along the surface of Finch Avenue from the new Finch West subway station on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension at Keele Street to Humber College. Major construction is expected to start in 2018 and be completed in 2021.

Metrolinx purchased land on Finch Avenue — between Norfinch Drive and York Gate Boulevard — for the future maintenance and storage facility (MSF) for up to 75 light rail vehicles, along with storage of some light rail vehicles for the future Jane LRT corridor.

CAPG is asking the maintenance and storage facility bidders for a 50-metre setback from Finch Avenue to allow for a future community hub. The winning bidder is expected to be announced in April 2018.

In a December 2016 email, Metrolinx said both the environmental assessment and project agreement call for the setback to be 32 metres, to create space between the maintenance and storage facility and Finch Avenue rather than a building.

“The bidders have been advised of the community’s request for (the) MSF facility to be set back by 50 metres,” Metrolinx said. “In the event that the winning proponent is able to minimize the MSF footprint to allow for a 50-metre setback, Metrolinx would consider leasing or selling the land to the city, who would work with the community group to build the community hub.”

CAPG met with the three bidders in summer 2016 to present their case, and although 50 metres is preferred, Francis said the group will work with a 32-metre footprint.

Along with hosting three community workshops, Francis said CAPG plans to meet with neighbourhood groups to hammer out what programs and services the hub should offer.

“We just really need this facility,” she said, adding suggestions to date include services for job training, health and well-being; a production studio; a community kitchen; and a child care facility. “There are so many people at Jane and Finch. Programs and services exist now, but they are scattered across different facilities and there is no great central place.”

Community hubs have the backing of Premier Kathleen Wynne, who put together a framework advisory group in August 2015 to look at the issue.

To contact CAPG, email capg.yw@gmail.com

Plans for a Jane and Finch hub in North York coming together

Hub is greatly needed in the neighbourhood, community group says

Community Sep 14, 2017 by Fannie Sunshine North York Mirror

A community group is ramping up plans for a hub in the Jane Street and Finch Avenue area.

“We’re definitely closer to getting the hub,” said Michelle Francis, co-chair of Community Action Planning Group-York West (CAPG), noting there is still a lot of work to do.

An Ontario Trillium grant was awarded to the group to hire a co-ordinator to conduct a feasibility study for the hub, with goals to have a firm plan in place within five months, she said.

Plans for a hub, under the working name Community Hub and Centre for the Arts, stemmed from Metrolinx’s plans to build a maintenance and storage facility for the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) on vacant land beside Yorkgate Mall.

Formed five years ago with a focus on community transit issues, CAPG supports plans to build the 11-kilometre, 18-stop, $1 billion LRT line that will run along the surface of Finch Avenue from the new Finch West subway station on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension at Keele Street to Humber College. Major construction is expected to start in 2018 and be completed in 2021.

Metrolinx purchased land on Finch Avenue — between Norfinch Drive and York Gate Boulevard — for the future maintenance and storage facility (MSF) for up to 75 light rail vehicles, along with storage of some light rail vehicles for the future Jane LRT corridor.

CAPG is asking the maintenance and storage facility bidders for a 50-metre setback from Finch Avenue to allow for a future community hub. The winning bidder is expected to be announced in April 2018.

In a December 2016 email, Metrolinx said both the environmental assessment and project agreement call for the setback to be 32 metres, to create space between the maintenance and storage facility and Finch Avenue rather than a building.

“The bidders have been advised of the community’s request for (the) MSF facility to be set back by 50 metres,” Metrolinx said. “In the event that the winning proponent is able to minimize the MSF footprint to allow for a 50-metre setback, Metrolinx would consider leasing or selling the land to the city, who would work with the community group to build the community hub.”

CAPG met with the three bidders in summer 2016 to present their case, and although 50 metres is preferred, Francis said the group will work with a 32-metre footprint.

Along with hosting three community workshops, Francis said CAPG plans to meet with neighbourhood groups to hammer out what programs and services the hub should offer.

“We just really need this facility,” she said, adding suggestions to date include services for job training, health and well-being; a production studio; a community kitchen; and a child care facility. “There are so many people at Jane and Finch. Programs and services exist now, but they are scattered across different facilities and there is no great central place.”

Community hubs have the backing of Premier Kathleen Wynne, who put together a framework advisory group in August 2015 to look at the issue.

To contact CAPG, email capg.yw@gmail.com